Insomnia
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia, Tried and True

Castor Oil
Posted by Mel (Katy, Tx) on 01/16/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Castor Oil cured my insomnia and a Pterygium on my left eye. A pterigium is fatty deposit from wind/dust that affects one or both eyes. There is no pain, but it looks gross. I first got this while living in West Texas and was diagnosed by an Ophthalmologist. My doctor told me that it is not serious unless it starts growing towards the pupil and therefore, should be removed because it will affect my eye sight. My pterigium over the years was getting closer and closer to my pupil as the years have gone by. I knew that very soon I would have to have surgery to have it removed. I started the castor oil therapy about 2 weeks ago for my insomnia and just about 2 days ago I was looking in the mirror and look at my eyes and had to do a double take. The pterygium is almost gone! It is very thin and is not noticeable at all. I am so happy! I started using castor oil for insomnia and that was successful and at the same time cured my pterygium. Thank you so much. :D

Castor Oil
Posted by Mark (Phoenix, Az) on 12/27/2009
5 out of 5 stars

A drop of Castor Oil on each eyelid makes you reach REM sleep and stay asleep. It's the best cure I've found for waking up often in the night.


Melatonin
Posted by Deirdre (Ct) on 07/31/2020

Hi GertJr,

Thank you for your feedback on melatonin. Yes, I've found sometimes melatonin works and sometimes it doesn't. It definitely has more of an effect for me if taken with magnesium l threonate, as Art mentioned. Also, I found that 30 mg works better than 20. And I take it all at once... Didn't find I needed to stagger the dosage after all.

One thing I would like to mention is that going for a walk to the point of body fatigue has also been very helpful for my sleep. My sleep issues actually correlate to the aging of my two dogs. I used to do a minimum of 3 miles a day with them. However, now they are over 14 and don't want to walk even to the end of the block on most days! Since walking them less, my sleep has gotten progressively worse. The past week I have been walking (on my own), trying to get back to 3 miles and wow, it has made a tremendous difference to my sleep. I sleep better after walking than after an exhausting 1 hour karate class. Interesting, no?

Just thought I'd put that out there for all with sleep issues. Walking, whether slow or fast paced, is unbelievably beneficial to health.


Magnesium
Posted by Raeofsun13 (Colorado) on 12/25/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Thought I would share my remedy and experience with not sleeping great. I have had two cervical fusions and am fused at 3 levels. I also have had an arm surgery with screws in my arm. I have arthritis and a bone spur on my big toe, arthritis is my thumbs and numerous other aches and pains. I was a competitive gymnast in my youth and hard on my body. I have tried various things to help me sleep, during the time of my surgeries I was on ambien, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

The thing that I have found most helpful is Magnesium Glycinate, it is the most highly absorbable form of magnesium for our bodies. I am amazed at how much better I have been sleeping. Have been taking 3/4 teaspoon at night, typically able to sleep through the night now, I used to wake up around 3 and toss and turn due to aches and pains. I have used this also when feeling sore or whenever I feel too many aches and pains. It works great.


Carbohydrate Snack Before Bed
Posted by Gina (Alberta) on 08/31/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I recently read an article by a physician who suggested a carbohydrate snack at bedtime to cure insomnia. After years and years of believing that one should have a protein snack for sound sleep and never being able to fall asleep, I thought I would give it a try. So simple, right? It works. Every single time. Just an apple or some grapes, juice, whatever you like. Cherry juice even is a source of melatonin, so that might work really well. I can now fall asleep quickly and effortlessly and sleep soundly. It's beautiful.


Clove Tea
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 12/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I love the smell of cloves. Oddly, I am not a fan of clove essential oil, but the powdered cloves smell wonderful to me. So I had the jar of cloves out on the counter and thought, I should make me some clove tea! I put 1/4 teaspoon in a little mug and added boiling water. I meant to drink it after a few minutes but got distracted. By the time I remembered it, the cloves had steeped for 20 minutes or more. I remembered reading a story about someone who used very strong clove tea to help them sleep. I considered not drinking the tea but it sounded so yummy. (It was dinner time and I didn't want to be sleepy yet.)

