Plants, herbs, and other alternatives methods have been used for thousands of years to help people treat their ailments. It makes sense that if you're suffering from insomnia you'd be curious to learn about these alternative treatment methods. Unfortunately there haven't been many studies done that prove these alternative therapies actually work. However, there is some anecdotal evidence that illustrates that some natural methods may be worth a try as long as you take into consideration that you are doing so at your own risk. Also, when it comes to herbs and supplements, the industry is not regulated so the quality of products varies widely.

It's important to keep in mind that just because something is "natural" that doesn't automatically make it "safe." Warnings about kava, a herb used for stress reduction and relaxation, come out in 2002 that stated it was linked to 25 cases of liver disease. Natural insomnia cures should also be used in conjunction with more conventional treatment, not in place of them. You should always tell your doctor if you're using any type of supplement or alternative therapy because they can interfere with the effectiveness of other drugs and treatments. These is especially true in the case of herbs which can affect the blood's ability to clot properly.

Some alternative insomnia treatments include the use of herbal supplements. These herbs includ valerian, lavender, chamomile, and passionflower. Other natural cures for insomnia include synthetic melatonin, acupuncture and hot baths.

Valerian has an unpleasant odor and is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. The roots and stems can be put into capsules or used in teas. Some controversial studies show that valerian may improve the quality of sleep due to its sedative properties which can help people fall asleep. A troubling report by a commercial laboratory that tests the quality of herbal remedies found that almost 25% of valerian-based products appeared to contain to valerian at all. Another 25% had less than half the amount that was claimed on the labels. Lavender has a more pleasant odor is often used by people who don't suffer from insomnia. However, proponents claim it makes them feel relaxed which can lead to a more restful sleep. Chamomile and passionflower can also be used to treat insomnia.

Synthetic melatonin is a hormone secreted by a gland in the brain. A synthetic version is available at pharmacies and health food stores. It appears that melatonin may only be effective for a small percentage of people who suffer from a type of insomnia related to a disorder known as DSP (delayed sleep phase). Acupuncture may also be beneficial but more research is needed to help assess the therapy's effectiveness.

Altering your body's temperature by taking a hot bath an hour or two before bedtime may help. This technique is known as "passive body heating." The effect may not be significant, but it may be one of the most easiest, cheapest, and safest natural cures for insomnia you can try.