The shelves of your health food and drug store are lined with supplements and other products luring in you with the promise of sweet dreams and sound slumber. Overwhelmed? Don’t be! We’ve taken the guess work out of it for you… below is a list of our favorites!
Magnesium is a vital mineral for the human body and an essential nutrient for sleep and about half the US population consumes less than the daily requirement. Talk about an easy place for improvement. The current RDAs for magnesium depend on your age and gender:
- Women 19-30 year: 310 mg
- Men 19-30: 400 mg for men
- Women over 31 years: 320 mg
- Men over 31 years: 420 mg for men;
- Pregnant women: 350-360 mg
- Women who are breastfeeding: 310-320 mg
Food is always your best bet for getting nutrients. Foods high in magnesium include nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, yogurt or kefir, black beans, and avocado. While magnesium supplements can be used, many people suffer from upset stomachs and nausea. A great alternative to oral supplements is topical magnesium. Don’t go too crazy though, the upper limit for magnesium supplementation should not exceed 350 mg for adults over 19.
Magnesium products we love
- Life-flo Pure Magnesium Flakes – A warm bath is can be a comforting bedtime ritual to soothe tired muscles while providing you with a few moments of solitary peace and quiet. Add 1-2 cups of these flakes to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. We LOVE this product because you get the powerful sleep promoting qualities of magnesium and the relaxing ritual of a warm bath.
- Life-Flo Magnesium Oil Night Spray – This oil is another winner in the topical magnesium game. The spray is infused with lavender oil which soothes and relaxes you as you massage it into your skin before bedtime.
Ask anyone about natural supplements used for sleep and they will probably tell you about melatonin. Your body has a natural sleep wake cycle, known as its circadian rhythm and melatonin is a key player in regulating this cycle. Your body makes this hormone utilizing key nutrients including magnesium and tryptophan. Optimally, your levels should rise during late afternoon and evening, as darkness descends, making you feel sleepy and ready for bed. Seasons, artificial light and age can all effect melatonin creation. Melatonin supplementation appears to be safe for short-term use but research suggests that those who take melatonin for extended time periods or in high doses may find that the body stops producing the hormone on its own.
Melatonin products we love
- Natural Vitality Calmful Sleep – Magnesium takes the leading role in this calm inducing supplement; however, a blend of melatonin and other sleep promoting nutrients help your body fall into a restful slumber.
- Good Day Chocolate with Sleep – This is one of my favorite products. Often after dinner I crave something sweet and usually a small piece of chocolate does the trick. These candies satisfy my sweet tooth while supplying a small dose of melatonin on the nights that I need to get a restful sleep so I can be extra peppy and productive the next day. Eat 1-4 candies a little before bed and have the ultimate SWEET dreams!
Chamomile is an herb that has been used for centuries for its healing properties, treating everything from sleep and anxiety to digestive issues, skin conditions, and inflammation
Chamomile products we love
- Natural Medicinal Nighty Night® Tea – For me there’s no better way to unwind from a busy day than with a warm cup of tea. I have a hot cup of tea almost nightly after dinner. This tea combines a delicious and relaxing blend of passionflower and chamomile with other sleepy time herbs. Natural Medicinal also makes a chamomile lavender tea which has more of a light floral flavor compared to the slightly minty, citrusy flavor of the Nighty Night tea blend.
Valerian root is another powerful herb to try in your quest for sound slumber. It has a sedative-like effect that calms anxiety and promotes sleep. As an avid tea drinker, it should be no surprise that for the nights I feel really wound up and know sleep will be a challenge, I turn to a soothing hot cup of valerian tea. However, you can also find tinctures and dried powdered pills if tea isn’t your thing.
Velerian root products we love
Natural Medicinal Nighty Night® Valerian – This herbal blend has a minty, earthy flavor. Valerian root, passionflower and lemon balm combined with other sleep promoting herbs makes this tea a soothing addition to your bedtime routine.
Didn’t see anything that caught your eye? Click HERE for a list of other products we turn to when sleep is elusive or the quality isn’t quite right. Remember to have fun in experimenting with what works best for you and settle into a rhythm your body can count on to start counting start catching those zzzz’s with consistency.
- US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the dietary guidelines for Americans. Washington (DC): USDA Agricultural Research Service; 2015.
- Chandrasekaran NC, Sanchez WY, Mohammed YH, Grice JE, Roberts MS, Barnard RT. Permeation of topically applied Magnesium ions through human skin is facilitated by hair follicles.Magnes Res. 2016 Jun 1;29(2):35-42. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2016.0402. PubMed PMID: 27624531.