I sat down for a few minutes after my tea and next thing I knew I was waking up from a cat nap. Oops! At least I didn't burn dinner or anything.

I guess clove tea really does help you to relax and zone out. If you try it, let me know if it works for you!

~Mama to Many~


Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
Posted by Julie (Elk Grove, CA, USA) on 09/18/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I am 48 yrs old and have suffered from severe insomnia for 9 years. I have taken ambien sleeping pills for the last 5 years just to get a good night sleep. I started taking apple cider vinegar and baking soda for eczema and it CURED my insomnia. I mean totally cured. No more sleeping pills and I am not exaggerating when I say I sleep like i did in my 20's. At first my skin felt like it was burning for a couple of days then when it was gone so were many ailments. It also lowered my cholesterol 30 points, and I no longer have acid reflux. Thank you for your website. Its been such a blessing.

Melatonin
Posted by Art (California) on 08/02/2020 1508 posts

Florie,

Melatonin is considered to be safe over the short and long term and has a "huge multitude of other prohealth effects" including, AD, PD and fighting cancer, but also having synergy with chemo and radiotherapy while also fending off the negative side effects associated with these two standard of care cancer treatments, but don't take my word for it, read this NCBI article that discusses an incomplete list of the many potential health benefits of melatonin as well as a very good safety profile based on a large volume of previous studies

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1395802/

Keep in mind that even though they explain how safe it is, I still maintain that some people cannot tolerate melatonin. Here is a most interesting quote from this article regarding very long term use of melatonin over 4 years at 75 mg/night :

......................

Melatonin has also been suggested for use as a contraceptive for women, [145] which might raise the question of whether melatonin damages the female reproductive system. Notably, no side effects were reported in a report of a phase 2 clinical trial in which 1400 women were treated with 75 mg of melatonin nightly for 4 years.[145]

..........................

Regarding the addition of vitamin B6 and its safety, most melatonin products contain only 1 - 10 mg of vitamin B-6 and since you are only taking 5 mg of melatonin, your max B6 dose would be 10 mg. Here is a link to an NIH vitamin B-6 fact sheet and below the link is an important quote from the report that should answer your question on the safety of long term use of vitamin B-6 :

............................

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/#h8

.......................

Can vitamin B6 be harmful?

People almost never get too much vitamin B6 from food. But taking high levels of vitamin B6 from supplements for a year or longer can cause severe nerve damage, leading people to lose control of their bodily movements. The symptoms usually stop when they stop taking the supplements. Other symptoms of too much vitamin B6 include painful, unsightly skin patches, extreme sensitivity to sunlight, nausea, and heartburn.

The daily upper limits for vitamin B6 are listed below. These levels do not apply to people who are taking vitamin B6 for medical reasons under the care of a doctor.

Life Stage Upper Limit
Birth to 12 months Not established
Children 1–3 years 30 mg
Children 4–8 years 40 mg
Children 9–13 years 60 mg
Teens 14–18 years 80 mg
Adults 100 mg

................................

It is worth noting that too much B-6 can cause nerve damage/neuropathy as outlined in the above article and too little can have a similar effect!

The other day I posted that anyone using high dose melatonin (HDM) with B6 in it should not use this type of melatonin because you can potentially get too much vitamin B6 using HDM or very high dose (VHDM). This is when you could potentially expose yourself to nerve damage/neuropathy, so don't do it. Dr Neel does not use HDM with B6 in it and Dr. Shallenberger does not use the type with B6 either.

Art


Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
Posted by Linda L. (Al) on 06/25/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, Art.

We've been using now brand powder calcium, its very inexpensive, natural calm magnesium and now brand powder potassium all powder supplements for sleep. It really has helped us to get a good night's sleep. I mix them all up 30 mins before bedtime in a little juice. Also limit caffeine after noon, even chocolate. I sometimes need 3 mg melatonin. My husband was on sleep meds 6 years ago. He no longer needs them. It takes time and persistence to get off the drugs but it's worth the effort.

