Here at Leena and Lu, we believe that natural is best. That’s why we create our 100% Peruvian Pima cotton pajamas out of only the purest organic cotton, so no toxic chemicals or pesticides enter your home. Our mission is to create products that are healthy for you and for the planet!
If you’re among the one-third of Americans who report not getting enough rest each night, Leena and Lu’s soft comfortable sleepwear can help you get a great night’s sleep. You might also consider a natural sleep aid or supplement to help you catch up on those Zs. Check out our favorite time-tested natural remedies that people all over the world have been using to combat insomnia — in some cases for thousands of years. Always consult your doctor or health care provider before trying one of these methods.
Ashwagandha or chamomile tea
From stress reliever to endurance booster, Ashwagandha is a traditional herb with many different health applications according to Ayurveda, or Indian natural healing practices. When used in a tea, it is also believed to help people drift off into restorative sleep. You can find this kind of tea blend in specialty grocery stores or order it online. To make it yourself, grind the root into a powder and heat up one teaspoon per cup of water to boiling, then allow to simmer for up to 15 minutes. Adding milk and honey or other warming spices will help make this an even more relaxing beverage at bedtime.
Or perhaps you fancy a cup of soothing chamomile as part of your nightly routine. Filled with the antioxidant apigenin — also found in onions, citrus and other herbs — chamomile boasts sleep-inducing properties as well as antioxidant and antibacterial benefits that are good for your overall health. The jury is out on whether this flower actually scientifically helps you fall asleep — but one study says its powerful placebo effect was enough to have participants reporting better quality of rest. We’ll drink to that!
Applied to your skin or used in aromatherapy, this essential oil is perennially popular for relaxation. When it comes to this soothing scent, a little goes a long way. Dab a few drops of lavender oil on your wrists, temples, feet, the back of your neck or your third eye (right in the middle of your forehead) before you tuck in. A luxurious soak in the tub with lavender bath salts works wonders. Lavender is also available in many moisturizing creams and lotions you can massage into your skin as part of your nightly routine. You can inhale its wonderful smell all night by adding it to your diffuser or by mixing your own room spray with about 10-20 drops of lavender for two cups of water and spritzing your bed linens so you can drift off to sleep surrounded by its calming aroma.
This wild herb native to Europe and parts of Asia has a long history for treating sleep disorders. People have used valerian to fight insomnia since ancient Greek and Roman times! Today, it’s a common ingredient in herbal sleep supplements thought to calm anxiety and available as a tea, tincture or capsule.
Naturally produced by the body when the sun goes down as a signal to your brain that it’s time for bed, melatonin is also available as a supplement should you find yourself dealing with wakefulness at night. Taken externally as a liquid or capsule, this sleep hormone regulates your circadian rhythms and is commonly used to speed along healthy sleep and battle jet lag for both adults and children, according to the National Institute of Health.
Tart cherry juice
This lip-smacking beverage owes its sleep-boosting benefits to two major ingredients: melatonin and tryptophan, the same thing that makes you sleepy after stuffing yourself with turkey at Thanksgiving!
Check that your tart cherry juice brand doesn’t have added sugar, which could keep your brain buzzing. Once you choose your brand, drink a glass after your evening meal at least an hour before you get ready to hit the hay. You could also take tart cherry extract capsules orally (especially if you don’t like the sour taste!). The antioxidants in cherries also help with muscle recovery, memory, lower blood pressure and more, making this beverage a win-win.
CBD is everywhere these days — including in many formulations that claim to help you fall asleep faster. When placed as an oil or tincture under the tongue, CBD is absorbed into your bloodstream where proponents say it relieves anxiety and symptoms of chronic pain and helps you relax. Bedtime formulas could also include many of the ingredients you see in the list above. Whichever brand you choose, check with your doctor on dosage and whether CBD might be right for you.
What natural sleep remedies have worked for you? Tell us all about your nightly routine over a cup of tea on Instagram @leenaandlu or firstname.lastname@example.org.