What is the best, natural sleep aid?

    ie: warm milk, melatonin, turkey sandwich? what?

    +14  Views: 2607 Answers: 33 Posted: 10 years ago

    33 Answers (1-30 Displayed)


    SLEEP Holistic Alternative and Integral Therapies for Sleep Disorders

    Melatonin has been called the body's own natural sleeping pill. It plays a key role in the sleep cycle by helping you fall asleep. Low melatonin levels can cause sleep-onset insomnia.

    This is how our body utilize melatonin in controlling our sleep:

    The body changes serotonin into melatonin.Melatonin is stored in the pineal gland inside the brain.The pineal gland releases melatonin only during times when the level of light is low. Practically speaking, this means that melatonin is secreted only at night, while you are asleep. In the morning, when you open your eyes, the presence of light is a sign to your brain to shut down the melatonin production.

    The pineal gland is like a "third eye", a small organ hidden within the brain. Hindu philosophy refers to a "third eye" that "sees" more deeply and truly than the other two. One of the jobs of pineal gland is to respond to changes in light and dark.

    The pineal gland helps govern circadian rhythms- the biological rhythms that take place over a day, such as the sleep-wake cycle. This may be one of the reasons why it feels "natural" to sleep at night. You can learn more about circadian rhythms here.

    Pineal gland is believed to use melatonin as a "messenger" to "tell" other systems what to do. Several studies suggest that melatonin induces sleep without suppressing REM (dream) sleep, as sedatives and other artificial sleep aids do. Travelers have started using melatonin to "reset their clocks" after flying across one or more time zones, and some studies seem to confirm melatonin's efficacy in combating jet lag and restoring restful sleep patterns.

    In several studies, supplementation with melatonin has been found helpful in inducing and maintaining sleep in both children and adults, for both people with normal sleep patterns and those suffering from insomnia. It is also useful in banishing jet lag.

    However, it appears that the sleep- promoting effects of melatonin are most apparent only if a person's melatonin levels are low. In other words, taking melatonin is not like taking a sleeping pill or even 5-HTP. It will only produce a sedative effect when melatonin levels are low. Melatonin appears to be most effective in treating insomnia in the elderly, as low melatonin levels are common in this age group. (The efficiency of the melatonin system tends to decline with age.) If you have normal or high levels of melatonin, taking melatonin supplementation will not help in getting better sleep.

    Safety: Studies of melatonin's safety are limited, with isolated reports of exacerbation of depression, fatigue and restriction of coronary arteries.

    Do not take melatonin supplement if:

    You are pregnant or breast-feeding

    You are under the age of 35

    You are suffering from cancer of the blood or immune system

    You have kidney disease

    Melatonin supplementation can disrupt the normal circadian rhythm. In one study, a daily dosage of 8 mg a day for only four days resulted in significant alterations in hormone secretions.

    Synthetic melatonin may be safer than melatonin from animal sources.

    Dosage: Start with 1.5 mg daily, taken 2 hours or less before bedtime. If this is not effective, gradually increase the dosage until an effective level is reached (up to 5 mg daily).

    5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a compound produced by the body from tryptophan. It is naturally found in many foods and most commonly extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia plant.

    In Europe, 5-HTP has been used for decades as an approved treatment for depression, sleep problems, weight loss, and other medical complaints. It is now starting to be used in the USA.

    Clinical trials show that 5-HTP is a safe, natural way to boost the brain serotonin levels. Use of 5-HTP has been shown to produce results equal to or better than those of standard synthetic drugs used in the problems arising from serotonin deficiency syndrome.

    5- HTP provides the quickest, most effective, and most consistent overall results in treating insomnia. It is an effective alternative for dealing with sleep problems in a safe and natural way compared to sleep medicines. 5-HTP improves the quality of sleep. More importantly, clinical studies show that 5- HTP is also useful in the treatment of sleep disorders other than insomnia.