Hope this helps.

Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
Posted by Art (California) on 06/25/2020 1508 posts

Hi Linda L,

Magnesium citrate is also good to help with sleep, but for those who are sensitive to magnesium, the citrate form can increase your chances for diarrhea. The form Deirdre uses, magnesium L threonate is one form that I have never seen a problem with diarrhea. I use magnesium taurate, magnesium l threonate, magnesium glycinate and topical mag oil (MO) and none are a problem for me. Mag oil can be applied a half hour before bedtime to the back of the neck, upper shoulders and chest areas to help relax those muscle groups in preparation for sleep.

A senior man usually does not need calcium other than from diet, but there are always exceptions. On the other hand, calcium helps tryptophan to generate melatonin. I believe this is the idea of why a warm glass of milk is considered a mild sleep aid because it contains calcium and tryptophan while the heat of warm milk is relaxing.

Thank you for the feedback!

Art


5 HTP
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 05/30/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I mentioned using a pedometer watch in a recent post as a way to see how much sleep you were getting. A low tech and cheap way, but a possibility none the less.

My watch (when paired with a smartphone) will give you a bar graph each day to show you the light and deep sleep. I was rather horrified to see the sleep pattern of my teenage daughter when she used her watch to track her sleep. Few and brief were her periods of deep sleep. No wonder she is tired a lot!

I tried a few things - some herbs, melatonin, etc.

5 HTP was the best for improving the amount and frequency of deep sleep for her. It does not cause any side effects for her that we have noticed, anyway.

~Mama to Many~


Melatonin
Posted by Claudia R. (Maryland) on 05/14/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin for nighttime stress and anxiety. I take a low dose 3 mg sublingual melatonin 1/2 hour or more before going to sleep. I used to wake up in fits of anxiety a few times a night and it would take me 2 hours or more to get back to sleep. Sometimes it happened twice in a night. Since taking melatonin, I sleep much better. Still sometimes I do wake up but go back to sleep within a min or two.


Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy (PEMF)
Posted by Robert Henry (Ten Mile, Tn) on 03/31/2017
5 out of 5 stars

NEW PEMF HEALTH TOY

HI U BIRDS DOIN,,,,,,,,,,,, this new toy is sumpin else. I do an 8 minute sleep insomnia program and wake up two hours later. Wow. Think I have lots to learn. Will keep you informed as I progress. So far, it is out of this world. Just hope it takes my back pain away. Me and my Tractor Driver are fighting over time on the mat. This is the new health dimension that includes all your senses. Encourage all to research. German designed and Swiss built. I just woke up, by the way and on the way to see Amorphous......... yet again.

======ORH==========


Magnesium
Posted by Maria De Suecia (Stockholm/london, Sweden/uk) on 03/24/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, I'm responding to those of you who had a question regarding which magnesium I was taking to treat insomnia. I posted this on 10/24/2010.

Insomnia DESTROYED my life, beginning 6 years ago. I had to drop out of one of the best PhD programs in the world in my field. Sleeping pills didn't even work. I was put on an antidepressant, just for the insomnia, that is normally given to Alzheimers patients in order to sedate and calm them down. It D*E*S*T*R*O*Y*E*D my life. And now look.

First let me sum up, 5 months on after my magnesium discovery, and I still sleep like a rock. But I've discovered an even better magnesium. Let me tell you the exact experience.

I initially began taking a regular pill form of "magnesium carbonate", and it clearly helped a lot but I would still wake up a few times with these awful hypnic jerks. I did this for a few days while I was waiting for my order of this magnesium powder that people rave about on various sites.

I can't reveal the brand name because I think it will be deleted by Earthclinic. I totally respect that since the non-commercial integrity of this site makes it so trustworthy. If I tell you the following, then you'll be able to track it down: this particular brand of magnesium is in "magnesium carbonate" form and was developed by a leading nutritional researcher named Peter Gillham. Now you can google that and find the name of the brand. I'll take a shot at revealing the name as I have found it so helpful and I hope that Earthclinic will post it to help people. It's called: Calm Natural.

