Herbs for Insomnia: What Herbal Remedies to Take and Why

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It is used homeopathically for restlessness and insomnia Boericke, California poppy is my favorite sedative and sleep-promoting herb which can currently be found in a variety of herbal remedies sold in the United States for promoting sleep, helping one to relax, and easing mild anxiety. Because of its mild sedative and analgesic properties, it can be given safely to children.

Kava is the national drink of Fiji and is popular throughout the South Seas. It imparts a calm feeling, relaxes the body, and sometimes enhances communication and dreaming. This sedative herb is often used for sleeplessness and fatigue.


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This common yellow-flowered weedy herb from Europe is quickly becoming an important part of modern herbal therapeutics. It has a long history of use dating back to ancient Greek times. Modern scientific studies show that it can help relieve chronic insomnia and mild depression when related to certain brain chemistry imbalances. Because this herb can sensitize the skin to sunlight, if you are taking a full dose, avoid direct skin exposure to bright sunlight. Melatonin is a human hormone that is increasingly popular as a supplement to promote sound sleep, especially in people who travel between time zones or who work odd hours.

People report mixed success with this product; some people find real benefit and others feel nothing from its use, while a smaller percentage of users experience side effects such as nervousness and increased insomnia. Whether you have benefited from the use of melatonin or not, one or more of the sleep hygiene tips, as well as safe and natural herbs and formulas covered in this article are likely to help you get a deep refreshing sleep, without side effects. For either formula, blend the loose herbs, place in a quart jar for future use, and store out of the direct sunlight in a cool place.

Let steep for 20 minutes, strain and store in the quart jar in the refrigerator.

Herbs and Natural Remedies for Insomnia – Dr. Christopher Hobbs

This blend will keep for 3 days. Pour out 1 cup, warm it, and drink several times daily or before bedtime as needed. A few drops of essential oil of lavender added to a foot bath or regular bath can have a nice, calming effect. Finally, sleep pillows made of equal parts of hops, lavender, and chamomile and bath salts containing relaxing essential oils both help promote sleep and are available in some health food stores. Herbs and Natural Remedies for Insomnia Sleep is one of the most deeply healing and revitalizing experiences known.

Sleep Hygiene Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Keep the room at a cool to moderate temperature. Excessive heat disturbs sleep. As far as possible, work out family or job related problems before going to sleep. Adapted from Rakel, Some of the major herbs for insomnia are discussed below. Herbs for Insomnia The following herbs can be used during the day, or try using minutes before bedtime. Tea, 1 cup x daily; Tincture, 30 drops 3 x daily. Tea, 1 cup x daily; Tincture, drops x daily. Tea, 1 cup x daily; Essential oil—oil may be inhaled, massaged into the skin use 10 drops essential oil per ounce of vegetable oil , or added to baths drops.

Passion flower Passiflora incarnata: Looking for more delicious insomnia cures? Snack on these 16 foods that can help you sleep better. Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT usually focuses on discovering and changing the thoughts or feelings that trigger depression and stress but it can be a natural insomnia cure, too. Research has found that CBT can retrain your body and mind for faster, deeper sleep. In a Harvard University study of 63 insomniacs, CBT was more effective than prescription sleeping pills; it cut the time it took for participants to fall asleep in half and improved sleep quality by 17 percent.

You can practice CBT at home, too. The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping a sleep diary of when you go to bed and wake up, as well as banishing daytime naps.

Effective Home Remedies For Insomnia

Instead, adopt a regular sleep schedule; that means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. For those with insomnia, a calm, relaxing sleep environment is imperative for uninterrupted slumber.

Alternative Treatments for Insomnia

Go even further by making sure your shades are tightly drawn against any outdoor lights. For maximum comfort, the National Sleep Foundation recommends a room temperature between 60 and 67 degrees.


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Make sure your room is the best environment for deep sleep by stealing these things the bedrooms of all good sleepers have in common. If anxiety is keeping you up at night, try these natural sleep remedies: Acupuncture is often used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of insomnia. This procedure involves the insertion of very fine needles sometimes in combination with electrical stimulus or with heat produced by burning specific herbs into the skin at specific acupuncture points in order to influence the functioning of the body.

The results of recent studies have shown acupuncture improved sleep quality in people with insomnia. However, additional research is required before the effectiveness of acupuncture is proved conclusively for the relief of insomnia.

Sip warm milk and honey

Relaxation and meditation or mindfulness. Increased muscle tension and intrusive thoughts can interfere with sleep. Therefore, it is not surprising that techniques aimed at relaxing muscles progressive muscle relaxation and biofeedback and quieting the mind meditation have been found to be effective treatments for insomnia. Most people can learn these techniques, but it usually takes several weeks before they can sufficiently master them well enough to help ease insomnia.

There is a growing body of evidence that supports the value of meditation in treating insomnia.

6 Science-Backed Sleep Remedies

Several studies show that regular meditation practice, either alone or as a part of yoga practice, results in higher blood levels of melatonin, an important regulator of sleep. Regular exercise deepens sleep in young adults with or without sleep disorders.

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In addition, several studies show that exercise can improve sleep in older adults. Recent studies show that even the low-to-moderate tai chi and certain yoga practices enhance sleep quality in older persons and cancer patients with sleep problems, respectively. Although consistent exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, most experts advise exercising at least three to four hours before bedtime to avoid interference with sleep.

Alternative therapies are not FDA approved and not always benign. By definition, alternative therapies are not generally accepted standard of care practice in the U. As mentioned, some herbal therapies can interact with other medications you may be taking. Consider the following points before starting alternative therapy.