Getting better natural sleep

21 Scientifically proven ways of getting better Natural Sleep

If you are not getting enough sleep then there is a chance of severe health problems such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart attack and impaired cognitive system. The person always feels stress because of overproduction of stress hormone such as cortisol. Cortisol is bad for your immune system. You can be a victim of multiple diseases if your immune system is not working properly [1]. Besides this, cortisol breaks down skin collagen that is required for the maintenance of skin structure, firmness and elasticity [2]. So, it can make you look older. In men, sleep deprivation reduces sperm count and testosterone levels [1].

Many medicines and medical conditions are the cause of sleep deprivation such as stress, anxiety or depression. People are using sleeping pills to avoid sleeplessness. Besides this, most of the people are using sleeping pills to overcome health problems associated with sleep deprivation. But, sleeping pills are bad for your health. Prescription sleeping medicines are big business: a research study conducted by Stanford University reported that sleeping pills are the main cause of addiction and there are chances of overdose [3]. According to Center for Disease Control, approximately 4% of adults in the USA used sleeping pills in the last month. The rate is almost double in individuals having age more than 50 years [4]. According to consumer reports, Americans spent more than $40 billion on sleep remedies and aids in 2015, and that probably increases up to $50 billion by 2020 [5].

Valium or Xanax is the best pharmaceutical options for the sleep, but nature is a far more dominant alchemist than any pharmaceutical giant. According to Anna Magee, “No one wants to take Valium, but if you’re plagued by insomnia – especially at this time of year – it’s tempting” [3]. Pharmaceuticals are not the end. There are many natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals are available. We have handpicked many scientifically proven ways to get natural sleep.


Collagen is beneficial in insomnia because of its glycine content [6]. Studies on the human being confirmed that glycine is beneficial in anxiety-related disorders because of its neuroprotective properties [7, 8]. As it reduces the anxiety and stress, it is beneficial for deep sleep. Collagen contains bioactive peptides. A peptide is a string of amino acids that is too little to be known as a protein. In the body, peptides are frequently flagging particles. They assume an imperative part of the hormone regulation. These bioactive peptides help to promote sleep naturally [9].

There are different sources of collagen such as bovine, pork, fish and other animal sources. Among them, fish is the safest and environment-friendly source. It helps to control environmental pollution because it obtains from a waste of fish processing. Fish collagen is transparent, slightly opalescent and has a homogenous, gel-like consistency, with a characteristic smell [10]. Fish collagen is a new, trendy and valuable component due to its composition and properties. It can easily be absorbed orally and by the external layer of the skin (due to small molecular weight -1000 Dalton on average); they enter into systematic circulation and provides systematic benefits. It has greater bioavailability [11]. Fish collagen has greater oral bioavailability and it is more metabolically compatible. Fish collagen is not only metabolically compatible, it also boosts the body metabolism. Fish collagen increases the metabolism by its cleansing effect on the liver. Collagen maintains the energy level of our body because of its glycine content [2].

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps relief anxious or stressful condition. More than 50% of sleeplessness cases reported because of anxiety and stress. Different studies reported that deficiency of vitamin C may cause nonrestorative or short sleep. Grandne et al. conducted a study to check the impact of dietary nutrition on short and long sleep [12]. The study reported that people who consumed less amount of vitamin C per day faced a problem of sleep deprivation. The people who consumed less amount of vitamin C can sleep about 5 to 6 hours [12].

Another study tested blood levels of vitamin C during a survey. The study reported that low blood level of vitamin C is associated with sleep deprivation and sleep disturbance. The participants reported low interest in work, daytime sleeping and short duration of sleep [13].

Brain Research Bulletin reported that long-term and short-term memory impairment is associated with chronic sleep deprivation. A study conducted on sleep-deprived laboratory rats reported that Vitamin C helped to improve the level of antioxidants in the brain and prevented memory impairment. So, Vitamin C is beneficial for sleep deprivation and side effects of sleep deprivation.

Dogbane or Apocynum

Dogbane knew as Apocynum, Black Hemp or Indian Hemp. Dogbane is traditionally used for mental ailments, long-continued sneezing, and headache. According to new research, it is beneficial for deep sleep. Mostly it is used in combination with GABA. GABA helps to fall asleep quickly and Dogbane helps to induce deep sleep [14]. According to Yamatsu et al. research study:

“The electroencephalogram (EEG) test revealed that oral administration of GABA and Apocynum had beneficial effects on sleep. GABA shortened sleep latency by 5.3 min and Apocynum increased deep sleep time by 7.6%” [15].

The daily intake of Dogbane is safe in order to improve the quality of deep sleep. Besides this, it is also beneficial for disorders associated with sleeplessnesses such as depression and anxiety [14].


GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter which is inhibitory in nature. It helps to reduce neuronal excitation which is beneficial to fall asleep quickly. Sleeplessness is a common symptom of the low level of GABA in a human body. The low level of GABA also makes you depressed, anxious, dazed and worried. The people with low level of GABA faced irregular sleep episodes and duration of sleep. So, GABA is necessary to modulate the sleep episodes and duration of sleep. According to Hong, Park [16]:

“Using a GABA modulates subjective nighttime activity, sleep episodes, and total duration of subjective nighttime sleep, and this modulation occurs via GABAergic signaling” [16].

According to Life Sciences reports, GABA helps to improve sleep and duration of sleep. It is also beneficial for anxiety and depression. There are different sources of GABA, but natural sources are more beneficial and adaptable or our body. Natural sources are easily absorbed after oral administration. GABA can be used alone or in combination with following ingredients for restless nights and anxiety:

  • GABA and Apocynum
  • GABA and Tryptophan

Ziziphi Spinosae Semen Extract

Semen ziziphi spinosae or Sour date is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is an excellent natural and safe “sedative” herb. It targets the two main organs of the body, heart, and liver. These organs are mainly responsible for sleeplessness. If we can maintain the balance between these two organs, then sleep happens normally. Semen ziziphi spinosae is the primary element of the recipe of old Chinese prescription, which is utilized for the treatment of sleeping disorders. The activities of the recipe are to sustain the blood, clear warmth, ease fretfulness, and treat a sleeping disorder. According to Chinese research, both crude and extract Semen ziziphi spinosae can fill in as a characteristic herb for sleep deprivation [17].

Semen ziziphi spinosae is safe when used orally. A higher oral dose of Semen ziziphi spinosae is also safe. Animal studies confirmed that a single dose of 50 g/kg body weight delivered no dangerous side effects [17].  Besides this, semen ziziphi spinosae increased the level of GABA in hypothalamus and GABA is beneficial in sleeplessness [18]. It also beneficial for short and long-term memory loss [19].


Oral intake of glycine is beneficial for sleeping disorders. Many studies confirm the efficacy of glycine in sleeping disorders. A study conducted by Yamadera et al. reported that ingestion of glycine before bedtime is the best alternative to traditional hypnotic drugs like benzodiazepines to improve the quality of sleep. The study involved the human subjects who have to complain of unsatisfactory sleep. The study evaluated the polysomnography (PSG) changes during sleep, daytime cognitive function, and daytime sleepiness. Glycine improved the efficacy and quality of sleep. It also shortened polysomnography latency both to slow wave sleep and sleep onset without changing sleep pattern [20].

Another case-control study checks the efficacy of glycine in comparison with placebo. The subjects ingested glycine before bed reported a significant decrease in fatigue and improve the quality of sleep [21]. It is safe to use glycine as it obtains from natural sources and it has no dangerous side effects.


L-Theanine is an amino acid present in our Tea. Tea goes back at least 5,000 years as medicine and more than 1,000 years as a simple beverage. Tea has a low amount of caffeine and high amount of L-Theanine which is a calming part of a nighttime power-down ritual before bed [22]. Everyone knows about the soothing effect of the tea. Besides this, tea also contains compounds that deliver some real health benefits such as Theanine. L-theanine decreases anxiety, depression and improve sleep pattern and duration of sleep [23]. L-theanine helps to promote sleep by a number of changes in the brain [24]:

  • Increase level of GABA
  • Increase level of Serotonin
  • Increase level of Dopamine
  • Decrease excitatory chemicals
  • Enhance alpha brain waves

With its capacity to decrease stress and anxiety, L-theanine can help in sleep in various ways. L-theanine may enable individuals to fall asleep more rapidly and effortlessly at sleep time, because of the unwinding help it conveys. Research likewise indicates, L-theanine can enhance the nature of sleep—not by going about as a narcotic, but rather by bringing down stress and promoting relaxation [23].

Research studies confirmed that L-theanine may help enhance sleep quality in kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). An investigation analyzed the consequences for the sleep of young men ages 8-12, and found that the supplement worked securely and successfully to enhance the nature of their sleep, helping them to sleep all the more soundly [25].


Piperine is an alkaloid obtains from natural sources. It is beneficial for sleep because of its inhibiting effect on liver enzymes, but it cannot promote sleep alone. It modulates the function of the liver by inhibiting the hepatic aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) and UDP-glucuronyltransferase activities. The inhibition of these enzymes increases the bioavailability of a number of drugs or natural ingredients. So, it has the capacity to promote sleep when taken orally in combination with other sleep-inducing agents [26].


