Sleep disorders affect many people around the world. Although the correct number of hours one should sleep has been long debated, the general consensus is that everyone is unique and so are their sleeping habits. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a short sleep duration as less than 7 hours of sleep a night. Short sleep duration can come with health risk factors, such as being obese, being physically inactive, and excessive alcohol use. Adults who have short sleep durations are also at risk for chronic health conditions, such as heart attacks, coronary heart disease, stroke, asthma, COPD, cancer, depression, and diabetes. As we can see, getting enough sleep is so important for our health. Lets’ discuss about the issues which we had to face when we are not able to sleep and herbal sleep aids to fall asleep.
What are Sleeping Disorders?
Everyone experiences trouble falling asleep or staying asleep every once in a while; it’s completely normal. However, there are a few sleep disorders that cause difficulty for many people.
According to the CDC, “insomnia is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep.” Insomnia can mean difficulty falling asleep and/or waking up too early and not being able to resume sleeping. Insomnia can cause irritation and impairments throughout the day.
According to the CDC, “excessive daytime sleepiness (including episodes of irresistible sleepiness) combined with sudden muscle weakness is the hallmark sign of narcolepsy. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise.”
Restless Leg Syndrome
RLS is marked by an unpleasant sensation (aches and pains) throughout the legs, which causes difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
Snoring, gasping, or snorting noises while sleeping can be signs of sleep apnea. Those with sleep apnea may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, as their sleep is commonly interrupted and may not feel restorative.
Herbal Sleep Aids
Some people suffering from a sleep disorder turn towards medications to help. However, a lot of people, an estimated 20%, are becoming increasingly interested in natural remedies. The only problem is that over-the-counter natural sleep aids have a lack of research about the effectiveness and safety and don’t go through the same testing compared to prescription medication. As a result, some are hesitant to try natural sleep aids.
The most well-studied sleep aids include melatonin, valerian, magnesium, and CBD.
According to a study from the CDA, about 3 million Americans use melatonin each year. Our bodies actually naturally produce melatonin and as levels rise, it puts our bodies into a state that promotes sleep. Taking melatonin before bed gives our bodies a boost and makes the most out of our natural melatonin production.
Johns Hopkins sleep expert, Luis F. Buenaver says “melatonin levels rise about two hours before bedtime. Create optimal conditions for it to do its job by keeping the lights low before bed. Stop using your computer, smartphone, or tablet—the blue and green light from these devices can neutralize melatonin’s effects. If you watch television, be sure you’re at least six feet away from the screen. Turn off bright overhead lights too.” Meanwhile, you can help program your body to produce melatonin for sleep at the right time of day by getting exposure to daylight during the morning and afternoon. Take a walk outside or sit beside a sunny window.”
Valerian is a herb and has its roots in ancient Greece. It is common in products, such as tea, that promote sleep. However, “evidence from clinical studies of the efficacy of valerian in treating sleep disorders such as insomnia is inconclusive.”
Magnesium is a mineral that is obtained through foods that we eat. Some research has found that magnesium can help those who struggle with insomnia.
CBD comes from the Cannabis plant, however, does not have any psychoactive properties that are typically associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Research has shown that individuals that take CBD report sleep improvements such as better sleep quality, fewer sleep disturbances, decreased time taken to fall asleep, etc.
Plantworthy’s Dream Sleep herbal CBD capsules contain natural ingredients that have been shown to reduce insomnia and promote a better quality of sleep.