Need some sleep? Here’s 10 natural ways to get some shut-eye tonight

Whether you’re simply really tired and fatigued, or you have a sleep disorder such a sleep apnea or insomnia, there’s

Whether you’re simply really tired and fatigued, or you have a sleep disorder such a sleep apnea or insomnia, there’s no two ways around it: not having enough sleep is not enjoyable.

Our bodies need sleep to regenerate, relax and recharge, and without that vital shut-eye, we can get sick, become easily irritable, and just not feel very happy at all.

If you’ve been struggling to turn your brain off at night or are sick of waking up in the middle of the night, we have some remedies for you that will make it easy to fall asleep.

1. Valerian

You may have heard of valerian in relation to sleep and this is because it’s one of the best remedies out there. The roots of the valerian plant are commonly used as a sleep aid. It has a calming effect and is easy to brew in a tea.

Simply add 1 tsp of dried valerian root to your strainer/infuser to a cup of boiling water and let it steep. If you don’t like to strong scent, you can take valerian in pill form.

2. Bananas

Bananas contain tryptophan, potassium and magnesium as well, which are all muscle relaxants. Have one a half-an-hour before bed every night to see an improvement in your insomnia!

3. Chamomile

Chamomile has long been a reliable sleep remedy as it relaxes muscles. Also, it’s tasty and makes you tired!  You can brew it either from fresh leaves found at a natural health shop, or simply in tea bag form. Drink an hour before bed.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals, yet most of us are lacking it. It can help prepare you for sleep, and while the best way to up magnesium is to eat a balanced diet, you can take supplements that can greatly help.

5. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is considered a calming herb. This herb is also known as Melissa officinalis, and it has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, promote sleep and improve symptoms of indigestion. You may have grown it in your herb garden to attract bees which help pollinate the rest of the garden. You can enjoy it in a soothing tea by adding 2 tablespoons of dried lemon balm, or 8-10 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm with 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile to a cup of boiling water via a strainer. Add honey to taste and drink 30-40 mins before bed.

6. Epsom salt bath

An Epsom salt bath one to two hours before bedtime will encourage sleep due to the magnesium sulphate that calm the nerves. All you need to do is add half a cup of Epsom salts to your bath water and let it dissolve. Soak for 20 minutes before bed.

7. Lavender oil

Lavender smells wonderful, and you may have heard this has a calming effect on your body – well, it does! Research suggests that lavender oil increases total sleep time as well as helping you to feel refreshed in the morning.

Put one or two of lavender essential oil on your pillowcase while you sleep, or add to your bath and soak before bed. If you have an essential oil diffuser, this also helps to calm you for bedtime.

8. Almonds

Almonds are a great source of magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation. Plus, almonds supply enough protein to help stabilize your blood sugar level while sleeping. They also help your body switch from your alert adrenaline cycle to your rest-and-digest cycle. Eat just a handful of dry roasted almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter at least one hour before going to bed to fall asleep faster.

9. Try the 4-7-8 technique

This technique is shockingly simple, takes hardly any time, and can be done anywhere in five steps so you can fall asleep instantly. To start, place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there through the entire exercise. Then:

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

10. Make a worry list

Going over a to-do list in bed is a major cause of insomnia and it’s because you don’t want to forget what needs doing. We also get tangled up worrying about money, relationships and work. So before bed, write a list of your worries down. Most of the time, these things will be out of your hands.


Tell us, did any of these work for you? What’s one thing that gets you to sleep instantly?

  1. If only all or even one of these worked for me. Just lie staring at ceiling for hours – often think I should get up & do ironing ( but that thought doesn’t last long 😀 )

    • I have found that laying there in the dark makes insomnia worse. If I can’t sleep I put the light on and do something. Sometimes I read a book, this is the best remedy for me. I can’t count the number of times I have woken up in the morning with a book on my chest and the lamp still on. Sometimes I watch TV and wake up in the morning on the sofa with the TV talking to itself. If I am going to wake up it is usually at 3am. I have learnt to go with it. I don’t stress, I just think ok my body wants to do something other than sleep.

  2. I have trouble sleeping but instead of just laying there and letting my mind run free on any small worry I may have, I get out of bed and get online and read the news. Eventually I get tired and go back to bed

  3. I don’t have any sleep problems, sounds like I am very lucky as I read these comments

    • Herma  

      Neither do I Lee, and I think we are the lucky ones. My husband has trouble staying asleep and often find him sitting in the lounge room watching TV with the sound of and him “sound asleep” However when he returns to bed he often lies awake for quite some time again and drifts of to sleep towards “Get up time”.

  4. Ann O'Driscoll  

    My photography club has a different challenge every day. Thinking about which photo to use in tomorrows challenge puts me instantly to sleep.

  5. Maureen  

    I was having many nights sleepless & became so very weary by 9am & lacking energy completely, until a friend finding herself the same suggested Melatonin! Works wonders for me!!! Doctors script not on the PBS but worth every cent after 3 bad nights I take 2. 2mg tabs & my body quickly recovers! Living alone at 70yrs I need to look after myself!!!!! Not needed every night but a life saver for light sleepers like me!!!! Also named Circadin. Look it up!!

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