Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by Lisa (Southern California, US) on 03/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Niacinamide, which is vitamin B3, will make you very sleepy. I have trouble getting to sleep due to menopause. I take 1000 mg of nicacinamide 1 hour before bed with about two small bites of food. Don't take regular niacin as it produces a flush to your skin and has other side effects. Niacinamide does NOT have these side effects or make you flush. It might be better to start at 1 pill which is 500 mg. One side effect is it may lower your cholesterol.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Alan (Mexico) on 03/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

You should all try apple cider vinegar with honey and camomila tea hot when you are already in bed. Make three camomila tea bags or four.

Plus take a 250mg of magnesium plus a calcium citrate pill that should contain vit d-3 plus one l-taurine 500 ml capsule. Have a nice sleep!

Copper and Zinc
Posted by Gabass (Atlanta) on 02/24/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I read that hypnic jerks are caused by a copper deficiency. I am currently taking a combination capsule of copper and zinc twice a day. I must say by the third day they have stopped.

Posted by Raphael (Boston, Us) on 01/29/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I took care of anxiety, racing mind, depression and hot flush by taking Vitamin D3 with Omega3 4000IU - 8000IU, plus Vitamin E 1000IU... the only thing not yet fixed is insomnia, I sleep about 3 -4 hrs, always wake up 3-4 am in the morning and then cannot get back to asleep, I also need Melatonin to help me get to sleep when I get to sleeping time.

I found after I took CoQ10 100-200 mg my sleeplessness can be taken care of and now I wake up in the middle of night, go to bathroom, and then I can get asleep in about 5-10 mins. and I have a total of 7 hrs sleep average.

Posted by Janet (Anonymous) on 01/06/2015

I can't use melatonin, it triggers migraines. Maybe I'll do the tryp in that way, small dose an hour before the main dose. Thanks

Posted by Art (California ) on 01/05/2015 1677 posts

Tryptophan is metabolized into melatonin. I have taken melatonin as a sleep aid and it has helped, but the effect is not always lasting so I have gotten in the habit of taking one capsule about two hours before I plan to go to bed and then one more capsule an hour later and then one capsule at bedtime. It is harder to take this way than just three capsules at bedtime, but it seems more effective for me this way because I am quite drowsy by the time I go to bed and I sleep without waking, unless I have to go the bathroom, but I fall right back to sleep after the bathroom.

I imagine that taking it this way would be similar to timed release melatonin, but I have tried timed release melatonin and it didn't work as well as taking the melatonin as above in a one, two, three fashion.

I've never tried it with tryptophan, so I don't know if it would work the same.

I only use this method when I know I want or need to get a good night's rest and it has been fairly reliable toward that end.


Posted by Janet (Jefferson, Mo) on 01/05/2015
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

I have chronic insomnia--can't get to sleep or stay asleep. I have tried everything. The latest is l-tryptophan. I took 3 capsules w/ a magnesium tablet and slept so very well. Woke up several times, felt like I was floating in a cloud, very relaxed. Next night, took same combo and slept but not as well. Night number 3 it was hours before I fell asleep and then I woke up very early and couldn't drift back off. I feel I'm on the right track here, but how do I tweak it a bit? If I could get back to that first night's reaction, I would call it fantastic and just do that forever.

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

Is black strap molasses any good for insomnia?

Eliminating Wheat
Posted by Carrie (Livonia, Mi) on 12/31/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Since giving up wheat my insomnia has completely subsided. I'm not fully gluten free, just giving up wheat has made an incredible difference in my quality of sleep and life!

Posted by Carrie (Livonia, Mi) on 12/31/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I have been trying to find a solution to my persistent insomnia and heart burn. Since giving up wheat both have completely subsided. After years of otc and struggling to find a solution I am so relieved to be sleeping like I did when I was a child (41 years young now).

Posted by Helen (Houston, TX, USA) on 10/01/2014
1 out of 5 stars

I tried L-Tryptophan several nights, thought one of the other substances was what kept me alert-awake. (I was taking several things at once - B3, herbs, etc, in desperate effort to get some sleep! Bad idea for figuring what is causing a worse problem instead of helping) I was having strange feelings in my chest which I now know to be heart palpitations.

