Picture this. You jump into bed after a long, tiring day hoping to catch some much-needed shut-eye. However, instead of drifting into slumberland, you toss and turn the entire night. Although disappointed, you are not surprised. Lately, you are experiencing difficulties either falling asleep or staying asleep, both of which deprive you of the benefits of healthy sleep. Consequently, you wake up each morning feeling lousy and tired.
You might have tried various insomnia treatments, ranging from counting sheep to blinking a hundred times in less than a minute, to taking prescription pills, but nothing seems to provide a lasting solution. Besides, some medications appear to have undesirable side effects.
There is Hope
The good news is that there are indeed effective treatments for insomnia, if you can identify what is causing you the sleepless nights. It could be medication, drug abuse, stress, anxiety, depression, or hormonal imbalance as in the case of menopause in women. If your lack of sleep results from drug addiction, caffeine intake, or medication, terminating the consumption of these substances can help restore your sleep. However, if it is due to hormonal imbalances, mental stress, depression, or anxiety, you might need to resort to calming herbs to soothe your nerves and to correct the sleep disorder.
These natural cures are effective, affordable, and readily available both in nature and health food stores. Moreover, they do not have any adverse side effects. Besides improving your sleep, they will help to ease digestive problems, muscle aches, and body pains, as well as delight you with their calming fragrance.
Natural Herbs to Help You Sleep Better
Although there are many herbal cures, they do not all offer the same health benefits. Some are meant for weight loss, while others are ideal for detoxifying, boosting immunity, stimulating growth, or enhancing body relaxation. If you are searching for reliable herbs to treat your insomnia, the following five natural herbs are guaranteed to help you sleep better:
- Passion Flower
- Lemon Balm
- Holy Basil
Let’s dive deep into each one of them.
Lavender is one of the most widely used natural cures because of its effectiveness in decreasing anxiety and curing insomnia. It does so by increasing instances of slow wave sleep, which makes a person wake up fully refreshed. This flowery herb has aromatherapy qualities that mildly sedate the nervous system, causing a restless person, or one suffering from insomnia, to quickly fall asleep. Furthermore, it helps to reduce the production of the stress-causing hormone called serum Cortisol, and ease chronic pain. No wonder so many people use it for decreasing pain after minor surgeries and invasive testing.
How to Use Lavender
Lavender is available in various forms which include essential oil, capsules, and lotions. As such, you can use it in any of the following ways.
You can inhale lavender in the following three ways to boost your sleeping pattern. First, you could add one or two drops of lavender essential oil into a warm bath, to produce a calming aromatic, nerve-soothing feel. Or, you could pour the oil in a reed diffuser and place it in your bedroom so that the scent fills the room. Lastly, you could sprinkle the oil on your pillow when you go to bed to enjoy a good night sleep.
The lavender in capsule form is effective when swallowed. However, you need to consult with a medical doctor on the right dosage and do not give it to children. If your preference is the lavender lotion, using it as a massage oil will help improve the quality of your sleep.
If there is a popular herbal sleep aid out there, it is Chamomile. It is a mild sedative that exists in two varieties. The Roman or English Chamomile, and the German Chamomile. Both versions are extremely effective in soothing the nerves, easing indigestion, and promoting sleep by improving mental calmness. This natural cure also reduces physical malaises and alleviates symptoms of nausea, colic, and heartburn.
How to Use Chamomile
A common way of using chamomile to treat insomnia is by infusing it in tea and drinking a cup just before going to bed. To make the tea, you can purchase a pre-packaged chamomile teabag, or you could pour two to three teaspoons of the dried Chamomile in a cup of hot water. In both instances cover the solution and steep it for ten to fifteen minutes before drinking the sleep-inducing beverage. Doing so helps to retain the herb’s calming properties.
Chamomile is also available in the form of supplement capsules. If you prefer the tablet version, ordinarily you need to take it at least three times per day. However, it is prudent first to check with your doctor concerning the right dosage.
If taking the supplements or drinking it in a teacup does not excite you, you still have the option of inhaling it to induce sleep. You can create a soothing bath by either pouring a few Chamomile essential drops into a warm bath, or by introducing a few dried chamomile flowers into the tub. Alternatively, you could spray a few drops of chamomile oil on your pillows before going to bed.
The Melissa officinalis or lemon balm, as it is widely known, is an ancient relaxant whose use dates back to the Middle Ages. It boasts of good sleep-inducing, nerve calming, and indigestion relieving properties, which makes it a perfect remedy for insomnia. Thanks to its therapeutic value, it has many uses which include cosmetics and furniture polish as well as health supplements.
Some of the lemon balm health benefits include reduction of anxiety symptoms like restlessness and nervousness. When the anxiety is reduced, a person falls asleep much easier. Subsequently, he or she will develop a rich, physically- and mentally-healthy lifestyle.
How to Use Lemon Balm
Just like many natural herbs, there are several methods of using lemon balm.
