Melatonin’s primary function is helping to keep our circadian rhythms - or body clocks – in check. When those clocks get out of whack, insomnia is a common result. Natural sleep aids that include melatonin have been effective in managing the symptoms of insomnia providing healthy, natural sleep at night.
There are no major side effects that have been proven to be caused by taking melatonin; most people barely notice its’ effects, except when it's time to sleep, and drifting off is much easier to do. Additionally, sleep is much more rejuvenating when taking melatonin and people frequently remark on how much more refreshed they feel upon waking. It is a very safe and effective way to get a handle on insomnia and to begin sleeping healthily again.
In herbal medicine, chamomile has long been taken for its’ mild sedative properties. Some research indicates that apigenin (an antioxidant compound found in chamomile) may produce a sedative effect by affecting certain brain chemicals involved in regulating sleep.
Although evidence for the possibly sleep-promoting effects of chamomile is very limited, some preliminary studies have shown that the herb may help induce sleepiness. For instance, In a study published in the Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin in 2005, tests on sleep-disturbed rats demonstrated that treatment with chamomile extract helped decrease the time it took for the animals to fall asleep.
Passion Flower Extract:
Passion Flower is a reliable herbal sedative. Many pharmacological investigations confirm the sedative effects of Passion Flower, and the short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality; additional studies also show antianxiety effects.
From some of the studies also anti-anxiety effects can be deduced. Based on clinical data, the experiences of traditional use, and its use in combination with other herbs, Passion Flower extracts are an important factor in the phytotherapy of tenseness, restlessness, and irritability with difficulty in falling asleep.
L-Theanine is an amino acid that is derived from green tea and has a wide variety of different properties; the key among these properties is an anti-anxiety feature. The main function of l Theanine is to inhibit certain neurotransmitters to reduce anxiety and increase dopamine levels. The anti-anxiety effects of L-Theanine translate well into nighttime use as well. Simply being calmer and less high-strung in the evening helps you get to sleep faster.
A study was performed in Japan on 22 men, about half were daytime workers and the other half were students. The group was given a placebo before sleep for six days and then L-Theanine after that. When the study concluded, 70% of the participants reported more sleep efficiency, a better mood before sleep, and fewer nightmares after taking the L-Theanine. This is all without the morning drowsiness that can accompany other sleep aids.