Magnesium is a sleeping mineral. It is tranquilizer in nature and it has properties that help you to relax and calm down at the end of the day. It is natural in nature and it has no side effects. It is present in pulses, green vegetables, broccoli and seeds which are great before bed. But, most of the people are not getting enough amount of magnesium because they are not using enough amount of cereals, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables. Today, we are feeling tired and not taking interest in routine work just because of a low level of magnesium. So, magnesium is helpful for sleep deprivation.

Taken before bed it can have a relaxing effect on the mind and muscles and help promote sleep. A double-blind case-control study reported that magnesium helps to improve sleep deprivation, sleep onset latency, sleep time, sleep efficiency [27]. It is as effective as other scientifically approved ingredients like cortisol, renin, glycine, and dogbane. Magnesium is a natural GABA agonist and its GABA potentiating effect helps to improve sleep. Besides this, it has N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist effect which plays a key role in the regulation of sleep [28, 29]. So, it must be the part of your daily diet.


Tryptophan is one of the most effective sleep-inducing ingredients. It is an essential component of our diet and it regulates many metabolic functions of our body. It regulates the normal function of our brain and it helps in the synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin synthesis is an important factor involved in cognition, mood and sleep deprivation. Therefore, it is also beneficial in psychiatric disorders [30]. Many studies reported the benefits of tryptophan. A study published in Journal of Psychiatric research reported that:

“The weight of evidence indicates that L-tryptophan in doses of 1 g or more produces an increase in rated subjective sleepiness and a decrease in sleep latency (time to sleep)” [31].

Tryptophan can increase the duration of sleep 7.68 hours as compared to 6.77 hours in control group [32]. Another study reported an increase of 6.83 hours as compared to 5 hours in the control group [33]. The major benefit of using Tryptophan is that it has no serious side effects. It is safe when using orally alone or in combination with other natural ingredients [32].


As discussed earlier, serotonin involved in cognition, mood and sleep deprivation. Many scientists reported the use of serotonin in sleep deprivation. A few regions in the brainstem and forebrain are imperative for the balance and articulation of the sleep/wake cycle. Regardless of whether the primary perceptions of biochemical occasions in connection to sleep were made just 40 years prior, it is currently reported that few neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and neurohormones are associated in balancing of the sleep/wake cycle. Serotonin has been known for a long time to assume a part in the balance of sleep cycle. Serotonin helps to decrease slow wave sleep and by virtual electrical hush amid REM sleep. It tweaks the activity of noradrenaline and acetylcholine in advancing cortical responsiveness and participates in the inhibition of REM-sleep effector neurons in the brainstem (inhibitory part on REM rest) [34]. So, serotonin helps to decrease slow wave and REM sleep and beneficial for deep sleep.


Melatonin is a well-known natural hormone that plays a vital role in insomnia. Melatonin formation and discharge in the cerebrum is identified with a time of day, ascending at night and falling toward the beginning of the day. Light during the evening obstructs its formation and release. Melatonin dietary supplements have been reported by many scientists for sleep problems, for example, insomnia, slow wave sleep, jet lag and sleep problems among individuals who work night shifts [35]. A systematic review published in Nutrition Journal reported that:

“Serotonin is useful for jet lag, for improving insomnia in both healthy volunteers and individuals with a history of insomnia, and for initiating sleep and/or improving sleep efficacy” [36].

Melatonin is not effective in the treatment of primary sleep disorders with short‐term use, but it is also useful in the treatment of delayed sleep phase syndrome with short‐term use. Besides this, it is also useful in secondary sleep disorders [37]. As it has no serious side effects, you can use it without any restriction or hesitation.


From a nutritional point of view, a few research contemplates have demonstrated certain minerals to be compelling regular tranquilizers that help people fall asleep and stay asleep as the night progressed. According to Medical News Today: “An absence of the supplements calcium and magnesium will make you wake up following a couple of hours and not have the capacity to come back to sleep” [38].

Calcium is specifically linked with our cycles of sleep. In one research, distributed in the European Neurology Journal, analysts found that calcium levels in the body are higher amid a portion of the most profound levels of sleep, for example, the REM stage. The investigation confirmed that unsettling influences in sleep, particularly the absence of REM deep sleep or exasperates REM sleep, are linked with a calcium deficiency [38]. So, the normal blood level of calcium is useful for deep sleep. Calcium is also used for other sleeping disorders and psychiatric disorders. It is present in our foods such as milk, walnut, kiwifruits, cherry, whole grains and barley grass powder [39].

