Natural Remedies That Can Help You Sleep Better
Natural sleep aids can be just as effective, and a lot safer, than their commercially-produced alternatives. Most remedies also gently wear off during sleep, and they don’t usually make us sluggish or feeling hungover the next morning. Let’s take a look at a few tried-and-true natural alternatives that can help to calm nerves and send us off to sleep when we are faced with difficult and stressful situations.
Valerian is a plant that is well-known for its sedative properties due to its active ingredient, GABA, which calms the nervous system. The best way to quickly extract GABA, and other important compounds, is by making a tea from the root of the plant. However, brewing the plant may produce an unpleasant odor that can be difficult for some to deal with. There are supplements available that can produce a similar effect, but the trick is to remember to add them to your survival kits ahead of time.
All you need for the tea is some dried valerian root, a tea bag or coffee filter and hot water. Place the root pieces into the bag and steep it in hot water for at least 15 minutes before consuming. You could experiment with longer or shorter steeping times, but 15 minutes should be just enough time to draw out the compounds and infuse the water.
Chamomile works in a similar way to valerian, but it lacks the pungent aroma that gets emitted while brewing. You can find chamomile teas almost anywhere, and they have been used for ages as a night time relaxant. You can also brew your own if you grow or have access to fresh chamomile flowers. All you need to do is take about ¼ cup of flowers, removed from the stems, and place them in a pot of boiling water. If you are using dried flowers instead of fresh ones, put about 2 teaspoons into the water. Let the chamomile steep for about 5 minutes before drinking, and you should experience a calming sensation within a few minutes.
Cherry Juice and Bananas
Cherries and bananas contain tryptophan, which is the same compound that’s found in turkeys. This is what makes us feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinners. Drink about a cup of fresh, tart cherry juice and you’ll start to settle down once the compound enters the bloodstream. Some people also believe that boiling a couple of bananas about 30 minutes before bed, and then drinking the juice, can also help to put the body in a restful state.
Drinking warm milk is another effective and time-honored way to help people drift off to sleep, but it has more to do with psychology than anything else. While milk does contain a small amount of tryptophan, it is not enough to have a sedating effect on the body. However, there is just something about having a warm, smooth, creamy glass of milk at the end of the day that has an uncanny way of putting people into a relaxed state.
These are just a few examples of many herbal sleep aids out there that are safe and healthy. While we don’t tend to think a lot about sleep aids in our preparedness efforts, they could be worth their weight in gold during a survival situation. Consider adding some to your survival kit, bug out bag or stockpile, and you can take advantage of them when they are needed the most.