Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia: A Comprehensive Guide

Avoid Sugar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by brad (Ontario) on 11/09/2023

Consuming any types of sugar will greatly impact your quality of sleep, regardless if its organic cane sugar or processed sugar. If you crave sweets try keto snacks like (stevia/malitol/xylitol, etc.) sweetened chocolate or make your own. Honey and pure maple syrup are considered sugars, as well, keep it to a minimum.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Eric (Mt. Airy, Maryland) on 03/07/2007

For me, its not eating a bannana before bed, rather incorporating bannanas into my diet. If I eat 1 or 2 a day I can fall asleep with no problems whatsoever.

Posted by Leah (Victoria BC) on 03/06/2006

Try eating a banana at bedtime. My stepfather suggested this when a girl he knew had a hard time sleeping after getting into drugs. I tried it & it worked!!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Kate (Atlanta, GA) on 06/27/2009

Basil has been by far the best remedy for my insomnia. I bring about 2 cups of water to a simmer, add 1/2 of a tablespoon of dried basil, turn the stove off, and let it sit, covered, for about twenty minutes. I've substituted a bruised sprig of fresh basil on occasion with the same wonderful effects. I start sipping on this tea about two hours before bed, and it knocks me out every time. I've upped the ammount of basil in the tea or the ammount of the tea I drink on occasion but the above measurements are the average ammounts that work best for me.

Bentonite Clay

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by GT (Vero Beach, Florida) on 08/24/2007

Used Medicinal grade Bentonite clay for acid reflux,works within a few sips. Get a small bottle of water put in a teaspoon of bentonite clay (PH is 9.1) shake hard so it disolves in the water and take some sips. You will notice within the second sip the acid starts to calm down. A note; People with bad acid reflux have trouble sleeping, magnesium gets depleted when acid is on overload, a few sips of bentonite clay before bed you sleep like a baby. Magnesium' has a 'calming' effect for the mind and the physical muscles. There is magnesium in bentonite clay.

Blackstrap Molasses

Posted by Audrey (London, UK) on 01/04/2015

Is black strap molasses any good for insomnia?

Replied by Janet

Hi Audrey,

I love Black strap molasses, although I find that it gives me energy, even with the calcium and magnesium. It has so many other nutrients too, and a lot of potassium. It gives my body what it needs, like a vitamin. I like to make it into a tea and I drink it in the late morning or afternoon for a pick me up.

Block Blue Light

Posted by Rachel (Newark, New Jersey) on 10/13/2012

Hi all you unwilling Night-Owls: I came across some life-saving information on the benefits of blocking the blue part of the light spectrum before bedtime. Please look at the 3 links below, since they explain this better than I can. Note that blue light is emitted from all light bulbs, and most especially florescent and energy-saver bulbs, as well as from computer monitors and TV screens. You can wear special glasses that block these blue waves for a few hours before bed time. The first link is an inexpensive book, and you can read portions of it on the Amazon site. The author claims that blocking blue-spectrum light waves before sleep also slashes cancer risk by half, since blue light waves diminish melatonin, and melatonin is cancer-protective. Keep in mind that if you suffer from Seasonal-Affective disorder, you WANT the blue light waves. However, confine the blue light waves to your DAY hours, since getting them in the night hours can ruin your sleep, and thus contribute to depression.

Also keep in mind that taking melatonin as a SUPPLEMENT, I mean in pill or capsule form, can bring on depression. So if you have a depression issue, I recommend getting your melatonin (and good sleep) by blocking blue light waves at night, instead of by taking melatonin supplements. You can find online a lot more information about all this. Pleasant dreams!

