Sleep better

Natural remedies for insomnia

Maybe the summer heat’s getting to you; maybe you’re ruminating about money problems. Whatever the cause, sleeplessness is no fun. And being tired the next day certainly doesn’t help you deal any better with the things that are bugging you.’s Alternative Medicine section offers 14 natural remedies for insomnia.

Here are four of them:

Valerian: The herb valerian, which is available in capsule and liquid form in health-food stores, has long been known for its sleep- inducing (and nerve-calming) benefits. Take it about an hour before bedtime for best effect. See website below for additional information on usage, which includes not taking valerian with alcohol or if you have liver disease.

Melatonin: Typically taken about 30 minutes before bedtime to aid sleep, melatonin should not be used by pregnant and nursing women, or by people with depression, schizophrenia or autoim- mune diseases.

Relaxation techniques: Visualization, mindfulness and yoga techniques help one fall asleep more easily.

Diet: Avoiding caffeine and sugary foods will help combat insomnia, as will eating foods that contain tryp- tophan (such as turkey) and eating magnesium-rich foods, such as leafy, dark-green vegetables.