    5-HTP increases REM sleep significantly (typically by about 25 percent) while simultaneously increasing deep sleep stages 3 and 4 without increasing total sleep time. 5- HTP accomplishes this by shortening the amount of time you spend in sleep stages 1 and 2, which in certain ways are the least important stages of the cycle. The higher the dose, the more time spent in REM.

    By shifting the balance of the sleep cycle, 5-HTP makes sleep more restful and rejuvenating. Instead of waking feeling tired, worn out, and "hungover," people taking 5- HTP feel vibrant, well rested, and ready to take on the challenges of the day. When we sleep more deeply and dream more efficiently, we wake in the morning with our physical and psychological batteries fully charged.

    The impact of 5-HTP on sleep stages is dose-related; taking higher doses produces a somewhat greater impact. In most cases, the lower dosage is adequate. Higher doses may lead to a greater number of disturbing dreams and nightmares due to abnormally prolonged REM sleep. It can also lead to mild nausea.

    Melatonin vs. 5-HTP

    5-HTP bypasses the brain's light-regulation system that controls the secretion of melatonin. 5-HTP results in the increased the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine that stimulate the noradrenergic receptors in the brain. This stimulation directly triggers the production and release of melatonin.
    Thus, when you take 5-HTP, it causes the release of melatonin irrespective of how much light is present. The higher levels of melatonin in circulation, helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep better.

    People with low melatonin who take 5-HTP at nighttime can enjoy the same sleep enhancing benefits as they will from taking melatonin alone, but they will also be getting the broader spectrum of benefits that comes from increased serotonin levels. (If you take melatonin alone it does not enhance the functions of the serotonin system.)

    The effects of 5-HTP on melatonin depend on:

    How much 5-HTP you take and

    Time of the day 5-HTP is taken.

    People who use melatonin as a sleep sedative may find that switching from melatonin to 5-HTP will make it easier to fall asleep and to stay asleep. They will also enjoy healthy and memorable dream periods, and wake up without the morning grogginess that some of them experience with melatonin.

    Recommended Dosage for 5-HTP: Take 100 to 300 mg, thirty to forty-five minutes before retiring. Start with the lower dose for at least three days, then consider increasing the dose if results are not what you expected.


    Short term 5-HTP side effects, risks, safety and caution, danger
    5-HTP side effects from high doses (which could be 70 to 100 mg and greater) include nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, nightmares, and decreased sex drive. Tiredness and sleepiness can occur after several days or weeks of use which may indicate that a break should be taken.

    Nightmares and vivid dreams
    5 HTP enhances dreams and makes them more vivid which can be good or bad. Use less than 50 mg in the evening to avoid or reduce nightmares.


    Thank you July. Are you sleeping better now?

    Exercise and sex.


    Sex is a type of exercise, so your answer should be just sex!

    to Yobo, or just exercise

    warm milk and go to bed in a cold room with with a heavy blanket on bed oh try have a warm bath before the milk nite nite sleep tight


    That works for me too Mel, good answer. LOL

    thanks Spacey Pamela told me that and it works lol

    YES YES YES!!! COld Room and HEAVY BLANKET!!!! You and I could sleep together!

    Thanks jenn for your comment cold room and heavy blanket thats the way to go! :-)

    You mean you and Jenn dont like "Nature"s way A"Man to keep you warm?Well i like A woman to keep me."Shucks cant get the word out""

    doswa i am sure josey keeps you warm and helps you sleep!!! love ya

    Exercise, work, -- Many times I can't sleep, I will get up and take a walk around the block-- also, reading will usually put me to sleep..


    You walk around the block alone at night ? Isn't that dangerous ?

    Mycatsmom: Where do you think I live in the ghetto?? LOL. I live in Mountain View CA, our crime here is almost none. I'm in a very nice neighborhood with very nice people all around me and in a wonderful 'cute' town.. No problems, and besides, I can take care of myself should the situation arise.. (i think) :)

    Sex.  Followed by Sex.   Then I sleep.  (I haven't slept well in months.)  


