Cant Sleep? Have You Tried These Natural Remedies?

By Dr Ernst
September 23, 2019
  • Set A Sleep Temperature: The temperature that is scientifically proven to assist your ability to fall, and stay asleep, is between 60 and 72 degrees F. Most Americans keep their thermostats well above during the day and forget to turn it down at night for sleep.
  • Eat for Sleep: Certain nutrients like magnesium, B6 and tryptophan naturally promote your sleep hormone Melatonin. Turkey, Kiwi, Walnuts, Salmon and Chamomile / Passion Flower teas are loaded with these sleep nutrients.
  • Use Essential Oils: Essential oils can help you wind down and promote healthy sleep initiation. Try any or all of the following in a diffuser or mixed and applied to your feet before sleeping: Lavender, Valerian, Bergamot, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Marjoram and Cedarwood
  • Unwind Your Mind: Most Americans say they can’t slow their mind down at night. Try diverting your minds focus with a guided mediation for sleep ( or the app “Insight Timer”). You can also read novels, self help books or the Bible 30 min before which helps to divert your minds focus away from past/future thoughts to the present. One study found that its the added eye movement and mental focus when reading that begins to exhaust the mind). Don’t forget prayer – it’s another way to quiet your mind as ask God to help you sleep.
  • Avoid Sugar and Grains: Elevations in Glucose and Insulin tend to boost your energy and promote a hunger “sugar cravings” several hours after consumption. If you have grains/sugar deserts in the evening it can severely hinder your sleep efficiency and quality. Focus on proteins and fats as your primary food between 6pm and 8pm and avoid consuming any food after 8pm for the best sleep!
  • Discard Your Electronics: Electronics emit EMF and other forms of electrical toxicity, not to mention that almost all of them use a strong “blue-white” light emitter. Your eyes are naturally designed to associate “blue-white” light as the visual quo of the morning sun – which tells your brain “it’s time to wake up!” This is why it’s so dangerous to have Lamps, TVs, Laptops, Tablets/Pads and even alarm clocks in your room. If you need light, consider a salt lamp as the “orange-red” light tells your brain the sun has set and it’s time to sleep!
  • Establish and Maintain A Sleep Schedule: Your Circadian rhythm is very important as it regulates your cortisol (fight or flight / stress) and oxytocin (“tend and befriend” / relaxation) hormones. The best way to set these two into normal rhythm is to go to bed at 10-10:30 pm and wake up at 6-6:30am. Most importantly, do this EVERY DAY (don’t change your sleep/wake times just because you are on vacation or its the weekend).
  • Limit Caffeine After Noon: Caffeine is a tricky one, some people report having coffee/tea too late keeps them up for hours, while another note it can actually help them to fall asleep. Caffeine blocks the adenosine – which normally promotes sleep and suppresses wakefulness. Caffeine is metabolized at different rates in different people, some people metabolize caffeine quickly than others. Those who metabolize it quickly get sleepy as adenosine levels rise when the caffeine lowers. If you find that you are the opposite (i.e. can’t sleep when having a cup of coffee – avoid caffeine consumption after 12 noon.)
  • Morning Workout: Do you work out after you get home from work or later in the evening? Studies have shown a correlation between later workouts and worsening sleep! This is mostly due to the sugar elevations that occur naturally when you work out. Switch your evening workout to an early AM and work out and you will often see you sleep better this way
  • Journal Before Sleeping: For those whose minds race, but reading doesn’t calm your thoughts, try writing them down into a journal instead. It’s technically a therapeutic exercise to help you focus your mind’s energy into a list or thought-journal so your brain can “let go” of having to remember everything. Most participants of evening journaling find a sense of peace and relaxation simply by writing out their days activities/emotions/concerns and to-do’s.
  • Red Light Therapy: (Foods and Supplements): Melatonin is the main hormone that initiates sleep – and it can be low in certain individuals. All of the techniques discussed here work because they naturally stimulate melatonin. If you want to really ramp up melatonin try Red Light Therapy – which is as simple as switching your light bulbs in your room for 660/880 nm red/near infrared bulbs – which is the exact color of the red/orange sun set that tells your brain it’s time to go to bed!
  • Magnesium: Magnesium increases GABA, a hormone which encourages relaxation as well as sleep. Low GABA levels in the body can make it difficult to relax. Magnesium also plays a key role in regulating the body’s stress-response system so when low, the mind tends to be in overdrive. 500mg taken 30 min before the desired sleep time is helpful.
  • Get Some Sun: Research links your current Vitamin D levels to sleep quality. In fact, several studies associate low levels in your blood to a higher risk of sleep disturbances, poorer quality and reduced duration. 90% of people I work with have low levels of Vitamin D3 (under 50ng/dl) when the ideal ranges are 80-100ng/dl. Everyone asks how much should I take? It depends on your numbers! IE (less than 30 = 20-30,000 units daily with a retest at 60 days, less than 50 = 10-15,000 units daily with a retest at 60 days, less than 100 = 5-10,000 units daily for lifetime maintenance) PS – 15 min of direct sun exposure generates 10,000 units!
  • Natural Sleep Aids: Melatonin (3000 mg) taken 30 min before sleeping. Valerian/Passion Flower tea or supplements help to naturally produce melatonin. I also like Maypop, Pipeine and CBD oils – as these have been shown to significantly promote sleep, especially for those who have tried melatonin and valerian/passion flower with no results.
  • Don’t Forget About Your Spine: In addition to proper spinal alignment and nerve function, the position of your spine is significant for sleep health. Most people sleep in contorted positions that negatively affect spinal health, which in turn negatively affects your sleep health. Side sleeper – make sure you have a pillow that is the exact height as the inches measurement of your shoulder to neck distance (different for everyone) and put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips level. Back sleeper – make sure you DO NOT USE a pillow as it will elevate your head above your shoulder line which flattens the spinal curve, stretches the spinal cord and compresses the brain stem (the very area melatonin is produced)
  • Upgrade Your Mattress: On average, humans sleep between 225,000 to 250,000 hours in their lifetime. That’s 10,000 plus 24-hour days asleep in your bed. Hopefully you can see why it’s important to have a good foundation for that sleep. Most beds are very toxic for healthy sleep due to having ineffective supports, magnetized springs (a bed emitting harmful EMF) and chemicals (flame retardants, herbicides in the cotton etc.) The bed I personally sleep on and recommend is – as they are the ONLY manufacturer in the US which offers a flame retardant, non-spring (can’t be magnetized) nontoxic bed that also converts your body heat into infrared therapeutic light!
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on facebook