Valerian root

Valerian is the most commonly used herb in the United States. It is used as dietary supplement. It helps to promote sleep and useful in nervous tension. It is commonly used as a mild sedative. The researchers of United Kingdom conducted a systematic review to confirm the efficacy of valerian in insomnia and sleeping disorders [40]. The researchers reported inconclusive results, but another case-control study reported the conclusive result. According to this study, valerian significantly improves the sleep cycle, duration of sleep, sleep quality and number of nighttime awakenings [41].


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an Indian herb and a part of Ayurveda. Its Latin name is somnifera, meaning sleep-inducing. It has been recommended for sleep problems or insomnia for many years. The University of Tsukuba reported the efficacy of Ashwagandha in sleeping disorders. The extract of Ashwagandha contained triethylene glycol (TEG) which help in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and deep sleep. The sleep induced by triethylene glycol was similar to normal sleep [42].

Sleep deprivation is a standout amongst the most widely recognized neuropsychiatric issue, with an expected incident of more than 10% in general population and more than 45% in geriatrics. It is firmly connected with certain different disorders including obesity, heart problems, mania, depression, anxiety and so on. At present various pharmaceutical products show serious side effects and addiction. Then again, Ashwagandha including the suitable amount of triethylene glycol can be used for better sleep with no side effects [42].

Magnolia Bark

In case you’re not yet familiar with magnolia, you’re not the only one. Most of the people are unaware of medical advantages of plant supplement. Notwithstanding it’s to some degree under-the-radar status, magnolia bark has been a powerhouse in conventional pharmaceutical for a considerable length of time. Magnolia is a tree native to China and contains many bioactive compounds that can be helpful in certain conditions such as anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders. It is also beneficial for short-term memory loss, weight management, stress and cerebrum problems [43].

The bark of the magnolia tree contains several natural, bioactive compounds such as GABA boosters, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress agents. The researchers reported two main components responsible for magnolia activity; honokiol and magnolol. Magnolia bark works as an anxiolytic, helping to lower stress, depression, and anxiety. It is also used to facilitate sleep (no doubt, it’s anti-stress activity help to promote sleep, indirectly) [43].

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is also a natural source of sleep. It contains antioxidants that help to fall asleep. It can be useful when used alone, but its activity can be increased up to 4 times when used in combination with valerian. A study published in Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism reported that 19 subjects out of 20 used lemon balm, of which 14 subjects achieved full remission for anxiety, 17 subjects achieved remission of insomnia, and 14 subjects reported both [44]. So, it can be used alone or in combination with sleep problems.

Passion Flower

Passionflower is used as a dietary supplement for sleep problems and anxiety, as well as for inflammatory disorders, mild pain, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, menopausal symptoms and heart rhythm problems. Several researchers reported the efficacy of passion flower in humans and laboratory animals. A placebo-controlled study reported that the consumption of passion flower is beneficial for sleep problems and anxiety disorders. It is also beneficial for adults having mild fluctuations in sleep and disturbed sleeping hours [45].

Tart Cherry

Tart cherry juice is a natural tonic for sleep. It is beneficial for sleep as it contains a small amount of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. Anthocyanins and Procyanidins are the other ingredients present in tart cherry. A randomized placebo-control study confirmed the efficacy of tart cherry in a reduction of insomnia. However, it is not beneficial in the improvement of sleep efficiency, total sleep time and sleep latency. It can be considered the best choice for insomnia as it has no side effect [46].

Another study confirmed the efficacy of tart cherry in insomnia. The study reported that it has the capacity to increase sleep time but in older adults. The study also reported that it is also beneficial in inflammatory disorders [47].


If you have a sleeping problem then Kale is a natural solution. It is beneficial for all type of sleeping disorders such as insomnia, sleep-related movement disorders, parasomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, hypersomnias and sleep-related breathing disorders [48]. Kale has the full range of benefits.  Most of the studies recommended that Kale has prebiotic carbohydrates and dietary fiber that can possibly decrease dangers of non-transmittable diseases, including diabetes, coronary illness, tumor, and obesity. If you are using a Kale with cereals then you are on the right way as it has the capacity to enhance the absorption of basic vitamins and minerals [49].

Chamomile extract

Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind. The chamomile contains many flavonoids and terpenoids contributing to its essential medicinal properties. It is a natural tonic for sleep. Besides this, chamomile preparations are commonly used for many ailments such as rheumatic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, wounds, ulcers, menstrual disorders, muscle spasms, hemorrhoids, inflammation and hay fever. It is most extensively used in aromatherapy and cosmetics. It can increase the duration of sleep and helpful in deep sleep. It contains flavonoid (apigenin) that binds to benzodiazepine (BZD) receptors in the brain that help to induce sleep. Its GABA potentiation effect might be responsible for sedative effect [50]. So, it can be used for deep sleep.


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