3 NATURAL CURES FOR INSOMNIA

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1. GUIDED IMAGERY Twelve insomniacs who listened to a relaxing guided-imagery CD every night for five weeks reported sleeping more soundly (and having less depression and anxiety as well), according to a June 2007 study from Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil. (Visit amazon.com for a wide range of guided-imagery CDs.)

2. HERBAL TEA Herbs like valerian, skullcap, passionflower, hops, and chamomile all have sedative properties that can make your mind and body ready for sleep, says Melissa Metcalfe, N.D., a naturopathic doctor in Westlake Village, Calif. Look for them in tea form at your local health food store, and sip a cup about an hour before bed.

3. 5-HTP Derived from tryptophan, an amino acid also found in turkey, 5-HTP ups levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates sleep. Metcalfe suggests taking a 100 milligram capsule nightly. Don't use 5-HTP if you're on antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications, since these drugs also increase serotonin levels.

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By Elizabeth Barker

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