    No wonder you have"nt slept in months "To much "SEX SEX .Maybe thats why i cant sleep .Not getting SEX ( calm down )

    That's why I can't sleep, too. No sex, and I don't just "do it" with someone who isn't important in my life. At least now that I've identified the problem...

    well i say that you need some good sleep soon. mmmmmm, I suggest some awesome and wild sex. If you need some assistance, just ask .

    Me first please please

    where are you. :)

    Soft music.


    Soft Blues right on.

    A boring partner.


    I hope your partner does not see this

    Hahahaha. You got a point there.


    Peanut butter, and bananas.


    I grew up with that combo with super soft white bread and still love it. One or two times a month.

    Elvis is the King!

    reading, helps,  try this before  the pill


    O yes that works i cant get past the first line. ( gone )

    Physical exhaustion alone will not lead to sleep. In the mind if you carry any unanswered question the sleep will not come. Do you carrying any such questions? Find the answer then you will smile and sleep!!!!!!!!!!



    I completely exhaust myself and then it's only four hours.  To heck with that...I am going to try that big letter thing you spoke rectangle.............Hugs, the fishy!

    warm milk. this is true, it is a sleep aide.


    Why won't cold mild work?

    heating it activates something in it. I learned about it nursing school. I hate milk so I didn't pay attention, very well. Just enough to pass the test.

    Its tryptophan- in turkey too.

    I'm a pro vivid 100% dreamer every night for now 4 years. Week ends up to 6 dreams every week end.  One glass of goat milk with honey I'm gone.

    OK we go... something ridiculous like Pearl Jam Rocks!   Julie ... not working.  I think it was a fluke... you try it.

    some people say  Chammomile tea , or  '' Sleepy-Time  tea ''

    I was gonna say warm milk, for the melantonin, but you suggested it yourself.

    My next suggestion isn't a ''natural '' sleep aid, but it's fairly harmless. Take two Tyelenol. It makes a lot of people sleepy . It does me.

    My wife telling me a bed time story ,and her mother standing at her back with a rolling pin at the ready .You see it"s ladys night out bingo ect.Do i hear you girls on AKAQA laughing singing "Hush a bye baby "


    Hi dowsa hush a bye baby the baby will rock and rock around the clock nite nite dowsa go sleep and dont let the bed bugs bite oxoxo

    Mel i dont have bed bugs "Unless you sent your little kittens over .You might have come over yourself you can "Bit me anytime.

    Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa     Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa




    sheep counting never worked for me

    Obsessive Counting Disorder…OCD, very hard to stop all that counting. Took years to get my OCD under control. Yawn...

    Melatonin you can get it in the herb section at Wal-Mart.

    " SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!,SEX!, & AFTERWARD MORE SEX! " ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooYAH!


    What is (your)sex? How young are you?
    After so much SEX any time left to sleep?

    Wow Julie!

    I only hope you'll start sleeping again soon but am sure lots of akaQA-istas will benefit from your question!

    Good luck everyone!..........................................................                 Sleep tight now...


    Valerian Root Extract capsules.


    I tried valerian and hops based herbal tablets but find them hit and miss,is it just me?I have the sinking feeling tonight is not going to be a sleeping peacefully one.Thank God for akaqa and the radio!

    A friend,  an eye Doctor, told me this years ago and it really works! 

    Pick out a spot on the ceiling or a wall in a dark of dimly lighted room and constantly stare at it. 

    Next thing you know it's morning.  The eye is a funny thing, before you know it you can NOT even see the spot with your eyes open.


    mighty mighty pleazin my pappys corn squeezins

    Tell yourself if I'm not going to sleep ,I wont need to wake up!

    I find reading a  good book ,befofore bedtime helps somthing like mine kamp,or the rise and fall of the roman empire,


    That is some worldly reading material...

    Melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone in the body, but can be purchased at any pharmacy or health store.  3 to 5mgs before sleep works everytime.  All natural, all good.

    Chamomile tea.

    Long and dirty sex. Figuratively speaking of course.

    Cup of warm milk or some Nooky.

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