Envision yourself waking up entirely rested, prepared to deal with any obstacle and adopt all the joys of the world with gratitude. The majority of us know what a good night’s sleep resembles, but are we really getting the proper rest we should be getting? Within this stressful universe, it’s tough to achieve the sleep schedule that our brains and bodies require to operate to its fullest potential.
Proper sleep hygiene and the application of organic herbs and botanicals can help promote a healthy amount of sleep. The outcome could result in a wide array of benefits, including an improvement in problem solving and work performance, weight management, and even promote the prevention of chronic health issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mood disorders like depression. You may find numerous products and information regarding how to manage proper sleep. A research study from 2016 indicated that individuals in the United States alone spent over $41 billion on sleeping treatments, where it is expected to rise up to $52 billion by the year 2020.
How Much Sleep Do People Need?
As you may anticipate, children need more sleep than adults. The average child requires approximately 11 hours of sleep each night, where most adults only require about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, people in the US only get 6.8 hours of sleep each night. While this may not seem like a huge difference, collectively, the average person is not reaching the minimal amount of sleep of 7 hours, and as a result, your overall health and wellness may suffer. Sleep deprivation is one of the most common behaviors affecting our well-being. Several factors can contribute to this modern lack of proper sleep, including: work schedules, household obligations, and chronic health issues or behavioral challenges. In the majority of these scenarios, our circadian rhythms are entirely out of whack.
What Natural Remedies or Botanicals Can Help Promote Sleep?
The German Commission E, globally recognized for its understanding information on the role of medicinal herbs, additionally recommends the frequent utilization of certain botanicals, such as valerian, lavender, lemon balm, and hops, to promote the right level of relaxation and support proper sleep. There are several other well-known options which have sedative qualities, such as passion flower, chamomile, and kava kava. Nearly all of those relaxant natural remedies and botanicals are available commonly in teas, but they are also found in supplement form. Nearly always found in specialized mixes, these herbs have various mechanisms of action, and, therefore, behave synergistically when mixed together.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) can alter sleep because of its capacity to interact with neurotransmitters GABA, adenosine and serotonin. A two-week randomized controlled trial research study analyzing the differences in which the sleep aid zolpidem, or Ambien, using a mix of valerian, passion flower and hops, demonstrated no statistically significant change in sleep quality. The root or rhizome of the plant is generally utilized in either teas or it is typically processed into an extract to be utilized in nutritional supplements. The extract is standardized into the valerenic acid compound, often made up to 0.3 to 0.8percent of the substance itself. Doses of the herb can be found in nutritional supplements to be ranging from 150 to 600 mg. The use of valerian generally needs to be given about 2 weeks time until its effects begin to affect the individual, however, research studies are limited to 4 to 6 weeks, therefore, its use past that time frame should be approached with care.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a very popular floral herb utilized in fundamental oil form, teas, extracts and in other botanical combinations to promote relaxation as well as to relieve stress and anxiety. Recent research studies have identified that lavender works by antagonizing NMDA-receptors and serotonin transporters. Doses of about 80 milligrams every day of lavender from gel cap type for up to ten weeks were utilized in a research study where participants had previously been diagnosed with an unspecified type anxiety disorder. Both quality and length of sleep seemed to have been enhanced in those subjects without them experiencing the sedative side-effects as demonstrated in pharmaceutical sleep treatments. Other uses of lavender include 1 to 2 tsp in hot water as a tea every day, or its key oil diluted in a carrier oil used for massage or in a hot bath. Lavender is generally considered safe, however it’s also believed to be toxic if ingested orally in large quantities.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has long been utilized as an antiviral and stomach-calming compound in addition to being used as a treatment for sleep disorders brought on by anxiety or stress. Various research studies have demonstrated that the mechanism of action of lemon balm may be associated with its interaction to GABA-A receptors within the human body.
Hops (Humulus lupulus), aside from its frequently enjoyable pronunciation and serving as the main ingredient in a variety of beers, this is one of the herbs which is most commonly mixed in teas or supplements to achieve as well as maintain an overall calming effect. Researchers haven’t completely discovered how hops causes this effect, however, it’s been demonstrated to bind to serotonin and melatonin receptors. Valerian-hops blend products have also become the most widely researched in placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized controlled trials comparing them to benzodiazepine-class sleep drugs and/or medications with varying results. Like lemon balm, signs for its use as a herbal treatment for relaxation or insomnia includes an extended background in history.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is basically another botanical utilized to remedy stress, anxiety and insomnia. Researchers have discovered that passionflower works by increasing levels of GABA, achieving a comforting effect. In a Japanese research study from 2017, scientists discovered that passionflower extract modulates the amounts of the receptors as well as the genetic expression of the related enzymes in vivo and in vitro. This ultimately resulted in favorable effects on circadian rhythms.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight
Natural remedies and botanicals are a natural option for promoting sleep. While various herbs taken in numerous forms can help provide a good night’s rest, other alternative treatment options can also be considered to get you through a full night of rest. Chiropractic care can help promote sleep by carefully correcting spinal misalignments, or subluxations, through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, among other techniques. Spinal misalignments, or subluxations, can cause tension and stress along the back, causing pain and discomfort which can contribute to poor sleep. Regular chiropractic care can solve a variety of health issues which may be causing you sleepless nights, thus helping you sleep better and improving quality of life.
Proper Sleep Hygiene Advice
Dr. Michael Polsky, a board-certified sleep physician, recommends contemplating proper sleep hygiene for improving sleep. Sleep hygiene is a phrase utilized to refer to how we prepare our bodies and minds for sleep, beginning hours before we actually have to sleep. In fact, the window of 2 to 3 hours before sleeping proves to be significantly the most essential when attempting to get a good night’s rest. Below, are several notes of advice for achieving and maintaining proper sleep hygiene:
- At least 2-3 hours before bedtime, have a light, balanced meal and also reduce fluids
- Make a strategy to avoid the use of electronic devices 1 to 2 hours before bed
- Do a little mild activity, like walking or yoga; avoid a hard workout or some other action which is too stimulating
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine, commonly from coffee, tea, or chocolate, drink no more than 1 to 2 cups of coffee or tea before lunch
- Keep a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends
A Simple Tea Recipe
Blend a batch of 2 parts peppermint leaf, 1 piece lemon balm, 1 part passionflower, and 1 part lavender. Steep one heaping teaspoon in a teacup of hot water for 5 minutes and enjoy only as a relaxing drink.
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common behaviors which can lead to a variety of health issues. While the natural remedies and botanicals mentioned above can be utilized to help promote sleep, other alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, have been reported to help provide a better good night’s rest. Chiropractic care focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of musculoskeletal and nervous system injuries and/or conditions, through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations. A spinal misalignment, or subluxation, can cause pain and discomfort when trying to get proper sleep. Through chiropractic care, a chiropractor can help promote sleep by carefully correcting any spinal misalignment which may be causing painful symptoms. By treating symptoms of pain and discomfort, chiropractic care can help promote sleep, naturally, without the need for drugs and/or medications as well as surgical interventions.
In conclusion, proper sleep and rest are essential elements towards achieving and maintaining overall health and wellness. Through the use of natural remedies and botanicals, by practicing good sleep hygiene tips, and by receiving chiropractic care, the average American can begin to experience the benefits of proper sleep. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes for disability and missed days at work worldwide. As a matter of fact, back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
The information herein on "Natural Remedies and Botanicals to Promote Sleep" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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