Replied by Rachel
(Newark, NJ)
Replied by Rachel
(Newark, New Jersey)

The book I mentioned is by Richard L. Hansler, titled Great Sleep! Reducd Cancer! : A Scientific Approach to Great Sleep. It's an inexpensive book, but you can read parts of it anyway on the Amazon site. Here is a press release from 2006:

Reducing the Risk of Cancer by 50 Percent Appears Possible by Blocking Blue Light in the Evening

Blind people have half the incidence of cancer, most likely because they make melatonin 9 or 10 hours a night according to a recent study at Harvard University. The body can only make melatonin when in the dark. For most people this is 6 or 7 hours a night. It's the blue component of light that causes melatonin suppression. Glasses that block blue light worn a few hours before bedtime allow melatonin to flow for 9 or 10 hours.
University Heights, OH (PRWEB) March 8, 2006

Blind people have about half the risk of cancer as people with normal vision according to a large study by the National Health Service. The most likely reason is that they produce melatonin and other secretions from the pineal gland for 9 or 10 hours a night while the rest of us only make them for 6 or 7 hours a night. Melatonin is a powerful cancer fighter, but the body only make it when in the dark. Exposing the eyes to light shuts down the pineal gland.

But there is good news. Not all colors of light cause melatonin suppression. It's only the blue rays that cause the problem. This means that blocking the blue light from entering the eye the pineal gland can continue making melatonin.

The fact that blind people only have half the rate of cancer was first discovered in the 90s and has been confirmed by more recent studies. A related study of women who consistently sleep unusually long found that the incidence of breast cancer for women who slept nine hours or more a night was only about one fourth that of women who slept 6 or 7 hours a night. A subsequent study found that women who slept unusually long made melatonin for a similarly unusually long time.

Concern about the use of light at night began when it was found that nurses who worked night shift from time to time had a higher incidence of breast cancer. Something about disrupting the circadian rhythm of the body was causing a higher risk of cancer. Studies in animals show that continuous exposure to light accelerates the rate of growth of cancerous tumors. The mechanism is thought to be the lack of melatonin.

Last fall the results of a milestone study were published. The response of human breast cancers to blood with and without pineal secretions was studied. Breast cancers grew rapidly when exposed to blood without melatonin but only very slowly when the blood contained melatonin. Dr. Blask who led the study said that "Melatonin puts the cancer to sleep at night". Unfortunately exposing the eyes to light at night wakes up the cancer and lets it grow rapidly.

Wearing glasses that block the blue light for a few hours before going to bed lets people regain the long hours of melatonin flow that is experienced by blind people. The glasses allow the yellow, orange and red light to pass through so one can read, watch television or work on a computer with no problem. Users of the glasses also report a marked improvement in sleep, which supports the idea that more melatonin is being produced. This minor change in life style could cut cancer risk in half.

Replied by Gillian
(Andalusa Spain)

Hi, will any sunglasses work or is it only a certain kind? If so where can I buy them. Thanks

Bone Broth

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Maureen (MD) on 11/13/2022

Bone Broth for Insomnia

I've posted before regarding insomnia cures, but I have a new one I'd like to share. My sleep has improved dramatically since I started taking calcium/magnesium supplements at night and increasing the amount of potassium I consume each day. I accidentally discovered another tool to add to my arsenal of sleeping enhancements, bone broth. I've been trying to lose weight and have been increasing the amount of water and other low calorie liquids I consume during the day. I decided to try bone broth since it's low calorie and I like chicken soup. I drank a cup of warmed up chicken bone broth one afternoon and shortly thereafter fell asleep on the couch. I felt like I'd been drugged but I didn't think it was caused by the bone broth. A couple of days later I drank a cup after dinner because I was still hungry, once again I fell asleep. Now I was intrigued so I started drinking a cup about a half an hour before bed. Man, I fall asleep almost instantly and have slept through the night several times (which rarely happens since I've gotten older.) I don't know if this will work for everyone but it couldn't hurt to give it a try.

Replied by GertJr

Fantastic! I usually use bones for broth that are given to me by a friend. They raise one hog and one steer every year for personal consumption and cannot use all the bones so give me a good bit of them. He also hunts, so I get turkey and venison bones as well. All natural, so I feel comfortable using them for my bone broth. Unfortunately, I have no good source for chicken bones. Even though I keep chickens, I rarely butcher them. But, this past weekend, I butchered a particularly vicious cock and he's been invited to dinner tonight. I will put those bones into my stewpot and cook them down. I am looking forward to seeing if this works for me as well. BTW, I don't think there's anything magical about bone broth, but I do feel it contains something we need in a form usable to us. Sure wish I knew what that was but, meh, as long as it works and we know how to get it, I'm good with that. Thanks for the hint.

