Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia: A Comprehensive Guide


20 User Reviews
5 star (15) 
4 star (1) 
1 star (3) 

Posted by Brad (Shreveport, Louisiana) on 09/16/2011

2 things come right to my mind for sleep issues:

Sleep Assure (a melatonin + supplement) and Sleepy time tea. I have tried both and they both work well. Also, never take benadryl or anti- depressents before bed.. both can act as stimulates.

I had a stroke in 20005 at 28 y/o. so anything I say or propose, is something I have already tried or experimented with.

Posted by Sharon (Wesley Chapel, Fl) on 07/26/2011

l have taken melatonin for years for insomnia that came on during menopause. The first time l took it l took a large dose (5 tabs of 5 mg each). It took 3 days before l got a full nights sleep but it worked mostly. I was able to cut back to 10 mg a night after 3 days. The only times it didn't work were because l had drunk some kind of caffeinated beverage after 6 pm at night.

Posted by Jeremiah (San Diego, California) on 06/28/2009

I have found that Melatonin is extremely beneficial in helping me get to bed. This is on top of the Seroquel that I already take, which is dosed at 100mg. I usually start off with 3 mgs. of Melatonin, and if that doesn't help, I take another 3 mgs. (because the supplement that I take only comes in 3 mg. tablets).

The usual recommended dose of Melatonin to start with is 5 mgs., and then take it from there. This is a extremely effective supplement, and I would recommend it first before anything else.

Posted by Melinda (Tucson, Arizona) on 01/24/2009

NAY- I have tried Melatonin and I did not find it to be a good alternative for insomnia. Firstly I am on a antidepressant-Lexapro, and I feel like Melatonin really makes my depression worse, and it's effectiveness was inconstant, one time I felt real drowsy and slept good, another time only slept a few hours then woke up again. My boyfriend's Mom also tried it and said it did not work for her either.

Replied by Bob
(Ohrid, Macedonia)


Cow brain is a major source of melatonin. Buyer beware!

Replied by Sherri
(Hobart, Tasmania Australia)

To Bob I have never heard of cow brain, can u plz explain what it is :)

Posted by Cathy (Richmond Hill, Canada) on 02/29/2008

Insomnia: My kids have a hard time sleeping at night. I've struggled for about 10 years trying to put my ADHD girl to bed at night. The older she became, the worse it was, telling me to "get lost" when I came in the room at 11:00 p.m. She would just continue on the computer and ignore me. It was very depressing. I had to sleep so I would just go and leave her alone. Her dad didn't help much. Rescue remedy! melatonin! I bought the chewable kind and used to give it to her when I was totally exasperated at 10 or 11 p.m. Now I give it to her at 8 or 8:30 p.m. and now she jumps into bed by 9 or 9:30 p.m. What a miracle! Why did it take me so long to figure that one out? She was sleep deprived for many years!

Posted by Stephanie (NC) on 10/20/2005

Melatonin is WONDERFUL! My daughter (11 yrs.) has always had terrible problems going to sleep...until I started her on Melatonin. She takes 1 pill (300 mcg.) about 1-1/2 hrs. before bed and has had no trouble falling asleep since the first time she took Melatonin. Also have a 22 yr. old nephew who has had sleep problems for a few years. He takes a larger dose before bedtime - has been falling asleep at bedtime with no problems since his first dose. What a God-send!!!

Posted by Lisa (Vero Beach)

I have found melatonin to work well for sleep. Also just heard magnesium prior to sleep works - I will be trying that tonight.

Posted by Rob (Gilbert, Arizona)

Melatonin has been a God-send for me. I'm a terrible insomniac, especially on business trip. I don't like druggy meds, so I tried melatonin several years ago. About 20 minutes after taking one I drifted quite naturally off to sleep. Now, I still take them occassionally, but usually just the thought that they're in the medicine cabinet is enough to relax me to sleep! Melotonin induces the body's 'down time' mechanisms which night owls like me tend to inhibit. Now I know to relax, read a book, watch tv, or just 'chill' about 20 minutes before bed, this behavior allows the body to naturally produce it's own melatonin and drift peacefully to sleep. - sleep tight!

Posted by Hannah (Vancouver, BC)

Melatonin has also been beneficial to me for sleep. I also use at varying times: -lavender essential oil rubbed into my skin (with a carrier oil) spray lavender water in the bedroom -take a "tea" of honey and apple cider vinegar (adjusting to taste) with water. (1/4 cup does the trick). -another idea, is to turn off the electrical things (like tv, computer etc) an hour before bed to allow the body to slow down and let it's natural melatonin do it's job. Turn off the lights and light a candle and have quiet time an hour before bed. Sweet dreams!

