Between busy days and a stressful few years, it’s no wonder many of us are having more trouble snoozing lately. And while it may be tempting to reach for sleeping pills, relying on them can trigger GI upset, headaches and dry mouth. To the rescue: natural remedies that are just as effective at reducing insomnia.
Wake up early?
Frequently rise before the sun (and your alarm), then have trouble falling back to sleep to clock enough Zzzs? Help is here! Snacking on dried tart cherries (or even drinking tart cherry juice) after dinner is all it takes to sleep deeply through the night. In fact, Louisiana State University investigators say that the fruit’s melatonin helps you sleep up to one hour and 24 minutes longer — better results than Ambien provides.
Groggy in the a.m.?
Fall allergies can make it hard to breathe overnight, causing “mini wake-ups” that leave you tired. The fix: Sip a cup of pure apple juice before bed. Its polyphenols tamp down the body’s release of histamine, which causes an overreaction to allergens. In fact, a 2006 study suggests it significantly reduces sneezing, nasal swelling and nasal discharge without the“hangover” effect that OTC meds can trigger.
Can’t fall asleep?
Research published in Sleep Medicine suggests folks who took 250 to 300 mg. of the ancient herb ashwagandha twice daily were able to nod off 20 minutes faster (plus clock 49 more minutes of uninterrupted sleep). It helps ease tension so you can sink into slumber.
Toss and turn?
Mist your pillow with orange essential oil. A 2021 study found citrus scents work as well as an Rx at deepening sleep. “While orange often takes a back seat to lavender, it’s quite helpful in aiding sleep,” says Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, author of The Essential Oils Healing Deck. Its limonene helps repair communication between glands that, when impaired from stress, disrupt sleep.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.