Herbal treatments for sleep & anxiety.

My whole life i have suffered with anxiety. Last year it got to a level i never imagined was possible and it totally consumed me. I know already that when you suffer with an anxiety disorder it never just ‘goes away’. It comes in waves, it gets worse and gets less, but it never goes away. Unfortunately it’s all about learning to manage it.

Thankfully that dark place i was in has passed. I haven’t had a panic attack in over 1 month, which may not sound like a long time, but for me this is a record! I feel somewhat calm and happy and dare i say it… Normal?

Of course i still have all of the things that come with my anxiety disorder. The shaking hands, the self doubt, the lack of confidence, the worry and racing thoughts to name a few. But you know what? Right now these things are secondary. It feels so good to be able to say that. Right now these things are not in control of me.

Ahh.. So this is what it feels like to reclaim my power!

Anyway the purpose of this post is over the past few years i have tried so many herbal remedies to help ease symptoms of anxiety. Most of them were useless of course. But i have found a few that have been really beneficial to me.

Now don’t get me wrong these things to not ‘cure’ or ‘fix’ anxiety. But they can aid in easing the symptoms slightly while you work on controlling your anxiety yourself. I wish i had somebody to advise me of these things when my Dr was trying (unsuccessfully) to push xanax and antidepressants down my neck. For me personally that was not a route i wanted to go down so i started sampling different herbal supplements. Here are the ones i recommend below. Please remember though that everybody reacts differently to different supplements and aids so what worked for me might not necessarily work for you and vice versa.

  1. L Tryptophan. – Tryptophan is an amino acid and it helps regulate our mood as it has the ability to balance hormones naturally. It is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin so taking tryptophan increases production of these two neurotransmitters. It has a very noticeable calming effect. It can make you quite drowsy, if taken in a higher dose it is great for use as a sleep aid.
  2. Valerian root. – This is probably the best one i have found. If you can’t find valerian root from a health store, you can also buy it from any pharmacy sold under the name ‘Kalms’ which is just a tablet of valerian root. You can buy it in two different strengths, so one of them is low dose which can be taken during the day to ease anxiety and the higher dose can be taken an hour before bed as a sleep aid. Although i didn’t find valerian root helped me to fall asleep any quicker it did help me to stay asleep all through the night and to wake up feeling like i was well rested and fresh. Lack of good sleep always makes anxiety worse. This supplement really helped me to get my sleep pattern in order and to get some rest when i needed it.
  3. Chamomile tea. – Who doesn’t love a cup of tea? Chamomile is a very cheap and cheerful way to aid relaxation. It has been used for years in tea for the calming effect it has and i always find it helps ease my physical anxiety symptoms.
  4. L Theanine. – I only discovered this one quite recently but it has honestly been a god send. Theanine is a precursor to the neurotransmitter gaba. GABA is responsible for having a sedating and calming effect on the body. So by taking l theanine and helping increase GABA production in the brain you can really help to ease any tension in the body from anxiety and to relax. I find this one good because it really calms my body but doesn’t make me sleepy so it is a good one to take during the day. Theanine also has positive effects on cognition and is often used stacked with caffeine as a nootropic. My whole life i have always had extremely shaky hands and my full body trembles from anxiety but since i started taking theanine my shakes have been very minimal.
  5. Magnesium. – Old but gold. I have used magnesium for years and always find that it works great in helping to ease muscle tension in the body. For people who suffer with anxiety disorders their body is constantly in fight or flight mode, this causes us to walk around tensed up and on edge and can cause so much tension and aches and pains in the muscles. Magnesium is a great way to ease that. I have used epsom salts in my bath, magnesium sprays and also magnesium capsules. I find all work equally as well.
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