Sleep is a deeply restorative and rejuvenating process, if you get enough of it. The average person in the modern world does not get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, but falls significantly short. This affects your health and can have long-term consequences.
Before you rush out to buy over the counter sleep medication, you should be aware of potentially harmful products. Products with diphenhydramine are typically best avoided, and you should try natural herbal remedies before seeking prescription drugs such as Ambien.
Nature provides everything you need for your body to get a good night’s rest or to be free from anxiety. Getting 8 hours of sleep regularly will heal your body and leave you looking and feeling fresh each and every morning. Beauty sleep is not a myth – your skin cells renew overnight, along with vital hormonal and metabolic changes. If you interrupt the process by not getting enough rest, it can leave your face puffy, wrinkled and with worsened skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
5 Natural Herbal Remedies For Sleep
If you have insomnia though, it’s not as simple as just getting 8 hours of sleep.
Here are some herbs that can help alleviate your insomnia and other sleep troubles:
- Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis) – This is a popular and effective herbal sedative that works well in conjunction with skullcap, hops and passion flower. It is used extensively in the USA to combat insomnia and nervousness, without the side effects of synthetics like Valium. It helps if you take a long time to get to sleep, or if you find yourself waking up frequently in the night. You can take a valerian root tincture or as a tea.
- Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) – Also known as maypop or wild passion vine, this beautiful flower is another excellent herbal sedative with no side effects, even at large doses. It is effective for both adults and children. It has been used for over 200 years to help calm the nervous system and relieve stress for a better sleep. It can help with anxiety by increasing GABA, aneurotransmitter in the brain also known as nature’s Valium-like substance. Passionflower should not be used during pregnancy.
- Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) – Safe for children and adults alike, chamomile tea is commonly used for restlessness in many parts of the world including Europe, South America and Mexico. It contains the amino acid glycine, which relaxes the nerves, and calms and soothes before bed time.
- Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) – You can add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath before going to bed. Inhaling the scents of lavender or applying the oil into the skin is a great tonic for insomnia and strengthens the nerves. You can also have it in the form of tea, the same with all these great herbal remedies for sleep.
- Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) – Works fantastically well when combined with valerian root, and helps with insomnia or sleep apnea. It helps calm a busy mind, if you find your brain is racing with thoughts of the day before and the day ahead while trying to get to sleep. Skullcap is a member of the mint family, and can build a healthy nervous system and reduces anxiety. Some claim it helps promote vivid or lucid dreaming. There are 100s of varieties of skullcap, but the 2 most common for sleep are North American skullcap or Chinese skullcap. The Latin name above is for the North American variant, which is also known as blue skullcap and was once used as a remedy for rabies. Do not use if pregnant.
The power of combining herbs together should not be understated. There really is a synergistic effect that means the sum total effect of using them together is greater than they would each provide individually.
There are many great sleeping aids that do not use synthetic sedatives with unnecessary side effects. One we’ve reviewed that contains many of the herbs presented above is Alteril. Check out the Alteril review post here. Alteril contains valerian, passion flower, chamomile and more, providing great synergy to help with any kind of sleep problems.