Borage, Borax, Inversion

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Precisely (Mineral Hill, New Mexico, Usa) on 05/19/2013

Hi TrudyG and all others suffering from insomnia,

First, taking a nightly capsule of organic borage oil, regular dose, an hour before bed got me deeply asleep, deeply dreaming, and very calm/confident-feeling the next day. It does take about 3 weeks for most people to have results, although I seem to recall it was more like 10 days for me. After a while I ran out and forgot to take it, only remembered while reading here.

Next, I got an inversion table. You can set it so that you start with a relatively low angle of inversion, by tying the strap underneath--say, 20-30 degrees for at least 10 minutes. That feels like plenty to me. If your heart is lower than your feet by 17 degrees, apparently the lymph glands release and clear. Other benefits I've noticed: practically no asthma, NO INSOMNIA, back pain decreased and overall well-being increased. Not to mention, better circulation.

However I am forgetful so the latest thing I take is borax. This is actually covered in depth at

In my case, I was looking for help with my out-of-control restless legs syndrome, which, on the first day, diminished almost to nothing (now my Requip prescription of. 25 mg is more than sufficient, where before even 1mg spaced throughout the day barely controlled it. ).

Now I take the borax right before sleep, and I sleep deeply and w/o interruption for 8plus hrs. And I wake up feeling crisp! Also my asthma, which had me audibly wheezing prior to the borax, is slowly disappearing. It's also a fabulous detoxer, and is anti-microbial and perhaps also alkalining too.

At first I took the Borax in the morning, but after 3 weeks, it started to make me very sleepy so I switched to bedtime. It's very fast-acting--one minute I'm lying in bed wide awake, wondering when it's going to start knocking me out, and the next minute, I'm so deeply asleep I haven't even noticed I was getting sleepy, it's so immediate a response.

My friends who are also taking borax find that they have more energy. I MAY be feeling more energetic, but the stuff still knocks me out, so experiment on a laid-back, no-driving-etc-day to see how it affects you.

The other reason I was taking borax is that it balances the whole body's hormone, endocrine, and glandular system over time. I've been taking it now for at least 3 months. I've increased my dose to a tablespoon (from a teaspoon). Just last week it seemed to me that my post-menopausal dryness was no longer an issue. I intend to continue taking this forever.

Oh yes, another borax good result: my neighbor, 70 yrs old, fell off a horse and broke 2 ribs. Since he won't go to doctors, I gave him some borax. He says his ribs healed fast, and with much less pain than the other times they have broken.

Dosing excerpts from midway through the link at beginning of this post:

Firstly, dissolve a lightly rounded teaspoonful (5-6 grams) of borax in 1 litre of good quality water* free of chlorine and fluoride. This is your concentrated solution. Keep the bottle out of reach of small children. (* I''m using distilled water)

Standard dose = 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of concentrate. This has 25 to 30 mg of borax and provides about 3 mg of boron. Take 1 dose per day mixed with drink or food. If that feels right then take a second dose with another meal. If there is no specific health problem or as a maintenance dose you may continue indefinitely with 1 or 2 doses daily. "

(elsewhere in my reading people taking the borax-in-water cure seem to take it for 5 days, stop for 2, then start again for 5 days, off for 2 days, and so on. )

"If you do have a problem, such as arthritis, osteoporosis and related conditions, menopause, stiffness due to advancing years, and also to improve low sex hormone production, increase intake to 3 or more spaced-out standard doses for several months or longer until you feel that your problem has sufficiently improved. Then drop back to 1 or 2 doses per day. "

BTW... Trazodone HCL does work for my insomnia. At first I had to double-dose but now I can take 1/4 pill and that will also knock me out.... But why bother when borax is much safer and helps with so many cures.

