Q. Dear Terry, “I recently stopped taking my sleeping medication because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. My sleep has been okay, but not great. What are some natural things that can help me sleep better?” – Autumn B., Metairie, LA
A. Dear Autumn, Sleep quality and quantity are both incredibly important to our overall health. While prescription medications can be effective, they also come with a lot of side effects and potential dependency. Natural medicines may be just what you need to fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
Lemon balm has been used medicinally for centuries. It is a calming agent and mild sedative. Recent studies have shown that lemon balm may bind to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which help the nervous system calm down.
Lavender is another natural sleep aid. Scientific studies suggest that lavender oil helps to relieve anxiety, has mild sedative properties, and can help with deep sleep. People who use lavender also experience more energy and alertness in the morning.
Mandarin is traditionally used to help settle the nervous system and induce sleep. Scientists believe that the compounds in mandarin peel work synergistically to promote relaxation and sleep.
Lastly, ravintsara helps to relieve insomnia, reduces depression, and alleviates nervous tension.
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. I would take 250 mg of these ingredients 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
Terry . . . Naturally
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