If you’re having trouble sleeping, but don’t want to take drugs, here are some safe, natural remedies recommended by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., noted sleep expert and Medical Director of the Firbromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, Inc. For more information, visit Dr. T’s website www.endfatigue.com and look for his forthcoming book End Sugar Addiction Now! from which the following has been excerpted, with the author’s permission. (Please note this material is copyrighted.)
Theanine: This amino acide that comes from green tea improves sleep at night and alertness during the day. Use only brands containing the SunTheanine form (pure L-Theanine). Recommended dose: 50 to 200 mg at bedtime.
Jamaican Dogwood: The bark of the Jamaican dogwood tree has analgesic (relieves pain), sedative, and anti-spasmodic properties.This calming herb aids insomnia, anxiety, and even muscle aches. Recommended dose: 12 to 48 mg of the extract at bedtime.
Wild lettuce: The bitter cousin to ordinary garden lettuce, this herb aids insomnia and anxiety. Research shows that it is useful as a mild sedative and even a cough suppressant. Recommended dose: 30 to 120 mg of the extract at bedtime.
Valerian: The go-to remedy for insomnia, it improves deep sleep, lessens the time it takes to fall asleep, and enhances the quality of sleep. Recommended dose: 200 to 800 mg of the extract at bedtime.
Hops: A native British plant (related to stinging nettles) and member of the hemp family, the ripened cones of the female variety are used to make beer. This herb is good for insomnia, relaxing muscles, and anxiety. Recommended dose: 30 to 120 mg of a hops extract at bedtime.
Passionflower: A favorite herb in South America for its calming properties, it can also be used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and menstrual pain. Recommended dose: 90 to 360 mg of the extract at bedtime.
Lavender: A member of the mint family, lavender is one of the best herbs for sleep and relaxation. Mist your pillow with a mixture of lavender essential oil and water. Or, add lavender essential oil to bathwater and enjoy a soothing soak before bed.
Lemon balm: Like lavender, this member of the mint family is a natural relaxant. Placebo-controlled research published in the medical journal Fitoterapia in 1999 showed that taking 80 to 160 milligrams of lemon balm with 180 to 360 milligrams of valerian at night improved the quality of deep sleep.