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Clinically validated natural insomnia remedies

We're big fans of natural insomnia treatments, but there are a lot of snake oil merchants out there hoping to take advantage of our sleep deprived desperation.

We've therefore decided to highlight a few natural insomnia remedies that scientific studies have shown to be effective at improving sleep.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been shown to lower cortisol levels and improve sleep quality significantly when practiced for at least eight weeks [1].

Lavender Oil Aromatherapy - one study found that three nights of aromatherapy for nine hours with lavender oil improved sleep quality in heart disease patients [2].

Tai Chi Exercise Sessions for those over the age of 65, three times per week for twelve weeks saw participants' Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores improve dramatically [3].

Acupuncture - three sessions within two weeks saw sleep quality improvements amongst postmenopausal breast cancer survivors [4].

Reflexology. One study found that participants who received therapeutic massage sessions twice a week enjoyed improved Insomnia Severity Index scores [5]. Another study found that foot reflexology in particular may improve sleep [6].

Vitamin D as a supplement helped improve sleep in depressed teenagers [7].

L-theanine is an amino acid commonly found in tea. It has proved useful in improving sleep quality in children with ADHD [8].

Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract (lemon balm) was found to reduce insomnia severity and even cure insomnia completely in some study participants [9].

If treating your insomnia without medication is your ultimate aim, hopefully these studies give you a good starting point for your investigations.

Sources:

[1] http://content.karger.com/produktedb/produkte.asp?DOI=000330362
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203283/
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203300/
[4] http://journals.lww.com/cns-journal/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2011&issue=09000&article=00007&type=abstract
[5] http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13697137.2011.587557
[6] http://synapse.koreamed.org/search.php?where=aview&id=10.4040%2Fjkan.2011.41.6.821&code=0006JKAN&vmode=FULL
[7] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02655.x/abstract
[8] http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/16/4/348.pdf [PDF] [9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230760/

Improve your sleep in two weeks: Over 5,000 insomniacs have completed my free insomnia sleep training course and 97% of graduates say they would recommend it to a friend. Learn more here.

Last updated: June 11, 2012

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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