Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep Better

Having trouble sleeping? Here are some tips on how to nod off naturally.
ByDiana Quinn, ND
Naturopathic Physician
April 14, 2017
Hero Image

Between fluctuating hormones and at least one nightly trip to the bathroom, it’s hard to log a good eight hours or so of sleep—especially late in pregnancy. So what are some good drug-free ways to help ensure quality pillow time? Start by shoring up what sleep experts call your “sleep hygiene.”

Begin by establishing good habits, getting yourself to bed at a reasonable hour (ideally before 11 p.m.) as often as possible. Keep the lights dim in your room (turn off lamps, clocks and other electronics), because light can also interfere with your sleep cycle. Avoid getting on the computer or watching the news before bed, since you’ll want to enter dreamland thinking of pleasant things, not stressful ones. And finally, make sure you’re getting enough natural light during the day (at least 20 minutes) to help regulate melatonin levels; the hormone can influence your sleep/wake cycles.
Still not snoozing? Start with a cup of herbal tea an hour or so before bed (favorites for inducing sleep include chamomile, catnip and oatstraw). You can find these herbs already made into teas at many health-food stores. Try having it with a light, high-protein snack like a slice of turkey or a handful of nuts, which takes a while to digest and can help keep glycemic levels steady (so you don’t wake up starving at 5 a.m.). Magnesium supplements may also be helpful, since the mineral is known to alleviate muscle pain (something that may be interfering with your sleep as you cope with your ever-growing tummy). Just ask your doctor about the right dosage for you, since too much magnesium can cause diarrhea. You can also consider the amino acid L-theanine, which is known for helping to safely moderate nighttime cortisol levels. Finally, check with your doctor if you are considering taking a melatonin supplement—it’s highly touted for its role in regulating sleep cycles, but there are conflicting opinions (and not a lot of good clinical evidence) about how safe it is when you’re sleeping for two.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Related Video
Pregnant woman doing yoga at home.

The Best Prenatal Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

profile picture of Rachel Mitchell
Rachel Mitchell
Maternity and Pediatric Sleep Specialist
pregnant woman sitting in her bed

How to Sleep Safely While Pregnant

profile picture of Celia Shatzman
Celia Shatzman
Contributing Writer

Here's What Happens to Baby When You Sleep on Your Back During Pregnancy

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
counting sheep at night because hard time sleeping

Hard Time Sleeping While Pregnant? Try These 5 Tips

profile picture of Conner Herman and Kira Ryan
Conner Herman and Kira Ryan
Dream Team Baby Sleep Consultants

Foods to Help You Sleep?

profile picture of Melinda Johnson, RD
Melinda Johnson, RD

Trouble Sleeping During Pregnancy

profile picture of Maria Kammerer
Maria Kammerer
Certified Nurse-Midwife
Article removed.