this image shows someone in bed holding an alarm clock

Supplements to help you sleep


this image shows someone in bed holding an alarm clock

Supplements to help you sleep

We all want a good night’s sleep and many of us have experienced insomnia at some point in time which then can lead to anxiety over whether you will sleep well the following night. It can be a spiralling circle with people going to bed anxious they won’t sleep.

The frustration of lying in bed for what seems like hours, unable to drop off again, makes you more stressed and even less likely to drop off.

What causes insomnia?

About 15% of the UK population is affected by insomnia at any one time and this may be caused by;

  • An uncomfortable bed
  • Anxiety
  • Excitement
  • Dietary & Lifestyle factors
  • Major illness
  • Medication
  • Physical pain
  • Depression
  • Uncomfortable mattress
  • Nutritional deficiency

Insomnia includes not only being able to fall asleep in the first place and the inability to stay asleep, plus repeatedly waking too early.

What can you do to prevent Insomnia?

Identifying what is causing your Insomnia is the first step to helping you understand why you can’t sleep, what I would say is to try not to worry that you are not sleeping. If you are lying still you are still resting your body and to some extent your mind.

Supplements to help you sleep.

There are several sleep supplements known to help promote good sleep.

  • Valerian – is one of the most researched of all herbal remedies. It is a herb with effective sleep-inducing properties as it promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 supplements may help if it is a lack of these causing insomnia ( Question this if all other causes have been ruled out)
  • 5- HTP ( 5-Hydroxytrytophan  is a derivative of an amino acid which raises the sleep-inducing chemical serotonin.
  • St John’s Wort
  • Californian Poppy
  • Hops
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lime flowers
  • Vervain
  • Wild Lettuce

The last 7 items on this list are prepared as follows;

Take 10g of the chosen herb and add 200mls of boiling water and allow to infuse for 10 minutes, strain and drink before going to bed.

What else can you do to prevent insomnia;

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule even at weekends
  • Don’t spend time on a smartphone before trying to sleep
  • Don’t watch TV in bed
  • Exercise during the day but not in the evening
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco
  • Have a hot bath and add lavender oil
  • Have a hot milky drink
  • Try a herb pillow.
  • Try a spray such as ‘This really works‘ – not as effective if you have a stinking cold with a blocked nose!

It might be an idea to seek medical advice if your insomnia lasts for more than a month and there is no apparent cause. This is important if you often feel tired or are so tired you are unable to function normally.

Did you know?

One of the reasons people fall asleep after Christmas Lunch is that turkey contains high levels of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan, a natural sleep inducer.



Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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