Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia, Tried and True

Sleep Disorder Remedies

Posted by Val (Texas) on 08/08/2013

I have had poor quality sleep for some time now. I wake up 2 to 3 times at night. I am constantly tired at work. I've started doing light exercise (walking) right after dinner and that seem to help some by making me tired enough to fall asleep-but I'm still waking up throughout the night. Sometimes I even wake up teary eyed, coughing and gagging so much that I have to get up and blow my nose or drink some water. I read something about dust mites but I've fallen asleep on my sofa a few times & it happened there also. I take ACV on a regular basis for health benefits but it has not helped my sleep. I am a 30 year old 125 pound female; so weight is not a problem & I have no other health issues. Anyone have any ideas?

Replied by Timh
2073 posts

@Val: Looks like you are in need of general body detox and cleansing. Parasites and pathogens accumulate in the body over time until symptoms like you reported flare up. For starters, I would recommend oil of oregano (softgel caps) in the am and oil of garlic (softgel caps) in pm. Vit-C will help, take 500 mg w/ bioflavinoids at least 3 x daily. 250 mg Magnesium before retiring will help for sleeping.

If this doesn't help, do an herbal parasite cleanse as well as a candida cleanse (info here on E.C.).

Sleep Mask

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Leslie (Toronto, Canada) on 03/22/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I tend to forget to wear it, but a few yrs back my friend got me a sleep mask for my eyes. Whenever I wear this mask, I have the DEEPEST sleeps and most vivid dreams. Without the mask, it usually takes me ages to fall asleep, and even when I do, I'm always waking up. I suggest these masks to anyone who has trouble staying asleep. My only concern is that it does such a good job at keeping my eyes in darkness, that I've rolled right off the bed a couple times when waking up, because I'm disoriented and don't realize where I am on the bed. A small price to pay though for some needed sleep!

Sleep Pointing North in Absolute Darkness

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Ricardo (CA) on 02/07/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Total darkness allows the iris of the eye to completely relax. Eyes are the only place your nervous system is exposed to the world directly. If you are resting in a partially darkened room, cup your palms over your eyes for a while until it seems totally black. Remove your palms and keep your eyes closed. You will perceive some light or lessening of the black through your eyelids. Closing your eyes to sleep, in any illumination, does not allow complete relaxation. Always use a sleep mask or soft cap pulled over your eyes, doubled if needed, and test with palms over mask to be absolutely sure of total darkness.

Sleep Pointing North in Absolute Darkness
Posted by Brad (Wisconsin) on 08/01/2005
5 out of 5 stars

Sleeping with your head pointing North can improve the quality of your sleep. Also sleeping in absolute total darkness(no alarm clock lights, no light from the door jam) can have a huge impact on your over all health. It will allow more melatonin release by your body and for a longer period of time during the night, which is vital to living longer and healthier. This kind of sleep quality lifts your levels of attention, energy and motivation, awareness and helps keeping aging down to a minimum.

Sleep Smoothie

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Canadianguy (Victoria ) on 05/11/2019 15 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I use mango,coconut water, banana, and sweet potato for sleep, and it really works!

I read that these ingredients help with insomnia, which is typical for me now, and decided to try them, and they're great!

I make a smoothie with mango, banana, and coconut water right before bed. I usually eat more banana then and also eat some previously còoked sweet potato then too. Any kind of sweet potato works, but the purple colored ones work even better than the orange coloured ones, which are just fine. It's even better when I add GABA and tryptophan powder, but it's mostly the regular smoothly that does the work.

Ps the book says if you eat greens of some kind with the mango, it KEEPS you awake instead. I wonder if that means at dinner too.

Sleep Tracker to Evaluate Sleep

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 04/23/2018
5 out of 5 stars

My daughter and I each got a wristwatch/step tracker and are having a fun time of it. She has a friend she is comparing steps with. I got one because I thought it would motivate me to stay active on a regular basis. We did not get the expensive ones. They were about $25 each. Not only did I not want to spend a lot on one, a friend who was wearing a smart watch was having some weird symptoms that she attributed to her smart watch.

