There are dozens of herbal sleep remedies out there that will help with mild to moderate insomnia. The most potent of them are the best ones to go for, and we will discuss them right here for you.
Valerian root is known to be very effective for people who have trouble falling asleep (as opposed to waking frequently or waking up too early), and improves sleep quality and anxiety-related insomnia.
Valerian works for most people, but it may take some time to work so make sure you take it every day for a few weeks and don’t worry if there are no results to start with. Drink it for a month, then judge whether it’s effective for you.
The best way to take valerian may not be in tea format. The flavour is quite unpleasant to most people, so try out capsules, supplement blends or tinctures. 400 to 99 mg daily is the recommended and effective dose to go for.
Side effects are pretty uncommon, but if you experience headaches, uneasiness or have an upset stomach when taking it, or feel like you have more energy after taking it, choose another of our great options here.
Chamomile has been safely used as a folk medicine for thousands of years on our little island. It’s great for an upset stomach (hopefully not caused by valerian!), gas, anxiety, muscle spasms, healing wounds and, of course, insomnia.
Having trouble sleeping because there’s something pressing on your mind? Chamomile could really help. It soothes the nervous and digestive systems. Try to have a cup of chamomile an hour before bed, and remember to use therapeutic grade herbs. You can drink up to 4 per day.
Lime flowers are both tranquilising and stimulating, but are used for insomnia, tension and anxiety and calm restlessness. It also lowers blood pressure and palpitations and coronary heart disease. Lime flowers reduce fever, and decongest blocked nasal passages!
This herb is safe for children and pregnant women, and there are no drug interactions. To make a life flower tea, place three flowers into a cup of boiling water. Sweeten it if you like. Try adding the flowers to a bath, too, for a de-stressing soak. In tincture form, 2-5 ml can be taken before bed to ease insomnia effectively.
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and is calming to the nerves. It was used during the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sound sleep and ease digestion. Use 300-600 mg of lemon balm extract, or make a tea with the herb. Just make sure the quality of the herb is good. Ask at your local health food shop for more information.
Hops have been used historically as a sleep aid, too, due to their calming, sedating and sleep-inducing effects. Studies show that it’s an effective mild sedative. You’ll want to add some sweetener to hops tea if you choose to try that, as it’s quite bitter.
Capsules are also effective, but what about making a little hops pouch? Stuff a fabric bag with dried hops and put it into your pillow case!
Passionflower is an excellent herb for restful sleep due to its calming effect. Passionflower was traditionally used by the people of North, Central and South America as a sleep aid due to its sedative and anti-anxiety properties. It also:
- provides restful sleep with no morning grogginess
- may work for you when other herbs don’t
- can be blended with other herbs for best effect
- can help you heal a mild cough
- fights free radicals
- lowers stress-induced high blood pressure
- works really well on anxiety.
Drink one cup of tea 1-3 times every day by taking a cup of boiling water and pouring it over one teaspoon of dried flowers. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. 0.5 to 2 ml of tincture daily is the common recommended amount.
Mint leaf is nutritious and beneficial for people who can’t sleep. Brew 1/4 of a teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves with 1/4 of a teaspoon of chamomile and strawberry leaf, all of which you should be able to find at your nearest health food shop or herbal pharmacy online. Mint leaves help clear and calm your mind.
Advice for better sleep
Our advice for better sleep includes:
- Putting away all phones, computers and tablets two hours before bed.
- Developing a relaxing bedtime routine. Just relax. Try not to worry about not sleeping, and try some deep breathing and positive thoughts.
- Using the herbs in this article!