Herbs to aid sleep

If you are looking for herbs to help you sleep at night then this is the right article for you!

The first important thing to understand is that for herbs to really help you, you need to identify the causes behind your difficulties in falling asleep first. Among them, there could be anxiety, incorrect nutrition, an unsuitable environment, excessive use of stimulants, etc. A natural healer can help you identify the causes and to correct them. Nutrition, in particular, can be a big culprit that can be easily be fixed by removing stimulants and introducing more sedative types of foods.
It is also essential to create and maintain a healthy rhythm, which means always going to sleep and waking up at the same time so that your body can get used to falling asleep at the time.

After having identified the underlying causes of your insomnia and started working on correcting them, you can consider different herbs to be used as a sleeping aid.

In my practice, I like to mix different herbs rather than using just one, so that the different properties can complement each other and make the remedy more effective.

When it comes to herbs for relaxation or sleeping I usually recommend tinctures (hydroalcoholic extracts) because these kinds of properties extract better in alcohol so an infusion (tea) might not be as effective as a tincture. However, if you don’t have big issues falling asleep and all you need is a remedy to take regularly to help you relax before going to bed and fall asleep more easily an infusion is ideal. It all comes down to personal needs.

This is a list of the herbs that I use in my practice to treat sleeping issues:

Chamomile – it has been used for centuries as a reliable sleeping aid, taken as a tea it can help to calm your nerves and fall asleep more easily.

Melissa – this is one of my favourite relaxing herbs for teas. I love mixing it with chamomile for a lovely relaxing goodnight infusion. It has been long used especially by women to help with anxiety, insomnia, and even period cramps.

Linden – this is another calming and lovely tasting remedy that can be used in relaxing teas.

Passionflower – this is one of my favourite remedies to use in tincture form to relieve stress especially from the physical body. In fact, this is an antispasmodic herb, which means it helps to release tension from your muscles.

Hops – this is another herb that I love to use in tincture form, usually mixed with passionflower and wild lettuce. It is one of the best herbs to induce sleep.

Wild lettuce – it is very calming and sedative, best to be used in tincture form mixed with other herbs, under the supervision of a herbalist.

Lavender – lavender is a very relaxing herb, its scent alone is calming, and taken as a tea or as an extract it can be a great sleeping aid. Alternatively, the dried herb or the essential oil can be used in a warm relaxing bath before going to bed or can be put in the bed or on the pillow. I like to prepare a spray with water and lavender essential oil to spray on my pillow to help me fall asleep more easily.

Valerian – this herb is particularly famous as a sleeping aid. However, I don’t often use it in my practice because it can have different effects on some people, as someone can actually find it stimulating rather than relaxing, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Nevertheless, this is a lovely herb to treat anxiety so I do recommend it as a general stress relieving tonic.

Californian Poppy – I don’t often use this herb in my practice for the simple reason that I am more familiar with other herbs, but it can be often found in shops as a sleeping aid and it has a great reputation.

As with all natural remedies, these herbs can have contraindications and interactions so I do recommend consulting a trained herbalist before taking these or any other herbs. It is also a good idea to get a consultation with a trained herbalist so you can get the remedies most suited for you, as we all have different needs as well as different underlying causes to be addressed.