Last I would like to thank Joy and Everyone about mentioning the water cure. I think adding the right salt will help w my frequent urination, thirst, and allergies. Had forgotten that histamine is a dehydration response. Beginning to wonder if I was developing diabetes. Would diabetes show up in a hair sample?

Many Blessings!


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

Posted by Tina (Croatia) on 03/16/2019

Hi, I have terrible insomnia for almost ten years and have tried almost every medicine that could help me with my problem. I only sleep one day in month and that day is one day before I get my menstruation. I suppose I have some kind of gynecological hormonal imbalance.I have tried borax solution 1/8 tsp in liter of water five days a week but it is not enough for my problem. Can I use larger dose? Is there any other medicine someone could recommend to me because I tried almost everything from this site? Thank you.

Replied by TeSa

Sleeping one day a month is impossible. You would have committed suicide already or developed a psychiatric illness. You probably remain in a first state of sleep (dosing) longer and it feels aa if you are not sleeping. Keep trying all remedies. Including pills.


TeSa, I have not slept for 2.5 years, except for some dozing. I experience hypnagogic hallucinations (this is what a sleep scientist calls it) - like dreams but more vivid & strange, & no REM is involved (so there's no rest or any of benefits of REM sleep). I know this b/c around the dozing and hyp. hall., I am either alert or aware orboth. I experience time passing. So if someone says they're not sleeping, I'd take them at their word. It's possible, of course, to think you're not when you are, but I think that's the case for ppl with difficulty sleeping, not total lack of sleep. It is definitely a possible situation & the effects are evident for us & others - in a different way to when we were having "just" difficulty sleeping, not complete insomnia.

Replied by Kerri


Try baking soda in water before bedtime. Also, some nighttime teas from T J.

Replied by bbhe


Try quitting gluten. Totally cured my insomnia. Dramatically. Now if I even get secretly fed a tiny bit of gluten, I pop awake at midnight and can't get back to sleep. Good luck and God bless.

Replied by Tina

To answer on my own question I have insomnia because of high cortisol and aldosterone levels.

Doctors didn't gave me any medicines because I don't have cushing syndrome.I know that cortisol is stress hormone but I am not stressed and I have this problem for 10 years.I tried adaptogenic herbs and they didn't work.

Can someone recommend me something to lower cortisol levels.Thank you


There is a post above yours saying that Seriphos lowers cortisol. I just read it so have not tried myself yet. Will order today.


Look for Dr. Eric Berg channel at youtube. Then search his channel for Cortisol. He has many videos on lowering Cortisol.

Posted by Leelannee (Sussex, Nj) on 09/08/2009

I read about using 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of borax in water for various health issues, although not insomnia specifically. I decided to try it, and right away noticed that I was able to fall asleep easily and sleep through the night better. I've had insomnia & nightmares for years & have tried many natural supplements & remedies. I'm often tired but don't feel sleepy...after so many years of insomnia, I LOVE that delicious sleepy feeling! Magnesium has worked ok for me but gets expensive & sometimes I'd be awake for an hour or more after sleeping for just a few minutes. Perhaps the borax is detoxifying flouride or something from my body, or killing off a fungus that was affecting my health. However, I've skipped the borax twice in the last few weeks and had a horrible time that same night. I've read that boron helps you absorb calcium better, and calcium helps you relax and sleep, so maybe that's why it's helping me. In the morning I prepare a liter bottle with 1/4 teaspoon borax and sip it throughout the day. Even if I finish it in the early afternoon or drink the whole bottle an hour before bed, it seems to work.

EC: More about borax here.

Replied by Linda
(York County, Maine)

Leelannee-any idea if this could by employed for a toddler? My granddaughter is 17 months old and is waking up during the night; since her crib rail has been removed, she crawls out of bed and sometimes is awake for an hour or more....this has been happening since the rail was removed and she started sleeping in her 'big girl bed'....part of it could be simply because she knows she CAN get out of bed - it's been happening for a month, or more, and her parents are pretty sleepy much of the time!!

