Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia, Tried and True

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 1383 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!


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.

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~

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


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.


Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
Posted by Josie (New York) on 07/30/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I've tried 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar plus 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda remedy (mixed into 1 cup hot water) for insomnia for the past 2 nights. I have no idea why, but it seems to be working. Both nights, I fell asleep within 10 minutes of going to bed, whereas I usually don't fall asleep for 4- 6 hours, or until the sun comes up. My question is, can I take this mixture every night for insomnia, or do I have to take days off? From the ACV + Baking Soda recipe page, the instructions appeared to be take for 5 days on and 2 days off, but those were listed under an instruction for people with Acid Reflux, so I don't know if the 5 days on/2 off is for everybody or only for people with Acid Reflux. Thanks!!

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 Robin (Rural, VA) on 11/03/2008
5 out of 5 stars

This is amazing. I have been on a quest for a good nights sleep, which didn't include medications, for several months. I fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time, but wake up several times, sometimes for a few hours at a time. I have tried everything posted on this site, but the Castor Oil works! My boyfriend laughs at me and my crazy remedies. Well he has insomnia too, and I'm sleeping through the night. Does anyone have any ideas about why this works?

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nicole ( Seattle, Wa) on 03/13/2010
5 out of 5 stars

If you get constipation from taking ACV you may need to add baking soda to your ACV. This is why I believe Ted recommends to add the baking soda to ACV. Some of us are just too acidic and therefore do not have enough "buffers" in order to drink the ACV alone. This method has eliminated the constipation issues for me.

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. 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!

Posted by Art (California) on 07/31/2020 1383 posts


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.


Posted by Art (California) on 08/02/2020 1383 posts


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 :

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:

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

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 :

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.


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.

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!

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 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.

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.

Posted by Joseph A. (Stockton, Ca ) on 08/16/2021 75 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Insomnia, my best tablets are called Serpina (Indian Snakeroot) an Ayurvedic tablet that is excellent, plus has many other positive things, I can't write everything now but send me a message and I will try. Serpina tablets $7 at Amazon, or Distacart sells them. Dosage if can't sleep at all take 3 tablets in am and 3 tablets at nite. Once you're sleeping then reduce dosage if you want. They are completely safe, however will interact with Antipsychotics, cold, flu medicines. Non habit forming, stopping cold turkey is fine.

You can take OTC Benadryl 50 or 100mg if you wake up in middle of night then just take another 1 of those and fall back asleep. Since they can cause memory loss in long-term use I advise to take for 3-4 weeks maximum.

Never take sleeping pills, habit forming and dangerous. A Valium is fine a few days but they are habit forming and dangerous after 4-5 weeks maximum. Jujube fruit(Chinese dates)fight insomnia, Anxiety, buy at Amazon.

Last one for sleep: try L-Theanine pills (only must have: Suntheanine, highest quality) take 200mg twice daily or increase to 400mg 2X daily, they are safe and can be taken at 3,000mg safely, but rarely done. Best of luck to anyone who tries them. If you're happy & sleeping send me a message.

Posted by Bj (Michigan) on 06/03/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I have been using iodine for many years with good health results. It worked well paired with my natural bovine thyroid supplement. A couple of years ago I changed from using Lugol's to a BioActive tablet form. There was no change in results, it was just easier to take.

30 days ago my husband mentioned that he seemed to be getting more and more sluggish. Asked about my thyroid supplement. Since he had never had to be on any thyroid meds in the past, I didn't think he should go that route, but mentioned that since he has been using sea salt rather than iodine infused table salt, that it may be why he now feels sluggish. He started on the BioActive iodine, taking it at night because that is when he would remember. Not only has he seen a difference in his energy levels, but his sleep is much better. Instead of waking at 1-3am he is sleeping until 5am and his sleep is more restoring. The few times he has forgotten it, he was again awake before 3. The iodine does help him to go to sleep, nor does it cause drowsiness. It just seems to provide what his body needs to be restored. Since then I have switched my intake of iodine to the evening, and find that my sleep is more restoring.

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


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!

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