According to the National Sleep Foundation, or NSF, many adults suffer from sleep problems, and persistent sleep issues can lead to psychological, physical health and daily performance problems. Many people turn to sleeping medications, but these may have side effects such as extend drowsiness, forgetfulness and even drug dependency. However, some common household products may work as more natural solutions for sleep problems.
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Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain, and increases in levels the darker it gets. Though you can get it as a supplement, melatonin can also be found in common foods such as cherries, bananas, oats and rice bran, to name a few.
Certain household herbs can aid in sleep and prevent the need for other sleep drugs. For example, chamomile, which is often an ingredient in herbal teas, has calming effects and can also aid in digestion. The Herbal Resource states that hops, most commonly found in beer, can also promote sleep due to its sedative effects. Hops can also be consumed as a tea.
"Psychology Today" reports that tryptophan, an amino acid associated with the chemical serotonin, can help increase sleepiness and even work as an antidepressant. Tryptophan is not produced by the body, and therefore must come from your diet. Though it's part of any complete protein, "Psychology Today" states that the best way to increase tryptophan levels in your brain is through dietary supplements taken on an empty stomach.
Household scents can also aid in sleep. "Allure Magazine" cites a study where sleepers that were introduced to the smell of lavender reached a deeper level of sleep quicker.
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- National Sleep Foundation: ABCs of ZZZZs-When You Can't Sleep
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- Mayo Clinic: Melatonin
- "Life Extension Magazine"; Melatonin and Cancer Treatment; Eileen M. Lynch, Ph.D.; January 2004
- The Herbal Resource: Herbal Sleep Aids and Herbs for Insomnia
- "Psychology Today"; Tryptophan, What Does It Do?; Erik Strand; Sep. 1, 2003