Thinking no sleep meant I wasn't taking enough L-Triptophan (and that one of the other tools was causing the strange chest thumps), I upped from 500 mg to 1000 mg (2 pills) and took only L-Tryptophan (to eliminating, I thought, whatever was causing the chest spasms). But an hour after I got to bed wow was my heartbeat crazy! Like my whole chest was throbbing! Felt like a superslow beat 5 times the usual strength, but wrist pulse revealed a weak pulse beat in between the super big ones, so the rate was normal but the strength unusual. Really scary to have a resting heartbeat that intrudes on your awareness! Got up and searched for the half life - 1-2 hours. That was reassuring. An hour later my heartbeat was still too strong but far less so. (Food based L-Triptophan has a 10-12 hour half life because it's bound to protein; the pure supplement has a short half life.)

BTW, L-Triptophan supplement wearing off fast means it might be good for helping some people get to sleep but not keeping them asleep.

ACV, Baking Soda and Cayenne
Posted by Myra (Oc, CA) on 08/11/2014

Dear butterfly, I think you are experiencing candida kill. Look up candida in earthclinic. Fortify your system by taking the supplements recommended to help during the candida kill process. I too have candida and am reading and following the recommended process. God bless you and keep you!

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 08/06/2014

Dear Trudyg,

One of my daughters had a sleep study done when she was 9 months old. (She had sleep apnea.) They measured vitals all night. They measured brain activity. I think they can tell what stage of sleep you are in. She slept fine through it.

It is not uncomfortable, but you do have wires and stuff on your head, pulse-ox meter on your finger, something monitoring your heart...for someone who has a hard time sleeping, it may be hard to get to sleep in that setting.

That said, a sleep study might give you a clue as to what is going on. Knowing the cause might make a solution easier to find.

Let us know what you find out!

~Mama to Many~

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Trudyg (Al) on 08/06/2014

I've tried everything on EC for my insomnia, nothing works. My question--dr wants me to do a sleep study. What will this tell me? I don't snore, am not overweight, DH tells me I don't have issues w/ stopping breathing at night. I've been taking 1/2 a 5 mg ambien for some time now and desparately want to quit. What if I go & do the study and they tell me, yep, you don't sleep. Nothing we can do for you? I've never slept well, but it's so much worse after menopause--no hot flashes or other symptoms, just no sleep.

Hypnic Jerks
Posted by Hayley (Washington State) on 07/29/2014

I've had severe hypnic jerks at least 6 nights a week for close to 8 or more years that disrupted my sleep to no end. Even when I could sleep, I couldn't because the jerks kept me from falling asleep. I've spend hours researching the underlying cause to no end. Magnesium oil helped to a limited to degree, but that's about it until I read a few comments about Benadryl causing hypnic jerks. After reading this, I researched it, and found it's true so I went off it--I had been taking it on a daily basis for allergies and migraine headaches for years. Since I went off the Benadryl, I've had 3 hypnic jerks in the nine nights I've been off it.

I'm convinced hypnic jerks are a side-effect of a lot of meds, and would urge anyone suffering from them to google everything they take with the word 'myoclonus' to see if it's a side-effect. If it is, and you're able to go off the med, your jerks should settle down as mine did.

Posted by Jessica (Melbourne, Australia) on 07/15/2014

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

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 07/09/2014

Gertie, read up on magnesium for insomnia.

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by KT (Usa) on 07/08/2014

Dear Karin I think you hit the nail on the head describing a racing mind---now I can justify mentioning the MSG factor. MSG is a nerve stimulant. All foods contains some source of MSG. Many sources are hidden under names you would never suspect.

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by Karin (New York City, New York) on 07/08/2014

Sorry to hear people are suffering with this. Have you tried deep breathing and meditating at night before you go to sleep? The idea is to get into your right brain which will deeply relax you. It's very difficult to do when your mind is racing, but the more you practice, the easier it gets. You need to give it 20 - 30 minutes. Eventually the brain recircuits itself and sleep gets easier. I also know a few women who feel hormone balancing herbal formulas helped a racing mind!