Mental Chatter Remedies

Posted by Trudy (Va) on 07/31/2013

I'm still struggling to get some restorative sleep. I have tried everything suggested at Earth Clinic and many others. One real problem for me is that my mind chatters constantly--I don't rehash daily events, but skip from topic to topic almost like I'm writing a story. Also, I have pretty bad neck pain that prevents me from sleeping. I take astaxanthin & serrapeptase for the pain. Also, I take coffea cruda for the mind chatter. Please help me. I emailed Ted over 2 months ago and have not heard back. Thanks.

Replied by Suzy
(Eugene, Or)

I found to have a CD player set up to repeat helps! I have a Dr Wayne Dyer CD-- The I am Mediations... It is not really music but tuning forks.... So you can listen to it and not really get caught up "the lyric or the tune" I made my own CD mix with the second track on the CD repeated 3 times (as the trak is 20 minutes long). Then I play that with my CD set to repeat.

Replied by Trudy

I have several cds and other wav files with white noise, sleep sounds, binaural beats, etc. Nothing has worked yet. I am very good at picking out patterns, so I know where I am in the sequence and talk to myself about how long it will be before x occurs, etc. I am right this minute listening to Ted's cat purring while I'm at work. Can't hurt and if it helps the arthirits pain I'm all for it.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by WT (Spartanburg, SC) on 05/29/2008

Insomnia and Milk: I'm ADD and always have been. Also have allergies which peak at night, coincidentally when I do my best thinking... However if I can't get to sleep I will drink a half glass (8oz) of milk, right out of the fridge. {A regular sized glass is about 16 oz.} If that doesn't do it quickly I drink another half glass and repeat until I'm knocked out! Usually about a glass and a half is all it ever takes, no matter how "wide awake" I am. Just for proportion sake, I'm 6' male about 215 lbs. The warm milk we've all heard of is not necessary. Milk contains Tryptophan and calcium, both of which make you sleepy.

Replied by Jessica
(Melbourne, Australia)

Warm milk never works for me, and also makes me get up to go to the toilet later.


Posted by Bee (New York) on 03/24/2014

Hello, Oh; I just found this modality called Mudra.. I have been practicing it .. You use meditation and hand positions for curing disease or manifesting things.. Well I am not sure its working.. I tried it for sleep and didn't sleep.....anyone know how long it takes to work? I have been doing it on and off days and nights for a week now? Thank You

Replied by Mikr62

Bee: Hops extract has many favorable reviews on amazon for sleep. Xanthohumol, a close cousin of resveratrol, is an aromatization inhibitor that prevents good hormones from becoming bad hormones, a possible cause of insomnia.

Replied by Bee
(New York)

Mike from Denver..thank you but I was also wondering if the Mudra has worked for anyone or has anyone tried it and has seen any difference in their health..

Replied by Karen
(New York, Ny)

Hi Bee, have you tried taking powdered magnesium in water before trying these exercises at night? I find a deep feeling of relaxation kicks in 20 minutes after drinking magnesium. That might help! The mudras practice looks interesting. Let us know how that goes.

Replied by Bee
(New York)

HI Karen,

I use the magnesium oil on my skin everyday.. Mostly rub it on at night..Do I need more oil or is the drink more effective..?? I am weaning off some awful medication thus the insomnia.. Check utube for Mudras... Thank You for the reply

Replied by Karen
(New York, Ny)

Hi Bee, I have also tried magnesium chloride oil and find that the powder works better on my brain and in relaxing me. If I don't take it at night, I don't sleep as well or feel as rested! I will check out the mudra videos on YouTube, thanks.

Multiple Remedies

9 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
3 star (1) 
1 star (4) 

Posted by lucy (nashville, tn) on 03/14/2022

some of the herbal remedies for sleep all make my legs so restless!! I've tried valerian, hops, 5http, chamomile, melatonin, and some antihistamines. jump like frog legs, I am so tired..

Replied by Art
2136 posts


Some people find this specific magnesium combo useful for both sleep and RLS. Read some of the reviews on those specific topics.


Multiple Remedies
Posted by GertJr (Madison) on 05/02/2019

I've been on here for years now trying to fix my insomnia. Several things I've posted helped a good bit but nothing really does the trick, so I've gone back to square one and will try to be more methodical. My first attempt is Ted's alkalizing treatments.

I got ph strips and, wow, my morning urine was down around 4. I've started the acv + baking soda (1Tbs ACV + 1/2 tsp BS in 8 oz water, 3X/day) and have done this several days now with no real change. I have ordered Potassium citrate and will use it instead of the acv when it arrives.

