This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
For years, sedatives like Halcion, Restoril and Valium were prescribed for sleep. These drugs led to tolerance and dependence, meaning patients were unable to sleep unless they took increasingly higher doses.
The newer medications on the market, such as Ambien and Sonata, may produce less dependence, but they still come with some scary side effects.
Some common maladies associated with both old and new drugs include: dizziness, headache, weakness, mental slowing, heartburn.
In addition, the drowsiness and mental sluggishness the drugs cause can impair everyday activities like driving and operating equipment. Balance is also adversely affected, which increases the risk of falling. Perhaps worst of all, people who take these medications regularly have a greater risk of developing cancer.
While over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills have fewer side effects than the prescription variety, they still tend to contain antihistamine, which causes dizziness, urinary retention, dry mouth, constipation, clumsiness and forgetfulness. OTC sleep aids can also interact negatively with certain medications and can result in an overdose if a person is taking allergy treatment.
Luckily, the field of alternative medicine offers an array of natural sleep remedies, one of which is banana cinnamon tea.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 1 organic banana
- 1/4 teaspooon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
With the peel still on the banana, cut off both ends of an organic banana and place it in a small pot of boiling water. Boil 10 minutes and then pour through a colander to strain into a mug. Add raw honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Drink one hour before bedtime.
Instead of drinking the tea, you could also eat the banana with the peel, which will be softened from the boiling water.
Whether you opt for the banana, the tea, or both, make the sure the banana is organic, so you won’t be ingesting pesticides. Banana peels tend to get sprayed with extra pesticides since farmers reason the peel protects the fruit and “people don’t eat the peel.”
This tea is recommended for the kind of insomnia that involves waking up in the middle of the night. It works through the peel’s high magnesium and potassium content, which promotes blood vessel and muscle relaxation. Honey increases the brain’s level of serotonin, a compound that improves sleep quality.