My watch can be paired to my phone to record data, which I do daily.

Honestly, I am not sure the steps are accurate. I did get to 10,000 steps in on Saturday which was supposedly over 4 miles in the day but I am not convinced I walked that much. 80% of it was just stuff I normally do around the house on Saturday (cooking, cleaning, gardening.) But, I do think it is comparatively accurate, so for my purpose of motivation to keep moving, it is effective.

I was especially fascinated by the fact that it can track sleep.

I feel like I am a light sleeper and often worry that I am not getting quite enough sleep. 5-6 hours a night seems typical for me.

I have tracked several nights and it appears that I am getting better sleep than I thought. I am getting plenty of deep sleep. Apparently, in the light sleep cycles one can be somewhat aware of what is happening around. I often feel like I am "sleeping with one eye opened, " but I am apparently getting rest. In fact, more than I might have guessed. One morning data was that I got 6 hours and 20 minutes of sleep, which was 45 minutes more than I was guessing I got.

My point is, if you suffer with insomnia, a sleep tracker may encourage you that you get more sleep than you think, or confirm how little sleep you are getting!

My husband snores and I have been concerned about sleep apnea for him. He has a bad family heart history and sleep apnea is hard on the heart! I had him wear my watch and he registered 8 hours of sleep with a good balance of deep and light sleep!

Obviously this is a very low tech way to evaluate sleep, and not appropriate for someone with significant sleep issues. But for the curious it gives some interesting data.

My watch also gives my heart rate. I thought it was reading too low, but when I compared it to the reading on a pulse oxygen meter I have on hand it appears to be pretty close.

So that is my two cents on a fitness tracker watch!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by KT

Thank you for this post! My husband snores too...that's why we have to sleep in different rooms!

I'd be interested in getting this tracker watch because he feels he NEVER gets enough sleep. I think he underestimates how much he gets.

I have an internal alarm that gets me up after six hours, sometimes less. I think if you go to bed exhausted you can sleep hard for four hours and have enough. It has been reported that a 20 minute mid-day "power nap" can revive as much as sleeping eight hours. I did that when I was pregnant and worked full time. Little did I know that what I was eating (hidden sources of MSG) made me that tired.

BTW, I worked almost all day on my feet, went for monthly check-up, drove home thinking I was just having Braxston Hicks after exam, had my husband's labor inducing spaghetti sauce for dinner and had my first baby that night!

Slow Breathing

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Leila (Europe) on 04/17/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Hi everyone,

I often have trouble falling asleep, recently I found out about the the "4-7-8" breathing trick, and it seems to work for me.

"You breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. She explained to me that it slows down your heart rate and it also releases chemicals in our brains that soothe you".

Article about it on Dr Weil's site here.

Sodium Bentonite Clay

2 User Reviews

Posted by Rick (Wayne, Va) on 06/24/2014
0 out of 5 stars

I have chronic insomnia. None of the supplements/herbs I have tried do anything for it. Some do help me to sleep but then I have diarrhea from them. Does anyone have experience with clay? I hear it goes to the place in most need of healing first--do you think it would go to whatever is wrong and then I'd be able to sleep? I took 1 dose of sodium bentonite clay and had muscle aches, headache, belly cramping. Now I hear that the calcium bentonite would be a better option. Anyone?

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Rick, I have never heard of clay being used for insomnia. Snoop around the internet and you will find the differences in the two clays. But for insomnia, maybe try the ideas on the insomnia page right here on EC.

Replied by Rick

I've tried all the things here on ec for insomnia. So far, the only thing that works is magnesium, which gives me diarrhea. I already have ibs-d--I don't need more diarrhea! I am already taking 6 immodium at a time!

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Rick, read up on Transdermal Magnesium, which simply means absorbing magnesium through the skin via baths, spraying etc.

Also, for internal consumption of clay, I use A SMALL PINCH! No need for teaspoons or even half teaspoons internally.