Additionally, I will watch my diet more than I have been. I've been so intent on getting probiotics to fix my ibs-d that maybe I'm getting too much yogurt. Is there a form of probiotic that would be better for the ibs as well as the insomnia/acid issue? I've tried dairy kefir and really couldn't stand it, the store bought kefir is great but full of sugar. I'm open to suggestions. Carbs don't bother my belly, so that's what I tend to eat. I will make more effort to get greens, but cannot do anything raw besides carrot.
Please, if you have any other suggestions for me let me know. My ibs makes it hard to get adequate minerals (even mag oil topically gives me diarrhea if I do more than 3 sprays/day) and lack of minerals can sure wreck your sleep. I hope the potassium doesn't upset the bowels, but my reading hasn't indicated that it would so it's worth a try.

I am also doing a hypnosis app (Glenn Harrold) for sleep that helps me go to sleep fast but I wake up within 20 minutes of it ending. It says do it faithfully for 21 days before deciding it won't work and I'm only on day 9, so we'll see. I looked into acupuncture, but the guy near me charges $70/session and wants 3 sessions a week for at least 6 weeks so I can't afford that.

I am currently doing a mix of seriphos, ashwagandha, passion flower, l-theanine, glycine, gaba and melatonin. Works some days and not others. I tried adding valerian to this and it bothered the belly and have lemon balm that I”m willing to try but will do the alkalizing first. I seriously need help sleeping, 60+ y.o. female.

Replied by Jay

To GertJr from Madison: I

had a similar situation several years ago when I tested my morning urine PH and found it to be less than 5. What worked for me to improve PH was to drink 8 -- 8 oz. glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice throughout each day while gradually trying to modify my diet to be more healthy. I was more intent on finding a food mix that would work and forgot the PH issue for a while. The fresh juice was taken in 8 oz. glasses and the 8 glassfuls were spaced at least an hour apart.

About 3 months later I thought of checking my morning urine PH and it was spot on 6.2 (which is the medical standard). Needless to say, I continued the juice drinking. You also need to look up foods to see how to correct your food intake to create an acid/alkaline balance that matches your personal digestive system...examples of alkalizing foods: potatoes,, green veg (raw or cooked), etc.

A useful book is called The Acid-Alkaline Diet for optimum health by Christopher Vasey.

Replied by Nonnie

Hi GertJr -

I'm wondering if, in addition to everything else you are taking, you try sleeping in a completely dark room (no light emitted from anything - including around the windows or from electronic devices). Speaking of electronic devices, remove them from the room. Let your bedroom be an oasis of tranquility - no clutter, clean and quiet. In the evening, wear blue-blocking glasses if you watch TV, use the computer/tablet/smartphone - at least a few hours before bedtime. Get enough physical exercise during the day, fresh air, sunshine (or use a light therapy device for 20 minutes in the morning if you live in a cloudy/rainy place). Stay properly hydrated. Ensure your Vitamin D levels are where they should be (do an Internet search for Vitamin D and insomnia - it's an incredibly important hormone). If you take Vitamin D supplements, take them in the morning. Write down your worries, thoughts, etc. in a journal - get them out of your head. Have a fan going to circulate the air - also, a fan can have a soothing "white noise" effect that helps people sleep. The room should be comfortably cool. What about your bedding and mattress? These are some of the "sleep hygiene" tips that help many people. Do an Internet search for sleep hygiene - there are lots of studies on how it can help - along with a clean diet (which I'm sure you have if you suffer from ibs), limited caffeine, etc.

A good night's sleep is crucial to good health. I wish you the best of luck. Take care.

Replied by GertJr

I read today that there are 5 different types of insomnia, all variations of stress/no stress + major event (health or other)/no major event or only a major event. I think I have the stress + major event kind. Too bad, the article gave no solutions to fix it. I have been on Ted's Sodium Citrate 1/2 tsp + Potassium Citrate 1/4 tsp at bedtime for over a week now. My morning pH is 7 -7.5. I am still not sleeping. Today I will add the 1 dr iodine he says to try next. Do I continue the Sodium/potassium? I think so.

The only time I sleep is like every 4th day and then I'm taking Passion Flower & other sleep herbs and a benadryl. I'd like to stop the Benadryl, but how? Would taking 2 mg melatonin instead of the 1 mg I currently take make a difference? I really think this is the menopause thing (the major event part) that never got resolved. I took hormone replacement for several years and then stopped, which is when the insomnia took over. I already do the sleep hygiene, no devices, exercise, early morning sun, eat clean, no processed foods. But, I have pain and need help easing it if anyone has a suggestion. If I take a pain pill I tend to sleep well, stopped doing that after advil gave me an ulcer.

