Natural Supplements for Reducing Stress and Improving Sleep

Natural Supplements for Reducing Stress and Improving Sleep
by Jackie Edwards

Woman sleeping

40 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with clinical anxiety disorder, and even more experience persistent stress that negatively impacts quality of life. Stress and anxiety can affect your ability to perform important day-to-day functions, take a toll on your physical health and compromise your quality of life. Sleep deprivation is a common effect of stress and anxiety, and the relationship between high stress levels and poor sleep can be cyclical. Exploring naturopathic options for healing anxiety, reducing stress and improving sleep is a safe and effective way to achieve better mental health and get the rest you deserve.

Melatonin Helps Regulate Your Sleep Cycle

Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating your body’s circadian rhythm.The pineal gland releases endogenous melatonin in response to patterns of light and darkness. If you’re experiencing a bout of insomnia, jet lag or an adjustment in your sleeping habits 1-3 milligrams of melatonin can help reset your body’s natural clock. Taking a melatonin supplement two hours before bedtime, when the pineal gland is already signaling to the body that it’s time to sleep, can help you fall asleep faster and rest more deeply.

Bacopa Monnieri Reduces Stress

Bacopa monnieri is an ayurvedic herb renowned for its ability to enhance cognitive functioning and alleviate anxiety. It has been used as an adaptogen for thousands of years. Bacopa monnieri enhances the body’s production of serotonin, which is a crucial neurotransmitter for regulating a number of mental functions, including memory and mood. Low levels of serotonin are correlated with anxiety and depression.

Studies show that taking bacopa monnieri consistently can also alter your genetic response to stress. The effects of bacopa monnieri take time to build up in your system, and therefore it doesn’t function as an immediate sleep aid. However, the overall reduction in stress and anxiety will lead to better sleep in the long-run.

Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Magnesium

If you have persistent trouble sleeping, it may be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a major mineral involved in the production of 300 different enzymes in the body. One of magnesium’s many roles is to aid in the regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters involved in the sympathetic nervous system’s stress response. Magnesium helps in the production of GABA, a key neurotransmitter associated with decreasing the excitability of neurons in the central nervous system. Naturally occurring magnesium can be found in food sources like avocados, legumes, nuts and beans. If you’ve been diagnosed with a magnesium deficiency, supplementation can help improve your mental and overall health.

Chronic stress and sleep deprivation have been linked with increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In addition to making lifestyle changes and seeking professional support, finding the right natural supplement can lower stress and improve your well-being. Seek guidance from a naturopathic doctor, as well as your primary care physician, to establish a treatment plan that works for you.

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