4 Natural Sleep Solutions That Work

4 Natural Sleep Solutions That Work

There are so many sleep fixes out there that you could actually lose sleep (and some hard earned cash) trying many that just don’t work. From lavender pillows to noise machines getting you into rapid eye movement (REM), known as deep sleep, could be more difficult than just outside fixes. Although atmospheric adjustments are essential, sometimes it is the internal sleep struggle that could be the reason you are tossing and turning or staring at the ceiling all night.

According to scientific and observational studies, these 4 natural sleep solutions that work, may help. Check with your physician or naturopathic doctor and then try these alternative remedies to get you sleeping through the night for better health and a higher quality of life.

According to Saul Rothenberg, PhD, a psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist at Northwell Health’s Sleep Disorders Center,

“[Sleep] is one of the most fundamental things you have control over to promote health and well-being…If you use an alarm clock to wake up, you’re not finished sleeping…Sleep is a habit. Whether it works well or not, it becomes self-perpetuating, If you have a problem sleeping, then not sleeping is going to become a stronger and stronger habit. But if you start sleeping well, then that becomes a habit, and you are protected from the ups and downs in life.”

Amino Acid Duo

Supporting your own biology may be key to helping you achieve optimal sleep. L-theanine and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) are two amino acids few know about. Yet, research shows how these unassuming compounds may be a dynamic duo that gets you slumbering before you know it. 

Medical News Today explains the role of L-Theanine,

“L-theanine is an amino acid. The human body does not produce this compound, and it is not essential for humans. Green tea, black tea, and certain types of mushroom naturally contain L-theanine. L-theanine may affect the levels of certain chemicals in the brain. These include serotonin and dopamine, which influence mood, sleep, and emotion, and cortisol, which helps the body deal with stress.”

Psychology Today explains the role of GABA,

“Gamma-Aminobutyric acid is an amino acid produced naturally in the brain. GABA functions as a neurotransmitter, facilitating communication among brain cells. GABA’s big role in the body is to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, which in turn has a broad range of effects on the body and mind, including increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and a boost to sleep.”

It has been found that by combining L-theanine and GABA, sleep cycles could be beneficially affected. In a study by Pharmaceutical Biology (2/1/19), it was concluded that,

“GABA/l-theanine mixture has a positive synergistic effect on sleep quality and duration as compared to the GABA or l-theanine alone. The increase in GABA receptor and GluN1 expression is attributed to the potential neuromodulatory properties of GABA/l-theanine combination, which seems to affect sleep behaviour.”

Weigh In

Physical influences can significantly affect your sleep. Couples that sleep in the same bed can have an advantage over single sleepers when it comes to physical comfort. Holding and cuddling can be essential to feeling safe and calm which reduces stress associated with sleeplessness. Using a weighted blanket may be just the thing you need to help your body feel secure enough so tossing and turning anxieties fall to the wayside. 

Harvard Medical School describes the weighted blanket, 

“These blankets look like regular blankets, but they’re filled with plastic beads or pellets to make them heavier. They typically weigh from 3 pounds to upwards of 20 pounds…The blankets are supposed to work much the same way tight swaddling helps newborns feel snug and secure so they can doze off more quickly. The blanket basically simulates a comforting hug, in theory helping to calm and settle the nervous system. Companies that sell the blankets typically recommend that you buy one that weighs approximately 10% of your body weight, which would mean a 15-pound blanket for a 150-pound person.”

WebMD reported that,

“Researchers have looked at how the blankets affect mental health patients. A study from 2015 found that after 32 adults used a 30-pound blanket, 63% reported lower anxiety and 78% preferred the weighted blanket to calm down.”

According to Raj Dasgupta, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California and a spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 

“It’s like having the best hug for a long period of time, and it may be a good alternative to life-long sedative hypnotic medications (sleeping pills) at night.”


Recognizing all the factors that may be contributing to your sleep compromise just may actually help you finally get through the night. CBT (sometimes called CBT-I) is cognitive behavioral therapy, which the National Sleep Foundation supports as a valid treatment for insomnia. In fact, it is recommended as the first effort to improve sleep before pharmaceutical intervention. 

The Mayo Clinic describes CBT, 

“Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is a structured program that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems.”

Under the care of a physician or sleep therapist trained in CBT, there are several techniques that may be applied which could include,

  • Stimulus control therapy – Helps remove factors that condition your mind to resist sleep. 
  • Sleep restriction – Reduces the time you spend in bed, causing partial sleep deprivation, which makes you more tired the next night. Once your sleep has improved, your time in bed is gradually increased.
  • Sleep hygiene – Involves changing basic lifestyle habits that influence sleep, such as smoking or drinking too much caffeine late in the day, drinking too much alcohol, or not getting regular exercise. 
  • Sleep environment improvement – Creates a comfortable sleep environment, such as keeping your bedroom quiet, dark and cool, not having a TV in the bedroom, and hiding the clock from view.
  • Relaxation training – Helps calm your mind and body through meditation, imagery, muscle relaxation and others.
  • Remaining passively awake – Also called paradoxical intention, this involves avoiding any effort to fall asleep. Paradoxically, worrying that you can’t sleep can actually keep you awake. Letting go of this worry can help you relax and make it easier to fall asleep.
  • Biofeedback – Allows you to observe biological signs such as heart rate and muscle tension and shows you how to adjust them. Your sleep specialist may have you take a biofeedback device home to record your daily patterns. This information can help identify patterns that affect sleep.

These 4 natural sleep solutions that work have a proven track record. See if you might be able to join the many, former sleep sufferers once and for all.