Thanks for letting me whine.

Mama to Many

Dear GertJr,

I know you have tried so many I hesitate to suggest anything - I am sure you have studied this way more than me! A couple of things in your post sort of popped to me, though.

First you mention that the sleep got worse when you stopped hormone replacement, implying that menopause is likely related. I know so many ladies whose sleep becomes more difficult during the change of life, including my own. For me, I will fall asleep and then "startle" awake. Sometimes a noise does thing but sometimes I think it is just me. Then I can't get back to sleep. My heart races and it won't settle. Who can sleep with a racing heart? I have found that Motherwort tincture helps me with this a lot. If I take a dropperful of Motherwort twice a day, I don't have hot flashes and sleep well. I don't need it so often now, but if I have trouble sleeping, I take a dropperful of Motherwort and a dropperful of Chamomile and am usually able to get back to sleep. Another thing to look in to is Dr. Shultze's Female Formula, which is used to naturally balance hormones. If you haven't had bloodwork done it might be something to check in to. One thing out of whack can cause a cascade of problems that often seem unrelated.

A friend of mine with severe sleep difficulties has eaten a near "perfect diet" for years. One night she did eat salty snack food and found she slept well. She wondered if it was because she had a salt insufficiency related to her insomnia. Have you tried bromelain for pain? I hope you can figure this out and get some desperately needed rest soon.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Sherry

If you have IBS you have a leaky gut. Autoimmune and leaky gut go together. I've had it for 12 yrs, not sleeping goes with it. I started keto diet improved greatly. What was a great help for sleep I started taking colostrum-ld if I wake up I go back to sleep, hubby also 7-8 hrs a night. It helped my IBS, leaky gut.

Replied by Sophie
(United Kingdom)

Dr. Carolyn Dean has a magnesium without the laxative effect. It's quite expensive, but the best apparently. Hope that helps.


No she doesn't. It has much less of a laxative effect, but people like me still get diarrhea from it. Believe me, I've tried them all.

Replied by JS
(Portland, OR)


I find that if I have any dairy, I cannot sleep. My body doesn't digest it well. Often inflammation is the cause of insomnia, and that was the case for me. So I get my probiotics in a pill (PB8 is my fave). JS from Portland

Replied by Michele

Please try what worked for me: Look at the sunrise every morning for as many days in a row as you can to reset your circadian rhythm. This is a very beautiful natural remedy.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by TeSa (Florida) on 03/28/2019

After reading nearly all comments going back to 2013 and having my own experience with CHRONIC insomnia (fragmented sleep) I want to write a summary.

I had a sleep study done and my sleep index was 35.6%. It must be 85% and higher for a human body to survive in the long run. There are sleep stages that are extremely important. Mine were all screwed up. I woke up 21 times during 3 hours that I actually “slept” in an 8 study. I had no RLS and had 10 central apneas. No obstructive apnea. My HR during “sleep” period got up to 147 and up to 152 while still under observation, but not actually sleeping.

First of all there are different types of insomnia.

1. Inability to fall asleep
2. Inability to stay asleep
3. Combination of the above
4. Fragmented sleep

I won't focus on an obstructive apnea, as it is treatable with special devices. All other types of CHRONIC insomnia are still a wild guess when it comes to the cause and treatments. Fragmented sleep probably has some underlying neurological issues.

The most important thing if you have chronic insomnia, especially 1-3 types is circadian rhythm.
You want to make sure you do all of these:

– Early morning sun exposure through retina and skin. Preferably the very first minutes the sun rises above horizon. No glasses, contacts, and if possible as much bare skin as you can. Even 5 minutes would be a tremendous benefit, but longer and grounded at the same time is better. Each day, unless it is raining. AM light has perfect blend of red and blue light and just the right touch of purple UV-A light to make melatonin that helps us sleep. The UV-A light is also what begins to lower cortisol as melatonin builds making for a perfect adrenal stress index.

– No screen time and artificial light exposure after sunset unless you wear blue light blocking glasses and use screen filters.

– Replace all your LED, fluorescent and cork screw bulbs with incandescent.

– If you use red light therapy at home, do it before sunset. SaunaSpace and Joovv are good places to get your questions answered.

– Make sure your bedroom is pitch black.

Moving on to the environment.

Many people are man-made EMF sensitive. Sweden has legally recognised electro hypersensitivity.