I take the magnesium only, but they sell a calcium-magnesium blend as well.

So I got the order of this powder and I had done enough research to know that, unless you have an existing kidney or liver problem, it is pretty much impossible to overdose on magnesium. I was in a state of panic because I did not want this awful insomnia to keep wrecking my life, so the first night I took 1200 mg of this stuff. Fell alseep instantly. Not one hypnic jerk. Nothing. Slept! Slept! Slept! I took this dose every night without getting a loose stool (which is an indication that you take too much). Day 4 I woke up with loose stool. But I didn't flipping care, it's better than taking sleeping pills or not sleeping at all. But at this point I reduced the dose a bit, still slept like a baby.

I kept thinking that it must be too good to be true since sleeping pills had not even worked for my insomnia/hypnic jerks in the past. But oh no, I kept sleeping, adjusting the dose so that I would take just the amount that my stomach could handle - sometimes diarrhea and sometimes not. With time I needed less and less and after a few weeks I could even skip a few nights here and there.

Now to the other big discovery. I tried magnesium oil. EVEN BETTER! Some points on my experience with magnesium oil. 1) I am using a magnesium oil derived from the ancient Zechstein seabed (google it) - many brands of magnesium oil get their oil from this place. It's the gold standard source. 2) Magnsium oil is better since it does not go through your intestine you can apply as much as is needed without getting a loose stool. 3) I began using this in conjunction with drinking the magnesium powder, not risking insomnia. Bloody h***ll, this works wonders! 4) Initially I rubbed this stuff all over my body, 20 minutes before bedtime. One must be prepared that initially it feels as if you have been stung by a swarm of bees, but it gets better with time, believe me, like 4 weeks or so of applying it daily and it will no longer sting. I did this combo for 4 weeks, every single night. After 4 weeks my magnesium levels seemed to have been built up enough so I only needed to rub it on my belly before bedtime. 5) Yes, it's a bit oily, but again, I don't flipping care, I want to sleep after 6 years without sleeping.

So where am I now? I no longer drink the magnesium powder and fall alseep without a problem just by rubbing the magnesium oil on my belly. If I have a feeling that sleep is a bit more rocky I simply rub my entire body with the oil.

One point to be made here is that the magnesium has helped me with the hypnic jerks that prevented me from falling asleep. I would have these hypnic jerks, what felt like, one thousand times per night. They drove me crazy! Now they are GONE! GONE! GONE! 6 years of hell is gone!!! I don't know if magnesium helps with regular insomnia when you just lie awake starring, perhaps calcium in combination with magnesium is a better option then.

In treating my adrenal glands I began taking a high potency (OBSERVE, VERY IMPORTANT: HIGH POTENCY) vitamin B complex, which I noticed made me feel much much calmer in general. I still take that.

There are other minerals and vitamins that can cause insomnia. I read about that somewhere. I remember one of them being Folate.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by coleen (buffalo, missouri) on 06/23/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I don't usually write anything back but after taking the apple cider vinegar I felt I had to. I have had very very very bad acid reflux that has gotten worse over the yrs. to the point that it seems any food as soon as it is in my mouth I start with the burning burning burning. Belching....my husband says I do this all night long. I could not sleep flat any longer for I would just throw up in the middle of the night. Not to mention I have not had much sleep for I could NOT eat 4-5 hrs before going to bed! I had trouble swollowing, and have a constant cough, that I have been told could be cancer of the asophegus? When I heard that... I started taking the acv, that very night I slept "normal" and the next morning I had a good bm (which is another problem) Within a few days all my symptoms were gone and it has cured several other ailments as well not to mention loosing weight! I hate the stuff (taste) but you can't ignore the miracle it is. I just think more people should be talking about this simple remedy for sooo many things, what else could it do? I think the list goes on and on. ps. My ph level used to say "consult a physician" to now being normal. I have more energy too!

