These 5 Natural Sleep Aids Help You Drift Off Effortlessly When You Crawl Into Bed

by Julia Guerra

Am I the only one who’s noticed falling asleep was a lot easier when there was someone reading to us, preparing warm milk over the stove, or singing a lullaby? Nowadays, falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up feeling revitalized isn’t natural — it’s work. Tossing and turning, and staring at the clock to watch the digital numbers change throughout the night, is torture, but if you don’t want to pop prescription pills to doze off, what sort of natural sleep aids are there that can grant you a good night’s shut-eye without any unnecessary repercussions in the a.m.?

If I’ve learned anything from studying sleep and how to get a decent amount of rest, it’s this: You can definitely rule out the ol' "trick" of counting sheep. Likewise, drinking a glass of water right before bed might work for some people, but there’s also a good chance your urgent need to pee will wake you up in the middle of the night. Listening to music to make you tired is always a solid fallback plan, too, but there has to be something a little more unique you can put into practice at night to ensure your snooze is everything you wanted and more. To get you started, here are a few all-natural sleep remedies to try when you can't seem to wind down.

Indulge In A Mug Of Moon Milk

If you’re not on the adaptogenic bandwagon that social media’s got goin' on, I think it’s high time you came aboard. Personally, I love any kind of holistic remedy — that is, as long as it tastes fabulous (no raw, dirt-like supplements allowed in my kitchen). And if you don’t know what adaptogens are, these herbs are the epitome of holistic living.

To put it simply, adaptogens are earthy supplements you can add into your everyday routine to reduce stress, balance your hormones, and even make you sleepy if you toss and turn at night.

Turmeric, that Indian spice that makes your food and fingertips turn yellow, is great for this, because it levels your hormones. Combine that with ashwaghanda — which strengthens your immune system and reduces stress — in a warm glass of almond milk, and you'll be lulled to sleep in a matter of minutes. Trust me, I’ve tried it.

Add Essential Oils To Your Nighttime Routine

Oilogic Slumber & Sleep Essential Oil Roll-On, $7.99, Target

Obviously, any time I talk about calming remedies in any context, sleep or otherwise, the topic of essential oils is bound to come up. But, here’s why they’re amazing for sleep in particular.

For starters, there are so many scents to choose from, so if for some strange reason you’re not a fan of lavender (I’ll try my best not to judge you if that’s the case), you can experiment with notes of clary sage, ylang-ylang, and chamomile, to name a few.

Second of all, what’s more natural than breathing? Not much, which is exactly why this all-natural remedy is so wonderful, because you can’t half-ass it. Once you drip a few drops into a diffuser, or apply to pressure points with a roll-on like Oilogic, the hard part’s over. Inhale the delicious aroma, and exhale sleepy vibes.

Channel Your Inner Bookworm

If you’re familiar with my articles, you know for a fact that the last thing I hide is my obsession with all things literary.

Now, I may be biased, because books are pretty much my favorite thing in the entire world (besides my lovely husband, of course), but science says cracking open a hardcover before going to sleep is a one-way ticket to snoozeville. In fact, according to a survey done by the app Sleep Cycle, the results of which were sent in a press release to Elite Daily, 21 percent of Americans read a book to make them feel sleepy before bed.

Sure, you could argue that reading an article on your phone or tapping into a Kindle gets the job done, too, but it’s simply not the same, friends. For one thing, the blue light coming from this technology isn't doing any favors for your sleep patterns. Plus, reading a tangible book makes you physically tired, as well as mentally, because your eyes are trying to keep up with the text, while your mind is trying to make sense of character development and plot. I'm exhausted just explaining it all to you!

Try A Relaxing Yoga Sequence

Finding your zen is critical in times of panic or stress, but it’s also a great, natural way to improve the quality of your sleep. If you’re an overachiever like me, the idea of doing a vinyasa flow just for the sake of unwinding (rather than mastering the pose) might be difficult, but trust me, these things are worth letting go when you’re in desperate need of a mental release before bed.

One web search will yield thousands of yoga sequences for sleep to choose from, including poses you can do in bed. My personal favorite stretch before snuggling under the covers is child’s pose, because once you sink your hips back against your heels, you can maneuver your fingertips to reach out further, and further, until you get a delicious full-body experience that gets you warm all over.

Take A Melatonin Supplement

Vicks ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs Gummies - Melatonin + Chamomile & Lavender, $7.99 Target

Just in case you needed a little reassurance, adults are totally allowed to take gummy vitamins, too. I generally only use Vicks products when I’m dying of cold symptoms and cannot get to sleep for the life of me, but even if you aren't stuffy, and you just need something to make you feel sleepy, this new product from the brand's collection is bae.

With melatonin, chamomile, and lavender as the supplement's key ingredients, Vicks definitely hit the trifecta with these delicious gummies. Take two to yield one serving, and the mixture of melatonin — aka the hormone that controls when and how you sleep — in tandem with soothing chamomile and lavender will have your lids feeling heavy just seconds after you swallow.