You can brew dried lemon balm herb tea by steeping one teaspoon of the herb in boiling water and drinking it throughout the day. If you don’t fancy tea, you have the supplements option at your disposal. These supplements are conveniently available in the form of capsules, where the ideal dosage is taking 300 mg or 500 mg, three times per day. Again, it is best if you consult with your doctor about the appropriate dosage.
Another way of using lemon balm to improve sleep is by applying lemon balm body cream at least three times daily, or sprinkling a few drops on your pillow before going to bed.
The passion flower, also known as Passiflora incarnata, is a mild flavored herb from tropical Peru. It has strong antidepressant qualities making it a useful sedative and sleep aid. In fact, due to its effectiveness, the Germans consider it an herbal tranquilizer. The herb significantly alleviates nervousness and anxiety in the body, thereby guaranteeing quality sleep. Furthermore, its extracts help to relax the nerves of people suffering from restless leg syndrome.
When you use passion flower herbs, you are likely to experience the following benefits. You will feel calmer and less anxious since the herb lowers brain activity and increases the levels of GABA, the “feel good” chemical. The increased calmness, in turn, helps you fall asleep quickly, have adequate rest, and wake up feeling upbeat.
How to Use the Passion Flower
The most practical way of using the passion flower is by drinking it. Add a teaspoon of the extract in a cup of boiling water and steep it for ten minutes. After steeping, strain it and enjoy a cup before going to bed to enjoy a pleasant night of sleep. If you prefer to use passion flower extracts, heed to the instructions on the label to avoid abusing the powerful herbal sedative. Similarly, if you are on other prescription antidepressants, find out from your doctor if it is safe for you to take the passion flower treatment.
Many people often mistake holy basil for the traditional ingredient used in Thai delicacies. Holy basil, or tulsi, however, is very different from the tasty garden basils. Tulsi is a native of Southeast Asia and is ideal for treating various health conditions such as adrenal fatigue, blood sugar, chromium toxicity, and cholesterol. Moreover, this herb is effective in reducing cortisol and stress, both of which are leading causes of sleep disorders such as insomnia. Unlike other adrenal fatigue supplements, holy basil is not a stimulant. It, therefore, does not result in negative side effects common with other similar remedies.
When you use holy basil, your body will enjoy many benefits. For instance, the cortisol level, the amount of pain, and the anxiety in your body will drastically reduce, leaving you in a calm and relaxed state. Basil will also offer your brain a relaxing boost. The absence of stress symptoms and the relaxed mental state naturally will make you fall asleep much faster.
How to Use Holy Basil to Treat Insomnia
If you decide to use basil to cure your sleeping disorder, you can bathe in it, drink it, take it as a capsule, or even inhale it. If you chose to wash in it, add several drops of the basil extract in a warm bath and enjoy the therapeutic shower. However, if you prefer to drink the cure, just steep a few basil leaves in a cup of hot boiling water for several minutes and drink it a few minutes before retiring to bed. The capsule version of the holy basil supplement is easy to take. You need to know what your correct dosage is, so be sure to get your proper dosage information from your doctor.
Important Considerations When Using These 5 Natural Herbs Guaranteed to Help You Sleep
Apparently, one in every eight people suffer from a sleep disorder; a fact that has led to the emergence of many natural cures. While most, if not all, of these products promise to help cure sleep-related problems, some do not. Besides, some of these products have undesirable side effects. For these and many other reasons, it is prudent for you to consider the following factors before embracing an herbal treatment product.
- Doctor’s Advice
While these calming herbs rarely pose any health risks on their own, when combined with other prescription medication, the outcome can be unpleasant. For instance, combining passion flower with certain antidepressants can drastically increase the sedative effect of the treatment. Similarly, our bodies react differently to various medication. As such, what might be an appropriate dosage for one person could be an overdose or underdose for another person. It is important to consult your doctor on what natural cure to take, as well as the ideal dosage.
- Follow the Instructions
It does not matter how powerful a particular natural remedy is, it will not be effective if you use it incorrectly. Follow the correct procedure to prepare the treatment, and the right dosage as well. For that reason, before you purchase an herbal insomnia treatment find out if you are comfortable with how to use it. If you are not, go for one which you are more comfortable using.
Since there are many natural cures available on the market, do not hesitate to experiment with as many as you can. The rationale behind that is, each of the five natural herbs guaranteed to help you sleep better has different health benefits. Besides, a cure can be effective on one person and fail to produce similar results on another. The only sure way for you to identify the one which will help treat your insomnia is by trying them out. However, make sure you use products that are safe for your health. Looking at reviews and consulting a doctor will help in that regard.
- Product Credibility
Just because you are under pressure to find a cure for your insomnia does not mean you should throw caution to the wind when trying out remedies. Take the time to investigate or learn more about the product. Find out who the product manufacturer is and what other users have to say about the product. If there are many dissatisfied users, that’s a red flag. You are better off not making the purchase.
- Be Patient
One thing about most pure natural herbs is that they do not promise quick fixes or overnight success. At times it might take a couple of days or longer before you notice a significant improvement in your sleep pattern. Nevertheless, be patient and give the herb adequate time to work before replacing it with another.