How I Finally Got Quality Sleep



June 1, 2023


I’m a morning person, but for years (like literally a decade) I struggled to get a good night’s sleep. It was normal for me to toss and turn, and a lot of times wake up in the middle of the night wide awake unable to fall back asleep for hours. Of course this caused issues like waking up with headaches (the worst). Somehow I still managed to be a morning person and I also never picked up the habit of drinking coffee or caffeine, all without ever getting quality sleep.

{Disclaimer} First and foremost, I am not a doctor. I can only speak from personal experiences having used both prescription and herbal methods for getting quality sleep. If you are struggling with sleep, I recommend speaking to your doctor to discuss possible solutions and definitely speak to your doctor before trying anything new.

Health Benefits

Good, restful sleep is great for personal health and well-being. Consistent quality sleep can:

  • Lower your risks for health problems like diabetes and heart disease
  • Reduce stress and improve your mood
  • Provide more clarity and better concentration throughout the day
  • Lower your risks for depression
  • Improve your long-term memory

History Cont.

So for years I wasn’t allowing my body to perform at its best, even when I was bodybuilding or in the military. Although those long power-points for military briefs could take me to la la land fast.

I eventually had a prescription for controlled-release Ambien. I was instructed not to take it every night to prevent dependence on it; 2-3 times a week was fine. However, I found out that it had been linked to increasing risks for developing dementia later in life. My primary doctor actually informed me of this when I requested my third re-fill. They were willing to re-fill the prescription, but warned me it wasn’t recommended to continue for much longer; Ambien is more of a temporary drug apparently. Every doctor may not agree with this by the way. I wasn’t sure what my next move was. I didn’t want to keep taking Ambien at that point, but I liked the sleep it gave me. It would still take me forever to fall asleep, but it did help with keeping me asleep.

I decided not to get the re-fill. This is going to sound dumb, but I basically willingly suffered for the next few years. I had given up on really trying anything else. That’s what led me to request the prescription in the first place. I knew Ambien helped a lot because it was prescribed to us, along with Restorol, during deployment to help keep us on night shift if we needed it. Restorol didn’t work for me, melatonin has never worked for me, and teas and some other things didn’t live up to their reputations either. Ambien was my only success story, but a temporary one and not even every night.

The best sleeping aid for quality sleep

Actually, when Jason first met me, I was falling asleep to music. It gave my ears something to focus on and kept the tinnitus away for the most part. One year for Christmas, he got me the Hatch. It’s this awesome sunrise alarm clock that has a corresponding app with tons of music, meditation, bedtime stories, and alarm sounds. I’ve used it every single night since. I can easily switch my nighttime routine from crickets chirping to the crackling of a campfire to meditation. You can stack the sounds too. Right now I have 3 steps on my routine: I tap once, it’s a reading light with no time-limit. I tap again, it’s an indigo light with the sound of rain on leaves that stays on for 20 minutes. I tap a third time, it’s a 20 minute meditation session. Everything from the sounds to the intensity of the colors can be customized. I also love that you can schedule the time display to turn off at night and schedule it to come back on when you choose.

The day my life changed

In 2021, a year after getting the Hatch, I read something in a magazine about an herbal supplement that helps with decreasing stress/anxiety and improving sleep. Literal months went by after that day before I remembered it. Jason and I were in Walmart, I saw it on the shelf and said “Oh, I wanted to try that!” and proceeded to explain to him what I had read months prior. It was the day my life changed.

Ya’ll, I am not lying when I say I took it that same night and the next morning felt like a new human being. I was in shock. So much so, that I made sure it worked the next few nights too just in case it was too good to be true.

It wasn’t. I have found a $5, herbal, no-known side-effects, over the counter, easy to find supplement that gets me even better sleep than Ambien did. AND I CAN TAKE IT EVERY NIGHT.

Valerian Root. 

valerian root for quality sleep

Isn’t it beautiful? My new bestie. My ride or die. Valerian Root has come through for me every night since. I can probably count on one hand in the past year how many nights I didn’t get great sleep despite the valerian root, and it was always because of alcohol. The best part is that the dose says two pills, but I was curious to see if one worked the first week I started taking it – and it does! One pill every night before I start washing my face, brushing my teeth, etc. has given me consistent, quality, deep sleep. I just can’t believe it.

About Valerian Root for quality sleep

It’s a perennial plant native to Asia and Europe, but does grow in the U.S. as well. In early Greece and Rome it was used for insomnia and other medicinal purposes. Now it’s promoted for the same. Some people claimed it made them sluggish the next day. I haven’t experienced grogginess in the morning, but I also take half of the recommended dose. It has a smell, some say it’s like sulfur. I don’t think it’s as strong as others have described, but maybe different brands are more potent. As far as I can find, there are no known side effects from valerian root. Long-term use studies are inconsistent, but I’m willing to bet it’s safer than a man-made prescription. Again, talk to your doctor before use. Apparently cats are also attracted to it and it has a nickname, “cat’s love” because of this.

If you plan on trying it out or if you’re already on the valerian root train, let me know in the comments! I’d also be happy to answer any questions you have as well.

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Share this post


  • Thank you for sharing!! I’m excited to read more of your blogs.

    • Thank you for being here! I plan on sharing a lot more lifestyle things soon, but will try to mix in food and travel as well.

  • I’m a night shift nurse, and I’ve never heard of this! Similarly, I’ve tried a lot of things. Thank you for sharing, I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for this. I’m glad to hear it’s working for you!

    • Please let me know if you try it and how it works for you! My sister is a night shift nurse as well, but she doesn’t have trouble sleeping. We always compare her to a sloth 🦥 I apparently didn’t get that gene 😅

    • Yea! I’d love to hear if you try it. It has literally changed my life and it’s going on 2 years now.

    • 🙌 They really can be. It feels good to get off a prescription too!


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I’m  Ami


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