Natural Remedies for Poor Sleep Patterns - MedCline

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October 18, 2023 5 min read

If you’re having trouble sleeping, rest assured you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 70 million Americans struggle with chronic sleep problems. But before you ask for a prescription sleep aid, consider exploring natural sleep remedies. 

From herbs and acupuncture to addressing poor sleep patterns and habits, here are six natural remedies to help you sleep. 

Yoga

Yoga can improve strength, flexibility, and overall mood. Studies have shown that it can also act as a natural sleep remedy. 

A survey by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health found that more than 55% of people who practiced yoga reported better sleep. Another 85% said it helped reduce stress, which can negatively affect sleep quality

Before bed, try simple yoga poses that focus on slow stretches, breathing, and meditation. Options like yin and restorative yoga can help loosen your muscles and prepare your body for sleep without increasing your heart rate. 

Massage

In a 2015 study, researchers discovered that massage therapy improved the sleep quality of patients with insomnia. While you might not be able to get a professional massage frequently, adding some sort of practice to your bedtime routine can help you wind down, ease pain, and get better sleep. 

Ask your partner, roommate, or friend to give you a massage or learn self-massage techniques. Focusing on the feelings of touch can serve as a type of meditation to clear and relax your mind. 

Acupuncture

Regular acupuncture can relieve chronic pain that can make it difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep. Acupuncture also helps to quiet the mind, promote relaxation, and decrease stress. 

A review of 46 clinical trials with almost 4,000 insomnia participants found that acupuncture significantly improved their sleep quality.  

If you use acupuncture to help you sleep, choose an experienced and trained practitioner. And as always, discuss the treatment with your general health practitioner. 

Lavender 

Adding lavender to your sleep hygiene can help eliminate poor sleep patterns. Research shows that lavender has a broad range of effects on the body in various forms (i.e., essential oil, oral supplement, etc.). Acting as both an anxiety reliever and a sedative, this gently scented flowering herb can promote calmness and help you sleep. 

Note:Use caution when incorporating lavender oil into your sleep routine, as studies have found it could mildly affect how hormones work in your body. 

Melatonin Supplements

Speaking of hormones: melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. It’s triggered by our body’s response to reduced light exposure, which usually occurs at night. 

Things like light from our screens, shift work, jet lag, and circadian rhythm-related sleep disorders can all disrupt our natural exposure to light and, ultimately, our melatonin production. 

Fortunately, melatonin is available as a prescription and an over-the-counter supplement. Research suggests that melatonin supplements can help with low levels of melatonin. A 2016 study also found melatonin improved the sleep patterns in participants with cancer and insomnia. 

When using melatonin supplements as a natural sleep remedy, take the lowest effective dose possible to minimize any side effectslike headache, dizziness, and nausea. 

Lifestyle Changes

Specific lifestyle changes can also remedy poor sleep patterns. Here are a few healthy habits to help you sleep better. 

  • Avoid or limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. 
  •  Wait at least three hours after eating before going to bed to give you enough time to digest the food in your stomach. 
  • Stay active and exercise regularly, but avoid working out later in the day. 
  • Avoid screens one to two hours before going to bed. 
  • Set a schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. 
  • Create a restful sleeping environment, and keep your bedroom dark, comfortable, and cool. 
  • Invest in comfortable bedding, like pillows, that can help you rest better and even ease chronic health issues and sleep disorders. 

MedCline’s Sleep Remedy

MedCline provides a range of pillows to help you sleep comfortably on your side, with pillows that keep your head and spine properly aligned.

Our products are clinically proven to relieve the symptoms of chronic health issues and sleep disorders. Our line includes: 

Sleep, feel, and live better with a MedCline Relief System and get the rest you deserve. 

Natural Sleep Remedy FAQ

Q: What Natural Remedies Can I Use for Sleep? 

A: Mindful meditation, yoga, herbs, acupuncture, massage, and melatonin supplements are all natural things to help you sleep. 

Q: What is a Natural Alternative to Melatonin? 

A: Valerian rootis often used as a natural remedy by those who don’t want to take melatonin. It can be made into pills, teas, and other formulas. 

Q: What Herbs are Highest in Melatonin?

A: Chamomile and green tea have the highest values of melatonin. Other herbs high in melatonin include maca, Huang-qin, and St. John’s wort. 

Q: What Can I Drink to Sleep Faster? 

A: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, warm milk, chamomile tea, and tart cherry juice could help melatonin production and support a healthy sleep cycle.

Resources

“Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 Dec. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_us.html#

Suni, Eric, and Dr. Anis Rehman. "Yoga and Sleep." Sleep Foundation, 13 Jun. 2023, www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/yoga-and-sleep.

"Wellness-Related Use of Common Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2012." National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, 2015, www.nccih.nih.gov/research/wellness-related-use-of-common-complementary-health-approaches-among-adults-united-states-2012.

Tang, Hongliang , et al. "Treatment of Insomnia with Shujing Massage Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial." Randomized Controlled Trial, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26571900/

Nunez, Kirsten, and Kerry Boyle. “How to Ease Stress and Pain with Self-Massage Techniques.” Healthline,25 May, 2022, https://www.healthline.com/health/self-massage

Cao, Huijuan. "Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2009, https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2009.0041.

Breus, Dr. Michael. "Does Lavender Help You Sleep?" The Sleep Doctor, 13 Dec. 2022, https://thesleepdoctor.com/sleep-aids/does-lavender-help-you-sleep/.

Bedrosian, T., Nelson, R. “Timing of Light Exposure Affects Mood and Brain Circuits. Translational Psychiatry, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2016.262

Kurdi, Madhuri S., and Sindhu P. Muthukalai. "The Efficacy of Oral Melatonin in Improving Sleep in Cancer Patients with Insomnia: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study." Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 2016, https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1075.185039.

Summer, Jay , and Abhinav Singh. "Valerian Root for Sleep." Sleep Foundation, 1 Jun. 2023, www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-aids/valerian-root.

Herrera, Teresa, et al. "Teas and Herbal Infusions As Sources of Melatonin and Other Bioactive Non-nutrient Components." LWT, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2017.10.031.

“Natural Sleep Aids: Home Remedies to Help You Sleep.” John Hopkins Medical, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/natural-sleep-aids-home-remedies-to-help-you-sleep