Replied by Gertie

I'm wondering something myself: I have ibs-d, migraines, insomnia, skin issues---could all this arise due to my bad bowels? If yes, then maybe the clay could be a solution. Not the sodium clay, but the calcium type (sodium acts more as a laxative, calcium appears to 'coat' the intestines which allows them to heal + it removes any infection/parasites + it swells w/ fluid to bulk up the stool). Seems like you would take the clay once per day and then, 12 hours later, take a good probiotic. This way the bad stuff would be removed and replaced with good stuff, the walls would heal and not be so irritated/inflamed. Since we hear that most problems start in the gut, would this help fix the gut....and then the rest follows?

Replied by Rsw
(Uniontown, Oh)
0 out of 5 stars

Gertie, Everyone is different and I have seen people have good success with the clay. However, I don't usually have much trouble with my intestines, but I bought Purified Premium Bentonite in filtered water to absorb toxins, and after ingesting 1 T., was incapacitated for an entire day with terrible stomach pains, even using the psyllium with it, as advised (which I threw away). I have read that others also had this reaction, so just be informed of the possibility. I now only use it externally, as with the recent poison ivy saga.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Rsw, ONE TABLESPOON CLAY !! No wonder you had digestive distress!! Yes, everyone IS different, but when trying a new thing, please do not shock your system! As I said: you can do a small PINCH!

Replied by Gertie

I already had some colloidal sodium clay--I took a scant teaspooon at bedtime one night and was miserable! Stomach gurgled all night , overall aches, headache--wow. But, over the next week, my face cleared and my arthritis didn't bother me....So I wonder. I'll try it again, but on a night when I'm off the next day. I don't sleep as it is, sure don't want to not sleep and be in pain.

Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Bicarbonate

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Paula (Richmond Hill, Canada) on 04/19/2013
1 out of 5 stars

This question is for Ted. Dear Ted, I am writing to you abou my insomnia that I have for many years. I have been taking the sodium bicarbonate 1/2 tsp and potassium bicarbonate 1/4 tsp with a glass of water before bed for a few days. Unfortunately this hasn't worked. I only sleep for an hour at night and wake up more tired than when I went to bed. I am exhausted but my brain doesn't know that it needs to sleep. The sleep doen't come. I don't know what I am doing wrong, I don't nap, unable to, don't drink coffee or tea, only water. This is a nightmare. I am seeing a naturopath for a year and I am not getting any better. Please Ted I know you are busy but if you have some time please let me know what I should do. I'll be waiting for your response. Thank you, Paula

Replied by Polly
(London, England)

For insomnia (it's a liver problem) look at your diet;no colas or alchohol or cigarettes. Take a really good kelp supplement and milk thistle and eat lots of fresh fruits and veg. Also look at the Blood Type Diet by Peter D'adamo. Sorry I'm not Ted but I know how horrible sleep deprivation can be and mine is better (to be fair mine was not as bad as yours) with the kelp and omega 3 oils like olive, linseed, and evening primrose oil. Good luck.

Replied by Joy
(Battleground, Wash)

I was just looking for answers and found a site that said to take a bath in baking soda and epson salts( magnesium)

1/2 cup to 1 cup each, equal amounts. The magnesium could make your bowels move in 1- 24 hours. Drink some water while you soak. Water soaks or swimmng cause us to shrivel up because it pulls water out of us

Another thing to try would be a dab of progesterone cream before bed 1/8 tsp. Rub in fat tissue, you might have a hormon imbalance, you have to patiently try hormones for at least a month while your system gets balanced and it =could be unpleasant at first as progesterone goes into estrogen sites and can cause estrogen dominant symptoms at first but then later..... So nice! Peaceful

Replied by Leah
(Philadelphia, Pa)

Hello, have you tried GABA, tripyophan, melatonin, magnesium or iodine yet? You may like to read Dr Mercola's holistic advice on sleep issues too. He considers all factors including light and sound pollution, electromagnetic fields in your bedroom and emotional stressors etc. Hope these suggestions help.

Replied by Namaw

I, too, am curious about how to use the bicarbonate of soda & potassium bicarbonate for sleep. I have both items. From what I have read, I take 1/4 tsp soda & 1/8 tsp potassium in a glass of water. Is this one dose per day, just at night, or one dose in the morning and another at night? or 1 dose half in morning and the other half at night? I must not be reading Ted's passage correctly because I cant' see this info. Can someone help me, hopefully in time for bed tonight?

