3 Natural Ingredients You Didn't Know Can Help You Sleep

5 minute read

Sleep is a necessity. Chronic sleep issues do not just keep us feeling groggy all day they also affect our overall health and longevity. Without full and deep sleep cycles, our bodies break down, our memories suffer, and our immune systems plummet. Yet, good sleep is hard to achieve.

The widespread sleep problems that we’re seeing in our current society often result from the stresses of modern life. Too many of us work in high stress positions or shoulder significant stress in our personal lives and do not have enough opportunities to exercise, socialize in positive environments, or get outdoors. Plus, the modern routine means we spend significant time watching or working on screens after dark.

If you think about it, it makes sense that our sleep is off.

Our species evolved over thousands of years while hunting and gathering followed by a few thousand years of mainly agricultural work. The lifestyle introduced by the industrial revolution, sitting most of the day and staying up well past dark, is really new on the evolutionary timeclock.

So, even if you don’t have the classic insomnia that makes it difficult to fall asleep at all, there’s a good chance you’re waking frequently throughout the night, tossing and turning, or you're waking up and finding that you are unable to fall back to sleep easily.

Yet, does this mean that we all have to transition to being cave dwellers again or living off the land?

Certainly not.

In fact, you can address a lot of the hormonal imbalances that contribute to poor sleep by including the right nutrients in your diet.

What are the right nutrients?

If you struggle with sleep, you’ve probably heard about (or tried) using melatonin. It can be very effective because it is a hormone your body produces more of at night in order to help you sleep.

However, taking melatonin usually causes your system to become overly tolerant of it very quickly, meaning it will stop being as effective. Plus, melatonin supplements usually hit your system with a much larger dosage of the hormone than your body would naturally produce, meaning your natural levels will feel really ineffective at causing sleepiness on their own.

So, what are the other options?

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian winter cherry or Indian ginseng, is an evergreen shrub that works in two ways: it both decreases physical and mental stress levels and increases sleepiness. In fact, a 2020 double-blind study comparing ashwagandha to a placebo treatment found that 72% of participants who took ashwagandha reported both falling asleep and staying asleep more easily. These effects are largely credited to the triethylene glycol found in the herb as well as the herb’s interaction with GABA receptors in the brain’s pineal gland.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally present in the body. It helps with digestion, muscle contractions, and brain function. Taurine also reduces triglycerides in ways that help prevent obesity. It is used to treat insomnia and anxiety disorders because it activates the GABA(A) receptors in the part of the brain that regulate sleep. In short, instead of shooting melatonin through your body, taurine helps your body produce its own melatonin. Because of these calming effects, some people also use it to treat anxiety and stress (both components in poor sleep). Taurine works especially well when combined with the other nutrients on this list.

Goji berries

Goji berries are a delicious and nutritious fruit native to Asia. They have long been touted for their immune-boosting and anti-aging effects. The high levels of antioxidants like zeaxanthin help keep your eyes and skin healthy, and they protect you against cancer growth. Plus, goji berries help to lift depression, alleviate anxiety, and improve sleep. One study in 2008 showed that drinking goji berry juice had beneficial effects in as little as two weeks when comparing the wellbeing reports, blood pressure, pulse, and vision readings of those who drank goji berry juice with those who drank a placebo. Plus, goji berries have many vitamins and minerals, including an extremely high level of beta-carotene, which makes them very effective at supporting ocular health.

As you can see these nutritious plants and molecules don’t just benefit your body by improving sleep. They actually have many positive effects, from addressing stress and anxiety to offering cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and crucial vitamins and minerals.

Plus, unlike some conventional and prescription-level sleep aids, sleep supplements that keep to the ingredients on this list are non-habit-forming.

At Regen Health, we have combined all three of them in our highly effective all-natural sleep formula: Night.

When considering adding any supplement to your diet, make sure you consult with your doctor to ensure that your supplement choice works with any medications you are on or any preexisting condition you may have.

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