– Move your bed away from the walls.
– Check your bedroom for dirty electricity. Install dirty electricity filters. There are Stetzerizer and GreenWay. Get your question answered there.
– Alternatively, flip the bedroom breaker for the night, but make sure all your outlets show zero signal after that.
– Make sure your bedroom doesn't have an outside wall where smart meters are located. Move your bed away from that wall, request your electrical company to replace it with analog meter, or install Smart Meter shield (lots of videos on youtube)
– Turn WiFi off for the night and switch your phone in airplane mode.

– Make sure that on the other side of a wall your head board is facing there is no high voltage appliances and/or electrical box for the entire building.

– Go outside and inspect your neighborhood and your building for cellular antennas and if 5G is being rolled out in your city, for 5G antennas. If you see it, you have no choice but to move as fast as you can. Upgrade to 5G is likely going to lead to disasterous biologic effects.

– If you live within 10 miles radius from a major airport, its latest radar is able to get through concrete buildings and therefore your body, sending impulses 24×7. The same goes for TV and radio stations. TV news stations are installing new weather radar tracking devices in all big cities whose power density is even worse than 5G.

– -If you live in a high rise condo or apartment building having neighbors above and below, as well as on both sides, and still have chronic insomnia after you have implemented the above measures, I recommend you spend few days in a wilderness, camping, at your friends/family houses to see if you sleep better to make a conclusion if your neighbors Wi-Fi affects you. In Europe they have EMF free hotels (Geovital), but unfortunately none in the US.

Now, you have implemented all the above and still not sleeping.
Biochemical imbalances could be a problem.

-As someone had already recommended, check your meds for insomnia as a side effect.

– Check your vitamin D status. For that you have to have 4 blood tests taken: D25, D1.25, PTH and calcium. For interpretation read Chris Masterjohn blog How to Tell the Difference Between Vitamin D and Calcium Deficiencies. Online private MD labs don't require prescriptions and there are always coupons. Pay online and go to a nearest LabCorp, Anytest lab, etc.

– Run full Iron profile that includes serum ferritin (the ideal range of serum ferritin is 40 to 60 ng/ml.) and read about anemia of chronic disease if you have anemia before starting on iron supplements, including molasses, stinging nettle, etc.

– Try all remedies other people have recommend here to see what works for you.

– If you wake up after midnight, try protein drink to see if it helps. Dr. Datis Kharrazian in his book Why Isn't My Brain Working? has an explanation.

Valerian root, skullcap, essential oils, relaxation baths are usually ineffective for chronic insomnia.

Meditation, qigong, relaxation techniques, EFT etc. would take a long time before you start seeing the benefits. But you have to start somewhere.

Acupuncture with an experienced Chinese practitioner could do wonders, if you have money for at least 3 sessions a week for at least 6 months. They would also create a custom herbal formula for you. Less than that would be just waste of money.

Chinese herbs could also be very effective. I recommend these formulas: Bupleurum & Dragon Bone , Shen tonics (Quantum Shen Tonic for example), Restore the Heart . Many reputable sites that sell Chinese herbs have health assessing self-tests that would guide you. Eagle Herbs; JingHerbs, etc.

Women could try progesterone creme. Kokoro professional strength is what I use.

Brandy in moderation has a history of being used as a sedative to treat insomnia.

Be careful with manipulations on your spine. Chicken pox virus that never leaves a body and remains dormant in a spine could be reactivated causing shingles outbreak. You can google about it.

Be very careful with melatonin. Taking melatonin orally chronically without blocking blue light can lead to serious eye damage. All oral doses produce the same response: they thin your retina by ruining photoreceptor regeneration. There are studies confirming that. Just google.

I will end this summary that nothing has helped me yet with my fragmented sleep.

Replied by Steve L.
(United States)

You might be one of many folks who have high night time cortisol. You can have it tested. It is usually related to adrenal fatigue/stress. If this is the case there is only one product that I have found helpful to reduce night time cortisol which is called seriphos. It is a special formulation of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus that blocks cortisol so you can sleep. Might be worth a try if nothing else has worked. You have to play with the dosage until you find what works for you.


Thank you Steve.

My cortisol was checked once in a hospital when I had Bigeminy tachycardia for several days and it was normal back then. I see that seriphos is sold over the counter. I'll certainly try it.

Replied by Teena
(Melbourne, Australia)
233 posts

I recall Ted stated an acidic body is the cause of problem in insomniacs. I would therefore try Ted's alkalising remedy, of the baking soda and lemon ( tastes better than the ACV, and actually quite nice ).

Replied by Riccardo

What does it mean taking melatonin without blocking blue light causes retina damage?