Replied by Janet

Namaw I use this in the morning before coffee or anything else. 1/8 tsp pot carb I have not added baking soda but I add a small pinch of sea salt

The 5 mg melatonin at night.

The baking soda method I use is Teds alkalyzing formula. 2x a day. 1/2 hour after food. 5 days a week.

Apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp add 1/2 tsp of baking soda let fizz then add half a glass of water and drink. This is pain relief and digestive health normalizing stool.

Or... For circulation and digestion I use 1 whole lime squeezed or 8 tsp add 1/2 tsp of baking soda let fizz. Add 1/2 glass of water drink same schedule. This helps get rid of excess calcium too.

The most help for our family for no sleep is in this order.

Potassium carbonate..melatonin..

Digestion ..enzymes aminos baking soda with and after food

Sufficient minerals through the day from food and sea salt.

Bulletproof coffee or butter and collagen...and again improves gut health..drink during the day.

I have used iodine 1 drop in water of 5% lugols iodine before bed.

I had to go further for Ken and I as we are 60 yrs and correct hormones provide a better platform for sleep and health. Progesterone cream applied to upper body 2 or 3x a week. Pregnanolone 25mg. 2x a week. 25mg of dhea. I take it 5x a week as it corrects my intestinal issues too. The melatonin is also part of this.

Ted talks frequently of acid brain preventing sleep th fix is the alkalyzing drink.

Our results...

1 daughters narcolepsy solved with defluoridating water.

1 lifetime of insomnia for another daughter was blending her food. Bulletproof. Because it was her bad digestion and fluoride

Me the quickest relief was potassium carbonate. But my overall health and better sleep was a gentle regime of the above mentioned. I just added things slowly until I normalized.

My husbands body clock must be reset for 3rd shift everyday. He does much of the above and at bedtime takes 2.5 mg lithium gaba melatonin.

Adding niacinamide 250mg 3x a day. Often boosts sleep at night as our bodies need and use quite a lot of it.

These are things if you need further help. Beyond your question. It is what we have found successful. But no sleep is really a symptom of many ailments in our house. Each unique and handled differently.


Replied by Janet

Namaw. So sorry I miswrote. 1 put a pinch of baking soda not a dose in almost every liquid remedy I make. Janet

Sound Waves/ Vibrations

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jackie (Grand Rapids, Minn) on 12/31/2011
5 out of 5 stars

i just found the videos on youtube that use sound waves or vibrations very helpful with sleep problems or trouble relaxing and very helpful in other areas such as boosting self esteem, boosting serotonin levels and self confidence. There are so many of them. The one that really helps me sleep is called Boost Your Energy Level with this Amazing Hypnosis Session and Feel Great. All you have to do is sit down and relax and go to youtube! Wish everyone health and happiness in the new year. Jackie

Replied by Susan
(Sunnyvale, Ca)

Yeah try some guided meditations. Sometimes you just get the right voice and words and POW out light a lightbulb.

Replied by Beckywolf
(Abbotsford, Bc, Canada)

Last night I wasn't able to get to sleep till 1:30 am, then I woke up at 3:43 am, I wasn't able to fall asleep at 1:30 am till my long distance boyfriend called me, and now he's off doing something and I'm still unable to sleep, I am thinking maybe I can't sleep because I don't want to fall asleep without him. Any help?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Beckywolf,

An epsom salt bath before bed may be of help. 1 cup in a warm bath for 20 minutes. I take Natural Calm before bed (1 teaspoon) and sleep like a rock.

I hope you get some much desired and needed rest soon!

~Mama to Many~

Soursop Tea

Posted by Jacqui (Scottsville, Ky Usa) on 01/15/2012

I have a British Facebook friend who lives in the Carribean. I was telling her I have a lot of trouble going to sleep at night, and I wake up completely exhausted, this friend told me they use Soursop tea, and this will make me very sleepy. I looked up the Net about it, and this Soursop seems to be quite a remarkable tree, the fruits are used to eat with icecream etc, the leaves are for making Soursop tea.