Cherry Juice
Posted by Gracie (Nottingham) on 09/25/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Hi,

Some nights I have problems getting to sleep, and lie there for seemingly hours tossing and turning and churning over in my mind past hurts and making mountains out of molehills. And the same occurs if I wake up in the middle of the night to use the toilet and can't get back to sleep again. However, I've discovered that if take 4 - 6 teaspoons of Concentrated Montmorency Cherry Juice in a drop of water and a small bowl of oats made with milk it puts me to sleep for six to seven hours. Apparently, the cherry juice is naturally high in melatonin and so are the oats but less so.

It works for me, give it a try!

Melatonin
Posted by Art (California) on 07/31/2020 1508 posts

Gertjr,

Yes, unfortunately I have not found anything natural that works everytime, not even medical marijuana which is the best natural sleep aid I have found using the indica variety with high THC content and low CBD content. Overall, melatonin 123, for me is more effective than just taking the melatonin all at one time.

I would suggest you use Deirdre's addition to the melatonin of magnesium l threonate (Mag-T) or magnesium glycinate will also have a similar effect. The melatonin helps to slow the mind down a bit and magnesium tends to help your muscles to relax. Mag oil (MO) can also work quickly if you forgot to take your magnesium pill about an hour to an hour and a half before bed, by applying to the back of the neck and shoulder area as well as the chest as that whole muscle group tends to tighten throughout the day making it harder to get to sleep at night and MO loosens those up quickly, just spray it on and rub it in. Magnesium Taurate works also for helping with sleep. Melatonin and magnesium (M&M) are better than either one alone. My personal experience is that M&M gives a slightly better quality of sleep than either one alone.

The medical marijuana is generally my last resort and it also works well with magnesium and that combination probably is the strongest in the natural products. If that isn't enough, then you would have to talk to your doctor about prescription sleep aids, which I have never done.

Some people do fairly well with valerian root extract or GABA or both, but I consider these a bit weaker than the above mentioned items. Some people use benadryl, but this is not good for regular use as it is thought to contribute to the potential for dementia and or other neurodegenerative issues. Nyquil also has a product that contains Diphenhydramine, the active component from Benadryl and of course it will have the same drawbacks as Benadryl in longer term usage.

The blackout soft fabric night glasses are useful too when you are unable to darken your room enough. These fabric sleeping glasses let your body know that it is definitely night time. The soft foam ear plugs can help if there is significant background noise such as traffic.

A 10 to 15 minute dose of bright morning sunshine every morning helps to get your circadian rhythm back on track.

No computer, tablets, laptops, bright lights or tv for at least 1 1/2 hours before bed as these trick your body into thinking it is still daytime and will not allow natural melatonin production to do its job properly. Generally, the more active you are during the day, the easier it will be to get to sleep.

For mild sleeping problems, ashwagandha, lemon balm, teas for sleep, chamomile, deep breathing, epsom salt bath soak, passion flower and valerian root extract can be helpful. There are also combination sleep aids that have many of these in various combinations. One word of caution, the valerian root extract capsules have a smell to it that to me is disgusting and I can not tolerate that smell every night.

Lastly, getting on a regular schedule of sleep and waking is also longer term helpful and it is free.

Art


Melatonin
Posted by Art (California) on 08/02/2020 1508 posts

Gertjr,

A couple more things to consider. The form of magnesium that Deirdre takes is Magnesium L Threonate (Mag-T) and for me this one has never caused diarrhea, but I do not have IBSD. I think the reason for this is the L-Threonate is the largest ingredient that is supposed to target the magnesium to the brain. It may be worth a try to see if it helps with sleep.

Here is a link to a typical product :

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=magnesium+l+threonate&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Since melatonin at 15 mg/night is doable for you, it may be worth testing a 5 mg melatonin product that has vitamin B6 in it. Melatonin is poorly absorbed and the B6 aids in the absorption of melatonin. I am currently experimenting with a melatonin product with B-6 and time release and it does seem to be slightly more potent than the same quantity of regular melatonin. Here is a link to a 5 mg melatonin product with vitamin B-6 and time release in it:

https://www.amazon.com/Natrol-Melatonina-tabletas-alivio-S0921205N2PK/dp/B001E0WOKE/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=melatonin+5mg+with+vitamin+b6+timed+release&qid=1596389259&sr=8-5

Here is another melatonin product with vitamin B-6 without the time release :

https://www.amazon.com/Mason-Natural-Vitamin-Melatonin-Strength/dp/B00EBGR1WY/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=melatonin+5mg+with+vitamin+b6&qid=1596388255&sr=8-5

The mag oil (MO) applied to the upper chest, shoulders and rear of neck should be synergistic with the melatonin while having minimal if any impact on the gut.

