Ready to be able to get 8–9 hours of solid sleep a night? I can tell you for a fact it is possible to get eight hours of solid sleep a night. And it is amazing how much better you'll feel when you do. This article will focus on new treatments for optimizing sleep—naturally.
There is an outstanding new mix of essential oils that works well with the other treatments I've recommended for sleep in the past. It contains a combination of Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Mandarin (Citrus reticulata).
You can find this combination in a product called Terrific ZZZZ. More good news? In addition to being highly effective, like most natural remedies it offers "side benefits" instead of side effects. These include less pain, calming, and better mental clarity.
Let's take a look at this mix, and other natural remedies that work well in combination with it.
Natural Sleep Support
Essential oils add a whole new dimension to natural therapies. When it comes to sleep, these have the benefits of decreasing brain fog and pain, while improving energy and immune function. Let's take a look at four outstanding essential oils that can now be found in combination in Terrific ZZZZ.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), a lemon-scented herb, is both an effective calming agent and mild sedative. Recent research suggests that it optimizes function of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, which helps our nervous system calm down.
These receptors also have the benefit of decreasing pain. Another benefit? In a placebo-controlled study done in England, lemon balm significantly improved both cognitive function and calmness. It also helps the immune system keep viral infections in check.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) long recognized in France for improving people's sense of well-being, lavender flowers were commonly placed in pillows to help promote sleep. Even the smell of lavender is calming. Research suggests that lavender oil is sedating, relieving anxiety and improving deep sleep. The effect? People who use lavender also experience more energy and alertness in the morning. Research also suggests that lavender supports your body's own endorphin molecules. These are the same neurotransmitters that your body stimulates to decrease pain, and which triggers the "runner's high" in athletes. So it is no wonder that this herb is so prized!
Mandarin (Citrus reticulata). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this herb has been used to calm the nervous system and induce sleep. In fact, Mandarin oranges get their name from the Chinese Mandarins, who traditionally received this fruit as a gift.
Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) is a rainforest tree. Its fragrant leaves, bark, and nuts have a long history of being used by the indigenous population of Madagascar for their powerful effects in supporting sleep, improving mood, and calming anxiety.
All four of these can be found in combination in an awesome product called Terrific ZZZZ. They are also synergistic with the natural products below, and the sleep medications, which I discuss in my writings. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!
Other Helpful Natural Sleep Aids
Here are a couple of my favorites:
- The Revitalizing Sleep Formula. This is a mix of six herbs that are excellent for sleep and that I start people with.
- Sleep Tonight. This herbal mix helps to settle down adrenal function, so your body can move into sleep mode. It is especially helpful for those of you with adrenal fatigue who are exhausted all day, and then find that your mind is wide awake and racing at bedtime. Take it one hour before sleep if this sounds like you.
- AnxioCalm. Amazing herb for anxiety (Take two twice a day and give it six weeks to see the full effect). Also very helpful for sleep.
- Melatonin. Although minimally effective for most people, we're seeing good results using a special form called Dual Spectrum 5 Mg Melatonin (available from Walgreens). This combines an immediate and sustained release mix. This works really well when others have not. Clinically, we have also seen that this higher dose helps decrease nighttime acid reflux.
- Magnesium. Take 200 mg at bedtime as a natural calming agent and muscle relaxant.
- 5 HTP 200–400 mg at bedtime. Give this 6–12 weeks to see the full effect. It also helps decrease pain while improving mood. Keep the dose to 200–300 mg (and get your holistic health practitioner's okay) if you are taking antidepressants or other serotonin raising medications.
It's time for you to get a good night's sleep!
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Jacob E Teitelbaum, MD
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and Chronicity. He is author of the popular free iPhone application "Cures A-Z," and author of the best-selling books
- The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
- From Fatigued to Fantastic!
- Pain Free 1-2-3
- Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy
- The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction
- Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook
- Real Cause, Real Cure: The 9 root causes of the most common health problems and how to solve them
Dr. Teitelbaum knows CFS/fibromyalgia as an insider — he contracted CFS when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. In the ensuing 25 years, he has dedicated his career to finding effective treatments.