food and nutrition

Natural Remedy

Question: What is the best natural remedy for having trouble sleeping? My father is 63 years old and is experiencing difficulty falling asleep. This has been happening for the past couple years, most likely due to stress. I researched some natural sleep remedies, such as valerian and chamomile. Any recommendations on natural herbs/remedies? Any side effects? Hopefully the remedy does not encourage vivid dreams because my father tends to get sleep paralysis often. Thank you.

Answer: Well, there's Melatonin, Valerian, Chamomile, Hops, L-Tryptophan, L-Theanine, Passionflower, and Scullcap (an herb). You can try any one of those to help you sleep naturally. None of them should cause more or less dreaming, but some people experience changes in dreams because it changes their sleep patterns. Basically, people remember dreams (and they seem more vivid) when they are partially awake... if they are sleeping deep enough, they won't remember it. If it's based on stress, there are a few options to help with that as well. Some of the most popular natural products for stress are GABA, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, 5-HTP, and L-Tryptophan. Also, cutting/reducing Caffeine and sugar intake will help to lower stress. With all that being said, if he's been having problems sleeping for the last couple years and he tends to get sleep paralysis, I would recommend having him see a sleep specialist. There could be a problem that is causing his sleep issues... a sleep specialist may be able to find the cause of that problem and help you fix it (so he won't always have to take sleep aids). Good luck!

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