closed eyelidSo last time, we looked at why sleep is so important, which naturally raises the question: How can we get more of it – or get better sleep than we’re getting now?

For the sad fact is that most of us are constantly, chronically sleep-deprived – and we’ve all heard the reasons why: work demands, overscheduled lives, tablets and smartphones, chronic stress, and the like.

And we’ve heard the usual tips: go to bed at the same time every night; no electronics in the bedroom; no eating after 8pm; no caffeine at night.

Of course, there are the usual natural remedies you can try, many of which work very well. These include “sleepy” teas with ingredients such as valerian root, lemon grass, passionflower, and other botanicals known to help with relaxation and sleep. Others prefer using essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and marjoram. Melatonin supplements likewise help a lot of people and are readily available in most drug and grocery stores, as well as online.

But here are a few remedies and supplements that you may not have heard of and may want to try out to help you get a good night’s sleep. Note, though, that some of these are available only through health professionals. You can ask your local biological dentist or integrative physician about getting these supplements.

  1. Glysom
    This is an amino acid supplement (glycine) that, according to its producer, helps induce sleep by resetting your body’s internal clock, signalling the body to relax. Glycine is something your body naturally produces, and is not only an important structural component of proteins and enzymes but also functions as a neurotransmitter. You can just drop a packet of the powder directly on your tongue and let it dissolve. (It tastes vaguely lemony.) Or you can dissolve it in water to sip before bedtime. You can buy this supplement directly online.

  2. Hypothalmapath
    This compound homeopathic from energetix is terrific for encouraging a deeper sleep. Some patients who have used it say that they actually started dreaming more after starting this remedy, which is designed to address symptoms related to the endocrine and nervous symptoms. Communication between these two vital systems is accomplished by the hypothalamus via the pituitary gland (hence, the name). A half dropper before sleep is plenty.

  3. GABA Plus
    There are several different products by this name produced by different companies, each with slightly different ingredients but all designed to support sleep – mainly through GABA, which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. The blend we prefer is from ProThera, which also includes glycine, taurine (another amino acid), and inositol. The amino acids both support the calming effect, while inositol – a secondary messenger (a signalling molecule that triggers physiological changes) – is said to balance mood and stabilze emotions. Unlike the two remedies above, GABA plus is meant to be taken during the day between meals, swallowed in capsule form.

  4. HTP-5
    Again, there are many brands of HTP-5 available, but we favor the formulation from ProThera. HTP-5 is a safe, natural alternative to the amino acid tryptophan – that amino acid notorious for making you sleepy after your traditional Thanksgiving dinner. (This is a bit of myth, but it persists.). For tryptophan helps form serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter that’s also involved in melatonin production. ProThera’s HTP-5 comes in capsule form, with one to two capsules daily being the general recommendation.

  5. TheraSleep
    Also by ProThera, this herbal supplement contains hops, passionflower, and chamomile – all excellent botanicals for sleep support. One or two capsules may be taken about an hour before you want to fall asleep.

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