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by Gertie (Va) on 07/08/2014

I have tried lavender essential oil and EFT. Neither worked for my insomnia.

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by KT (Usa) on 07/08/2014

Based on observing my husband, I think eating too much too late contributes to insomnia.

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by Kathy (L A, US) on 07/07/2014

Two things you might want to try for insomnia. Lavender essential oil, it's very relaxing and calming. Next, try a process called EFT. Sleep well!

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by Timh (KY) on 07/08/2014 2072 posts

I recently read an article stating that liver disease is often associated w/ insomnia, and I can make a personal testament of that correlation in my life. Other diseases like hormonal disturbances, chronic infections, etc are also common causes of insomnia.

I think it fair to assume that a majority of insomnia cases are simply a side effect of some other primary disease.

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by Gertieg (Al) on 07/07/2014

Me, too! I've tried everything and nothing works. Most supplements give me diarrhea. I just read online about a 'sleep switch' that Oxford Univ. has/is studying--says there is an exercise one can do to 'turn off' the wakefulness. I wish!

Insomnia Treatment Centers
Posted by Shannon (Bangkok, Thailand) on 07/06/2014

Hi, I really need a place to go to help with my insomnia. I have had this for over 18yrs or so and basicly just can't sleep. I hab=ve found some good information on the site but I feel like I need some direction. I am in Bangkok, is there a brick and mortar place I can come to? Thanks so much

Sodium Bentonite Clay
Posted by Gertie (Al) on 06/26/2014

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 Bentonite Clay
Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 06/26/2014

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!

Sodium Bentonite Clay
Posted by Rsw (Uniontown, Oh) on 06/25/2014
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.

Sodium Bentonite Clay
Posted by Gertie (Al) on 06/25/2014

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?

Sodium Bentonite Clay
Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 06/25/2014

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.

Sodium Bentonite Clay
Posted by Rick (Wayne) on 06/24/2014

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!

Sodium Bentonite Clay
Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 06/24/2014

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.

Sodium Bentonite Clay
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?

Posted by Timh (KY) on 06/17/2014 2072 posts

Casey: The arial parts seem to be the most beneficial.

Posted by Casey (Montebello, Ca) on 06/15/2014

Pleae, Timh, be so kind as to tell us the part of scullcap that is effective for the desired effects. Is it the root, or the arial part (flowers and leaves)? Thank you in advance for the clarification. I think many of our readers are wondering about the same question. I have severe insomnia. Thank you again.

Posted by Timh (KY) on 06/15/2014 2072 posts

Skullcap is also strong anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant, which may be contributable to the varied beneficial effects reported.

Posted by Penelope (Ojai, California) on 06/14/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Skullcap tea for Hyperthyroid, insomnia, nervous tension

Skullcap tea will immediately calm you down, slow down your nervous system. I have to be careful with how much of this tea I drink because of how fast it works and how effective. I want to go to sleep right after I drink it, so be sure to pace yourselves. Works like nothing else for this - a true miracle! A miracle for insomnia, hyperthyroid, and anxiety problems!

Posted by Ava (Seattle, Washington) on 06/12/2014
5 out of 5 stars

YES! Skullcap TOTALLY works! I've been drinking the tea form of it and it's just incredible! Like natural Valium! Rooibos is another good relaxing tea but Skullcap is a much stronger sleep aid. I just fall asleep practically immediately after drinking it! It's a must try for insomniacs!

Electrical Devices
Posted by Ann (Brevard, N.c.) on 06/03/2014

Insomniacs need to try moving the head of their bed 1-2 ft. from the wall since electrical wiring in the walls emanate electrical fields that affect our brains/body. google: Electromagnetic Sensitivity for increasingly more info. The increase of cell phones, cell towers, computers, cordless phones, smart meters, etc. etc. is making our world population sick and sicker with time and most people aren't aware of the cause. a great site: ElectricSense (Lloyd Burrell in France) is loaded with knowledgeable blogs. This is nothing to ignore as I almost died from it 3 years ago before becoming aware. Let me know any questions out there. (Sweden so far is the only country that's determined ES (electric sensitivity) a disability , but all other countries are being controlled by the high tech and utility company big boys - it's all about money.)

