Best insomnia cures ranked to help you get a good night’s sleep

Insomnia cases have doubled in the last five years, with a third of people suffering.

We asked self-confessed insomniac, Daisy Steel, a 47-year-old mum of five from Frome, Somerset, to try out the latest pills, potions and gadgets in a bid for a better night’s zzzzzzzz…….

Westlab Himalayan Salt Lamp

The pink glow created by a light inside a chunk of Himalayan salt counteracts the excess blue light of phones, computers and TV screens that make us alert.

It soothes and relaxes and can cleanse the air of impurities, dust and pollen. £24.99,

“I’d been really busy and went to see a friend for supper on the way home. I was really ready for bed when I got in just before midnight.

“I switched on the lamp full of hope. It made the room glow prettily but to be honest I found it quite hard to drop off. Finally, after a lot of tossing and turning, I fell asleep only to find myself awake at 3am.

“The light seemed so bright I thought I might have to put on a sleep mask, though that surely defeats the object?

“The next night Johnny and I had a chat at 2am. He normally sleeps like a baby but the lamp was keeping him awake too!

“This product’s not for me. It’s quite soothing but I think it needs a dimmer switch. I’m a bit dubious about the air quality business too. It would be a great nightlight for a child’s room.” 4/10

Nutri Derma’s Organic Pillow Spray

Containing organic lavender (which has calming properties), bergamot (associated with relaxation) and lemon and rosemary (to promote blood circulation). £15.95 for 100ml,

“I went shopping, got the train to London then did an overnight shift so was very, very tired by the time I got to bed at 6am.

“I sprayed my pillow and drifted off pretty quickly but only managed four hours 39 minutes before I was wide awake.

“The next night was a bit unfortunate. Johnny and I went to see friends in Newbury and checked into a B&B. I’d taken the spray with me (much more portable than the lamp) and, having gone to bed at midnight, I hadn’t had too bad a night.

“Then the alarm went off at 5am – a previous guest had left it set. Very annoying. There was no way back to the land of nod after that, spray or no spray.

“Things got no better after that. I found it hard to get to sleep and then lay awake worrying. I used the spray more than once a night but it didn’t make me sleepy.

“It does make the room smell lovely, it doesn’t stain the bedding and lavender is relaxing. Maybe it’s best used with another product. On its own it’s just not enough.” 4/10

BetterYou Magnesium Sleep Mineral Lotion

Containing magnesium chloride, lavender and chamomile for a naturally better sleep. £9.95,

“The first night I trialled the cream I didn’t get in until 3am. I was out with friends so I thought I’d go out like a light. The instructions said to rub it into my neck, shoulders and legs, which was a bit of a pain when I just wanted to brush my teeth and hop between the sheets.

“And I can’t say it worked. I managed just less than four hours’ fitful sleep.

“The next day I took my youngest, Joe, who’s 12, for lunch, shopping, then for dinner with his godfather. Having kids is what started my sleep issues.

“You sleep with ‘one ear open’ when they’re little. But at 26, 23, 21, 16 and 12 I can’t blame that any more.

“I was full and tired when I settled down at 11.30pm. I managed five straight hours before I was wide awake, staring at the ceiling.

“The next night was seven hours of very broken sleep. And the final night of testing the cream, I’d had a long drive from London, watched a cricket match and entertained friends and still only managed just over five hours.

“I was back to the old me: tired, almost dreading bed, running on empty, snappy. I’m not sure the cream made any difference at all.

“It was easy to rub in and had a pleasant smell – medicinal with a hint of lavender – but by the time I’d applied it I was wide awake again.” 3/10

Glow Bar’s Ashwagandha Blend

One of Meghan Markle’s favourite super-herbs, this ancient adaptogenic supplement promises to calm your mind, body and spirit by lowering the stress hormone cortisol while boosting your serotonin levels. £26.50 for 16 servings, glow or Planet Organic.

“This powder tasted horrendous to begin with when, following instructions to take it as part of a hot drink, I had it in chamomile tea.

“The first night I got to sleep quickly but only managed a paltry hour and 37 minutes. Hugely frustrating and anxiety inducing. The harder I find it to get to sleep, the more wound up I get about how long I’ve got left to sleep.

“The next night my parents stayed as my dad had to have an operation nearby. I was so tired I had to go to bed at 9pm. I forced down the chalky liquid and slept for a straight nine hours 51.

“That sounds amazing but what with the camping trip, going straight back into manic work shifts and the stress of my dad’s impending surgery, I think I was completely exhausted.

“The following night was six hours of broken sleep and I was seriously wondering if I could face another dose of the horrid powder.

“Then my daughter, Jasmine, 21, told me I should really be making something called Moon Milk with it. It involved heating milk, adding cinnamon, the Ashwagandha, coconut cream and honey.

“It was more palatable and 10 minutes after drinking it I felt quite drowsy and slept for seven hours straight.

“It’s a faff and you can’t make Moon Milk if staying in a hotel or a friend’s, for example.” 7/10

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Dutch CBD capsules

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a chemical produced by the cannabis plant and a proven stress reliever. When ingested it binds to cell receptors in the body that connect to everyday functions like sleep. £23.99 for 80,

“The first time I took the CBD pills I’d driven from Somerset to London then done a nine-hour night shift at the radio station where I work. It was 6am by the time I climbed into bed. Shift work and day sleeping really don’t do my sleep problems any favours.

“It was hot and I was restless but managed four hours. Normally that would be me wide awake, tossing and turning until I thought it was acceptable to get up, but I actually managed another hour and a half.

“The next night (or day as I’d worked another night shift) was incredible. I got almost nine hours! I never sleep like that during the day.

“I’d done a lot of walking before work and been busy all night, but I cannot remember the last time I got such solid sleep.

“The same happened the next night after a double shift and I really thought I was on to something. Sadly on my fourth night I was back to four hours of interrupted sleep. Maybe my body was used to them?

“The pills definitely helped me get on top of my sleep for a couple of nights. I’ve taken herbal tablets before with little effect and I’ve had to take proper sleeping tablets in the past too but they leave me feeling groggy.

“These didn’t. Even if I only took them once in a while to help me ‘catch up’ it would be useful.” 8/10

Benenox Overnight Recharge

Containing honey, sustamine and vitamin B6, Benenox helps restore and rejuvenate cells, supporting a restful night’s sleep, reducing the amount of restlessness and night awakenings. £9.99, Boots

“The box says eight out of 10 people who use Benenox see improvement within a week. I didn’t need that much time. The first night I took the 15ml of syrup I slept seven hours 51 minutes!

“The second night I fell into bed at 11.30pm and woke six hours 17 minutes later, but I think I’d have slept longer had my husband Johnny’s alarm not gone off. I was dead to the world.

“Night three was eight hours and I felt like a new woman. I was flying at work – really productive – because I felt so well rested. My insomnia can make it hard to drop off when I get into bed but what I find most hideous (and what leaves me so debilitatingly tired) is the long hours I spend awake during the night.

“There was NONE of that on Benenox.

“My final night was only five hours and 17 minutes but there was a good reason. We were camping and I was woken by a baby crying and rain on the tent roof! I didn’t care because I actually felt refreshed.

“And I loved sitting round the campfire chatting into the small hours without feeling like I was about to drop off with exhaustion. I felt normal!

“I can’t fault this product and will definitely use it long term. It had a pleasant flavour, didn’t make me woozy but just really relaxed, so I fell asleep easily and somehow stayed asleep. It could be a life-changer.” 10/10

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