The night shades can be useful in signaling your body that it is definitely nighttime and time to go to sleep because they block out almost all light in the room and when combined with the bright sunlight exposure for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning, can help to put your circadian rhythm back on track which should also help you get to sleep. Here is a link to those fabric sleep glasses and this one comes with ear plugs which can be useful if you are dealing with significant background noise :

https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Mask-Blindfold-Eye-Shades/dp/B00L4NJFEE/ref=sr_1_36?dchild=1&keywords=cloth+sleeping+glasses&qid=1596390067&sr=8-36

It sounds like your daily activity level is likely high enough to help induce sleep, but this may be a case of more is better, so you can experiment a little to see if slightly more daily exercise will be additive in promoting sleep for you.

The medical marijuana is also a consideration if legal where you are located, but I would "only use it on the nights when your regular regimen is not letting you get to sleep". The less you use it, the more effective it can be for the purpose of sleep. Think of it as an emergency backup plan only to use when you absolutely have to get to sleep. The form to consider is Indica with high THC content and low CBD content. This is strong and very little should be needed. The Sativa variety, in my experience, tends to wake me up, but definitely does not help me sleep.

Lastly, you can also test some of the multi-ingredient sleep aids that may contain some of the herbs and supplements that I mentioned in my previous reply to you. Mixing all of these options up seems to be useful in insuring that they all remain effective for you.

Art


Nutmeg
Posted by Terry (Md) on 04/29/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Was interested in nutmeg for nocturia. I recently read that a grandmother used her mother's remedy as a cure to stop from having to pee when she went shopping. It was incredibly easy. Granny said to put about a teaspoon of nutmeg in the palm of your hand and lick it off. She did this just before leaving the house and she did not have to find a bathroom during the whole time she went shopping.

Anyway, I have tried everything under the sun and nothing is too weird when you have to get up all hours of the night to pee. So, I have tried it for the last 3 nights and Alleluia! I got up after 3 1/2 hours the first time, then 3 hours the second time. By the time I needed to go again, it was time to get up. It was wonderful to feel refreshed, something I had not felt for many months.

However, about the nutmeg: I just used a good 1/4 tsp on the palm of my hand and licked it off just before going to bed. I also took a very tiny sip of water to get rid of the nutmeggy taste on my tongue. I will up the amount to 1/2 tsp and see what happens. I am thrilled even tho nutmeg is pretty expensive. It's worth it!


Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc
Posted by Margaret (Tallahassee, FL) on 09/14/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Insomnia -- This really works. Combo Vitamin of Calcium 1000 mg, magnesium 400mg, & zinc 25 mg. 1 hour before bedtime. Also take Valerian Root 530mg 1 hour before bedtime. I guarantee in 1 weeks time, you won't need sleeping pills anymore.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cheryl (Center Valley, PA) on 03/15/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I came across your website while desperately searching for a cure for a severe sinus infection. The ACV helped tremendously. Another amazing plus is that I sleep so well since taking it. I've been troubled with disrupted sleep for about 2 years now. Just curious to know what it does in the body to make such an improvement in sleep? Thanks for this wonderful website!

Zinc
Posted by KS (IL) on 02/04/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I starting adding 30mg of zinc for Covid prevention, besides D3. Couple of weeks later I realized I had been sleeping much better; deeper, remembering dreams, less frequently getting up and only in the first couple of hours. (I take meds with a lot of water before bedtime.) And the zinc was the only new addition. After a little research I found out that yes, indeed, zinc does help with sleep disorders.



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