Replied by Roy
(Ocala, Florida)

We solved the problem of baby falling over the top crib rail by taking (sawing) one slat out of one side at the end of the crib. The baby found his way out, but it was a little bit tight, so he stayed in at night.

Replied by Leelannee
(Sussex, Nj)

Linda: Sorry, I don't know about recommending this for a small child. I use such a small amount, and I imagine a child would need only a fraction of that; but her sleeplessness could be caused by something totally different than mine, or something in her diet. When my son was little, I used homeopathic remedies (rather than herbs or supplements) because they are usually very safe.

Replied by Janice
(Coloma, Mi)

Leelannee, were you having problems sleeping and having nightmares due to anxiety? I just wondered if this relaxed you overall.

Replied by Leelannee
(Sussex, Nj)

I really have no idea what causes the nightmares--I guess it's stress or a nutritional deficiency, but these probably vary over time. The nightmares became worse for a couple of years after my boyfriend died in 2006, but I've had them and/or the sleeplessness for at least a decade...then sometimes I'll sleep better for a while, but I have no idea why. I also have bi-polar disorder, and sometimes would barely sleep for 3 days during a manic episode; however, I haven't had a severe episode in almost 3 years, since being on medication.

Replied by Quixote
(Las Vegas, NV)

maybe you need some vitamin B-1-it helps with nightmares but you should also take a balanced Vitamin B complex so you dont cause an imbalance-usually about 20 miligrams handles it for me.

Replied by Lucinda
(London, On, Canada)

Re: Nightmares, sleeplessness. In the book, FOOD AND THE GUT REACTION, page 11 tells us that milk/dairy products can cause terrible nightmares or night terrors. This was the case with our son, as a teenager. A chance conversation alerted us to this information, and his nightmares stopped immediately. Good luck.

Replied by Leelannee
(Sussex, Nj)

Ugh, I feel like such a dummy for forgetting why I was taking borax! I go through phases of trying new supplements & remedies, and eventually either run out or can't remember why I was taking them, and stop... Good thing I tend to share my experiences on the internet, because every now and then I look up remedies and end up stumbling across MY OWN advice that I posted a few years ago!!! Lol!!!

I actually came to EC to post about a new remedy I've discovered for nightmares (**below if you just want to skip to that), but I'm still having trouble falling asleep. My commute + workday is often 10-13 hours, and it's very stressful when I can only get about 4 hours of sleep! I will start taking borax again TODAY!

I have diabetes (possibly for years before I found out 2 years ago, because my labs were mis-filed at my doctor's office), and have been doing quite a bit of reading on nutrition & hormones. One day various bits of information just sort of clicked together and I came up with an idea that maybe you don't wake up just because you've had a nightmare, but that your brain manufactures the nightmare IN ORDER to wake you up--when your blood sugar gets low, or if you're having muscle cramps, or maybe even just to go to the bathroom!

When you haven't eaten for several hours and your blood sugar starts to get low, your liver will "dump" stored glycogen. In order to do that, cortisol must be released. Cortisol is supposed to be low at night and rise slowly around dawn until it wakes you up. Cortisol is also released when you feel threatened or frightened, and nightmares usually make you feel that way. So my hypothesis was: your body needs cortisol in order to wake you up (so you can eat) and/or to force the liver to release glycogen. The best way to do that is to make you have a nightmare.

I started looking up information and was led to some forums that discuss childhood diabetes and glycogen storage disease. Some of these children will fall into a coma or die if their blood sugar gets too low, and their parents have to wake them several times a night to test their blood sugar and feed them. Corn starch is widely used to help these children make it through the night because it is digested very, very slowly and releases glucose steadily for 5-8 hours. Many parents also reported that their children had nightmares caused by low blood sugar, and that the nightmares ceased when blood sugar was stabilized.