Posted by Les (Atlanta, Ga) on 05/12/2014
5 out of 5 stars

This supplement combination has been helping me sleep better at night. The article I got it from stated it was as effective as taking Ambien (but without the side effects.)

5mg melatonin
11.25 mg zinc
225 mg magnesium

Take 1 hour before bedtime.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Shino (Nelson) on 04/24/2014

Hi, this thread might have ended a while ago, but since noone has mentioned my suggestion in this detailed discussion I thought I'd add it! I wonder if you managed to cure your insomnia; I have had it for a long time due to depression, tried at least half of the things that you mentioned on your initial post plus some. I found that tart cherry juice (high in melatonin) and magnesium tablets, as well as an epsom salt bath from time to time would help me to relax before bed, however the suggestion that I wanted to add is different to those. It helped me to get to sleep very quickly and sustain a solid 8-hour sleep. It is simply to make the room pitch-black (not even a crack of light from under the door, or from digital displays, or greyness through curtains) or to wear an eye mask that achieves total blackness, as well as to wear ear plugs. The science behind this is that the eyelids are the thinnest skin area on the body and very sensitive to any minute amount of light which can signal the body to wake up. In modern times, we may not be sleeping in the pitch darkness that our bodies were designed for. Ears...I can't remember the science for it, but I found that the earplugs blocked out sounds which I had not been aware that I was hearing while trying to sleep, and created a sort of sound-free nest, and this seemed to also help calm my thoughts into sleep. Lately I just wear one ear plug. Anyway, there is no fear of this interfering with food sensitivities, so thought it might especially be worth mentioning here. It worked very well for me, breaking years of severe insomnia and broken sleep - so that I actually slept enough that I could wake up feeling refreshed rather than sluggish. Hope this helps!

Magnesium Citrate
Posted by Jo (Nm) on 04/16/2014

Mg glycinate is least likely to cause diarrhea. I adjust the amt I take. Need at least 800 mg for restless leg and charley horse. Sometimes need another 400. If I get bound up, I switch to mg citrate. My husband takes the citrate, at least 1200 mg because his meds cause extreme constipation. Took Clark's for many years, and am thinking of finding it again.

Lavender Oil
Posted by Jo (Nm) on 04/16/2014

The last distillation of lavender produces a "water". There is term for it which I have forgotten. We found it in CA, but anyone distilling the plant should have it. Sprayed on the face and pillow, it induces sleep. Gentle enough for the babies, and tho fragrant, does not have the intense scent of the oil. Works as well as warm milk or chamomile, but not well enough to overcome the intense pain of neuropathy.

Posted by Gabrielle (Los Angeles, Ca) on 04/16/2014

Magnesium Chloride, liquid form 2 teaspoons 3 X a day. Magnesium Glycinate (tablets), and liquid Magnesium Citrate all have been very effective for me in helping me relax and having a good, sound night's sleep.

Posted by KT (Usa) on 04/11/2014

Compelled to provide this warning: according to a nutrition almanac, high levels of magnesium can cause skeletal paralysis, respiratory depression, coma and death. Magnesium is generally well tolerated but there are exceptions and when in doubt, a physician should be consulted. Sometimes less is better.

Posted by Tim (Chicago, Illinois) on 04/10/2014

Liquid forms of magnesium chloride or magnesium citrate are great, and there is also a pill form of Magnesium Glycinate that's also very effective. Magnesium definitely helps to cure insomnia, that's for sure! Best, too, if you take small doses throughout the day, not just at night when you want to go to sleep. Take it throughout the day so it can build up in your system. A lot of times people (and people in general) with insomnia are deficient in magnesium.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Tim (Chicago, Illinois) on 04/10/2014
1 out of 5 stars

Unfortunately coconut oil made me extremely jittery with heart racing.