Q. Dear Terry, “A few times a week I have trouble falling asleep. It’s usually after a stressful day, when my mind is racing when I try to lay down. I recently started meditating at night, which seems to help. I don’t want to try any sleep medications because I’ve heard they can have awful side effects. What other natural things could I do to help me fall asleep?” – Gloria N., Norman, OK
A. Dear Gloria, Sleep quality and quantity are both incredibly important to our overall health. While there can be many reasons you are experiencing sleep difficulties, it sounds like anxiety could be a factor.
To assist with a restful night’s sleep, you could consider a combination of mandarin zest extract, lemon balm leaf, ravintsara leaf oil, and lavender flower oil. These ingredients all work in slightly different ways to help support a good night’s sleep. I would take these ingredients thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime. You could take these ingredients every night.
When your mind is racing, I would add narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) to your daily regimen. Researchers have discovered that compounds in this unique type of coneflower can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. These compounds have been shown to interact with our endocannabinoid system, which helps to instill a sense of calm and relaxation.
I would try 20 to 40 mg of the coneflower extract in the evening about an hour before bed. If anxiety affects you in the daytime as well, you could take this extract in the AM and PM. This extract is safe enough to be taken daily. Make sure you look for a clinically studied, narrow-leaved coneflower root extract standardized for echinacoside and alkamides in the right ratio to reduce anxiety.
Terry . . . Naturally
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