Categories: Sleep Aids

10 Natural Herbs for Sleep

In today’s modern world our pace of life is faster and more stressful than that of our ancestors. This is why the sleep aid industry has experienced a huge upsurge in business. As many of us turn to more natural ways of getting our bodies back in sync, we wish to avoid many of the downsides of these man-made drugs and preparations.

The side-effects are sometimes worse than taking the drugs, which is one of the reasons natural herbs are experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

It’s crucial to remember that just because herbs are natural, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe. Some herbs can interact with prescription drugs and they can be dangerous when used in conjunction with sedatives, antidepressants or alcohol. So, before trying any herbal remedies, you should always do your research and speak with your doctor if you have any doubt.

There are many herbs for insomnia that provide natural ways of helping to reduce anxiety, relax your body, and help normalize your body’s internal clock and sleep-wake schedule. Here are ten natural sleeping herbs to consider.

  1. Valerian

Valerian is a common herb that is given to people who have trouble sleeping, as it helps with various sleep disorders. It comes from the Valerian root and is often available as a mixture of Valerian, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, and other herbs that help you sleep. In addition to insomnia, Valerian can help with anxiety, stress, headaches, and hypochondria.

  1. Melatonin

If you have ever looked at the sleeping aid section of your local drug store, you may have noticed Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in your brain, which helps with the sleep-wake cycle. If you don’t produce enough Melatonin, you can take a supplement to help you sleep. Not only does it help with sleeplessness, but your quality of sleep will also be improved.

  1. Chamomile

Chamomile is another popular herb to take for helping you sleep. It doesn’t affect chemicals in your brain to help you sleep, but it helps to relax you, relieve anxiety, and reduce mental stress. This provides you with a more calming disposition and can help you relax enough to lie down and sleep when you‘re too excited to sleep. There have been several studies showing the excellent benefits of chamomile for sleep, and this time-honored herb can be used safely by people of all ages.

Chamomile tea has been commonly used in Mexico, South America, and Europe with no ill effects, and the essential oil can be dropped into your bathwater to help soothe your nerves. It’s also commonly used as an inhalant, or massage oil.

  1. Passion Flower

Passion Flower is an herb that has a mild sedative power, and can also reduce anxiety and stress that might be increasing your insomnia. It has been used for hundreds of years to help people sleep and calm their mind. People with anxiety, panic attacks, and various disorders take Passion Flower as a natural remedy.

  1. Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is another herb that has been used for many years. Its existence as a natural remedy dates back to the middle ages. Lemon Balm has a citrus smell and is available in a supplement or a tea. It has a natural relaxing effect on your body and mind, as well as improving cognitive performance.

  1. California Poppy

The large orange and red flowers native to California are not just beautiful; they can also help you sleep. It can help provide mental calmness, decrease anxiety and restlessness, and help you get a good night’s sleep. It is most often used as a tincture, where you take 30-40 drops of it before bed each night.

If you are struggling with chronic insomnia, speak to your doctor about using natural herbal remedies such as this.

  1. Hops

Most commonly known as a flavoring in beer, Hops have long been used for remedying restlessness, nervousness, and sleeplessness, and Hops-filled pillows are often used by insomniacs.

  1. Lavender

Lavender oil can be inhaled to help combat insomnia. In addition, the oil of this strengthening nervous system tonic can be added into a before-bedtime bath, or used as a massage oil when added into a carrier oil.

  1. Wild Lettuce

Often used homeopathically for insomnia and restlessness, and particularly good for children due to its safety record, Wild Lettuce can be taken as a tincture.

  1. St. John’s Wort

A commonly-found European herb, many people use St. John’s Wort to alleviate mild depression, as well as for treating chronic insomnia. It must be noted, however, that the herb can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so you need to be careful when taking the herb that you don’t expose your skin to direct sunlight.

When you can’t get a good night’s sleep, it impacts so many areas of your life. There are no guaranteed natural cures for insomnia; however, by trying some of the natural herbs above you might just find one that works for you.

If you find yourself waking frequently in the night you can also try the following:

  • Establish regular bedtime rituals. Ensure you get to bed around the same time every night, and that you are relaxed and ready before you retire to your bedroom.
  • Check your mattress and pillows. By making sure your latex mattress and organic pillows are comfortable, you set a solid foundation to have a good night’s rest.
  • Eliminate alcohol and caffeine. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to stop drinking alcohol and caffeine too near to bedtime, as these increase the likelihood of sleep disturbances like nighttime urination.
  • Stop using your laptop or phone before bed and stop watching television in bed. Using these types of devices before bedtime can lower your Melatonin levels, and shorten your REM sleep cycles, thus providing you with an unsatisfying night’s sleep.

If you’re finding sleeping difficult, don’t just lie there tossing and turning. Get up, and try reading or doing some light stretching. These tips, along with trying out some natural herbs for sleeping, will help you get back on top of your insomnia.

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    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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