So that same night I started taking:

**Raw cornstarch.
I take 2-3tbsp mixed into cold water right before bed, and don't have nightmares at all!

But it won't work if you cook it; the starch molecules change, and it will cause a blood sugar spike. You can tell if it has "changed" because it will thicken. So don't mix it into warm drinks (such as cocoa) or anything with lemon--lemon also makes it thicken.

If you don't like the cornstarch in water, you could try mixing it into something else cold, like milk, yogurt, or a protein shake. There is also a product that you can find if you do an internet search for "blood sugar crisps" if you need something more convenient, or easier for a kid to eat.

Replied by Timh
(Ky, Usa)
2073 posts

@Leelannee: Thanx for the remedy post. Your logic seems accurate, but you didn't inform us as to type 1 or 2 diabetes and anything else that might be helping. Let us know how the Borax goes.

Replied by Leelannee
(Sussex, Nj)

Timh--In my post yesterday, I mentioned diabetes only because that's how I came across some of this information, but I hope I didn't imply that this remedy could only be used by diabetics. Even non-diabetics can experience low blood sugar at some point during the sleep cycle, and may have nightmares as a result.

I have Type 2 diabetes, but I learned the "raw cornstarch trick" from people with Type 1.

Also, I double-checked my internet search suggestion and it doesn't bring up what I intended; "blood sugar nutrition crisps" works better!

Posted by Leelannee (Sussex, Nj) on 09/08/2009

I read about using 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of borax in water for various health issues, although not insomnia specifically. I decided to try it, and right away noticed that I was able to fall asleep easily and sleep through the night better. I've had insomnia & nightmares for years & have tried many natural supplements & remedies. I'm often tired but don't feel sleepy...after so many years of insomnia, I LOVE that delicious sleepy feeling! Magnesium has worked ok for me but gets expensive & sometimes I'd be awake for an hour or more after sleeping for just a few minutes. Perhaps the borax is detoxifying flouride or something from my body, or killing off a fungus that was affecting my health. However, I've skipped the borax twice in the last few weeks and had a horrible time that same night. I've read that boron helps you absorb calcium better, and calcium helps you relax and sleep, so maybe that's why it's helping me. In the morning I prepare a liter bottle with 1/4 teaspoon borax and sip it throughout the day. Even if I finish it in the early afternoon or drink the whole bottle an hour before bed, it seems to work

Breathing Exercises

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mary Lee (Coaldale, Colorado) on 08/31/2017

I've been doing deep breathing exercises with Dr. Andrew Weil and they have given me the rest I need. They have also helped with my blood pressure, my atrial fibulation, and my moods. You can get his tape just about anywhere. He's amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And so are his instructions for breathing.

Brewer's Yeast

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Candy (Stuart, FL) on 06/15/2022

I started using Brewer's Yeast (Nutritional Yeast) about 30+ years ago. I have discovered over the years how it has cured the worst diarrhea and vaginal candida. Since 2016 I started taking it not as a solution to a problem but an almost daily supplement and have amazing results. I sleep so well when I take it regularly. Cures all types of insomnia. I also have been taking it to keep me healthy. I have not had a cold for years and I was using it while working in the classroom. If I forget to take it I have gotten sick over the years but I have learned to take it right away when I am coming down with something and it helps amazingly.

I use 2 heaping tablespoons in a small cup of warm water. (tastes the best). Make sure you stir it and taken best like a "shot". I really don't mind it. I look at it as feeding the health gut bacteria that works for me.

Replied by Viji
(Bangalore, India)

Is this Brewer's yeast (slightly bitter) or Nutritional yeast (Nutty/Cheesy tasting)?
There seem to be two different things and I am not sure which one would help.
Thank you


3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Connie (Utah) on 03/16/2022

Agree on Calcium as top sleep aid. I believe I've tried it all, including medications, but especially nutrition.

It seems obvious now, but I'd always tried calcium with other supplements.

I've gone so long with this deficiency, that I need calcium chelate without co-factors. It's something genetic because family members had other signs, such as heart arrhythmias, anxiety, so on. I'm taking a lot so I think it's an individualized thing.

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