This Soursop sounds quite an amazing tree. I was wondering if any of your readers can tell me more about it, and if it can be bought in USA, I would definitely want to know the soarce of where the Soursop came from too. I read where Amazon sell the dried tea cost around $7.. But some woman had left a review of her disappointment not on what the product can do for our health, but she said of the way it was packed etc, I mean, how would we know it was the real thing. If there was anyone out there who could help me find some leaves I can purchase online from a reputable soarce, I would appreciate please. I am a New Zealander living in Kentucky USA

Thank you, Regards Jacqui

Replied by Lanos
(So.calif, Usa)

Jacqui, ... May I suggest you might search the tonic called 'GRAVIOLA' online. This is a soursop product.

Good luck..

Replied by Caribbean Gal
(Atlanta, Georgia)

Try one of the Jamaican stores, I brought a pack recently for roughly $2.00

St Johns Wort

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Brad (Ontario) on 12/08/2022
5 out of 5 stars

St Johns Wort is good for anxiety and depression, also a calmative. I found it helps with restless sleep when taken on an empty stomach. However be cautious when taking it because, similar to grapefruit, it will interact with other medications and supplements.

Suan Zao Ren

Posted by Tan Koon Peng (Singapore) on 06/27/2008

Suan Zao Ren For Insomnia And More:

Major herb for insomnia, it has a very calming effect which alleviates symptoms such as anxiety, worry and restlessness, which may be contributing to insomnia. A neurocardiac sedative, it helps to regulate blood pressure.

nourish heart yin, tonify liver blood, quiet spirit
-irritability, insomnia, palpitations, anxiety due to deficiency
-prevents abnormal sweating
nourishes blood, calm spirit, clear Heat, relieve mental restlessness

A superior herb, one of the most popular herbs for insomnia, hypertension and other nerve disorders. Nontoxic and nutritious and can be used long-term. Regular use can brighten complexion.

Nourish the heart, benefit the liver and tranquilize the mind for insomnia and heart palpitations; nutrient; reduce perspiration.

To replenish the liver, to cause tranquilizations, to arrest excessive perspiration, and to promote the productionof body fluid.

Insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep; excessive sweating due to debility; thirst due to consumption of body fluid.

Nourishes the heart and the liver. Its natural tranquillizing properties are used to treat mental tiredness. It helps reduce sweating, especially anxiety sweating, and can be used effectively for insomnia and palpitations.

You can buy suan zao ren from chinese medical shop. Just put 30 g in a cup and pour in boiling water. Drink it after 15 minutes while it is still warm. The herb can be reused many times. Do not throw it away after your first drink. Good sleep to all who suffered from insomnia.

Avoid use during Pregnancy.

Sunflower Seeds

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by 2q&learn (Southern California) on 10/11/2020 94 posts
5 out of 5 stars

When I want hell to relax & get sleepy at bedtime, I've found that eating Sunflower seeds soon helps me relax & start yawning! (For extra help, I add a Banana.)

When I've eaten foods high in Phosphorus it creates an imbalance, & I wind up getting painful leg cramps, usually at night. When I eat either Sunflower seeds (or Almonds) that same day, I never get those cramps!


3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Gert (Hg, Al) on 07/31/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I finally found a formula that helps my insomnia and now have a pain--does anyone think this is from the stuff I take or could it be something else? I take 1 Seriphos (1000mg), 200 mg L-Theanine, 1000 mg Glycine, 1000 mg Taurine, 1000 mg Gaba and 500 mg niacinamide. This mix also calls for 1 mg extended release melatonin, which made me fall asleep faster but left me with a migraine all day after. Without the melatonin I fall asleep within an hour, wake up several times but go right back to sleep and have strange dreams.

Now, after a week of doing this at night, I have a pain in my back (slightly lower than kidney) that radiates over to my hip and on to my groin. Almost like a kidney stone? Never had one, so no idea what causes this. It aches during the day unless I'm moving and is what I notice most when trying to go to sleep. Any ideas what it could be? Almost like a pulled muscle, except I haven't done anything to pull a muscle.