We are Ike & Janiece: college sweethearts, parents and music lovers, living in Texas with our daughter. Nigermany is a lifestyle journal dedicated to our pursuit of a simple, healthy and good life.

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5 Herbal Remedies for Better Sleep: Herb for Sleep Aid & Insomnia

Herbs for sleep

When you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, it can impact your daily life in so many different ways. When I am overtired, I know that I have a harder time approaching the day’s issues and stressors in a calm and relaxed manner. I can be quicker to frustration and shorter with my husband and children – plus, I just don’t feel like myself with my sleep quality has been poor. And I know I’m not the only one!

Luckily, there are plenty of natural sleep aids and herbs to help improve sleep quality. These all-natural plants can help you fall asleep, improve your sleep duration, and help promote relaxation and rest, all while they improve the quality of sleep. But not just any herb will do the trick. In this article, I’ll cover five herbs that help me reduce anxiety and achieve restful sleep when I’m tossing and turning. 

Why Use Herbs for Sleep

Getting good sleep is crucial for not only everyday functioning but also your long-term health. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that sleep is just as important for good health as diet and exercise. There are a few different components to getting the best sleep possible – it’s a little more complex than simply how long you spend in bed. Your duration of sleep is certainly important – but equally important is your sleep quality. If you are getting disturbed sleep, that is not as beneficial as an uninterrupted and refreshing snooze. Finally, it’s important to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. 

Herbs are natural sleep remedies that can help you achieve these goals – and believe it or not, they can have a big impact on sleep quality in older and younger adults alike. Believe me, there are so many things that can interfere with sleep – as parents of a toddler, my husband and I often face sleep disturbances when our daughter needs a hug, has a bad dream, or simply wants some mommy-and-daddy time. 

As a parent, sleep time can be limited, so it’s crucial to make the most of the sleep we do get. Instead of turning to traditional pills or syrups, we can utilize herbal sleep aids to take advantage of the incredible powers of mother nature. Many academic papers have even found proven evidence of herbs as an effective treatment for sleep disorders – for instance, this NIH study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of herbs as treatments for poor sleep, and found them tied to improvements in quality and duration of sleep. 

If you know me, then you know that I am dedicated to finding safe, natural remedies for improved sleep – and any ailments that befall me and my family. And if you are reading this article, then I’m guessing you are in the same boat. Modern medicine is a gift, but before we had its powers, we relied on the God-given gifts of the Earth… and herbs are one of them. Whether you have an in-home herbal apothecary or you are just getting started on your herb journey, using herbs known to help promote good sleep is a great place to start. 

How Do Herbs Help You Sleep Better?

Herbs have been used for centuries to promote overall health and wellness, as well as relaxation and sleep. How? Herbs have natural components that we have tried to channel in the modern sleep medicines of today – but they do it without chemicals and toxins that you might find in typical pills and syrups. They can help address sleep problems through a sedative effect that comes directly from plants. 

Whether you are using herbs as a treatment of insomnia or simply a sleep supplement, these all-natural remedies have been linked to significant improvements in sleep across the entire sleep cycle from sleep onset to REM sleep and back again. If you need help with sleep, many herbs may improve sleep, help reduce sleep disruptions, and provide many other sleep benefits. Here are a few of the best herbs for sleep. 

The Best Herbs to Improve Sleep

Herbs have been used since ancient times and by many different civilizations. It is always astounding to me how medicinal herbs have been placed on this Earth to help humankind in so many different ways. These herbs serve as natural remedies for sleep and wakefulness. 

1. Valerian Root

Also called simply “valerian,” this herb comes from the root of the valerian plant. It is 100% safe to consume and is actually regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as a dietary supplement. Many people have found success with valerian root in treating sleep problems and associated symptoms. Valerian root as a sleep aid has been used since the era of ancient Greece and Rome, and it is still grown around the world. 

2. Hibiscus

Chock-full of antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and anthocyanin, hibiscus comes in many forms, but all aid in sleep hygiene. Hibiscus is known for its positive effects on sleep apnea and its ability to promote deep sleep. One of the best herbs to help you sleep, hibiscus can be enjoyed as a tea as well as a liquid extract or essence.  

3. Chamomile

The effects of chamomile on sleep are widely recognized and have been for many years. This herb was used over 5,000 years ago and is known to help you fall asleep faster. The most popular way to consume chamomile is in a cup of herbal tea. One of the most well-known natural remedies for better sleep, chamomile is perfect for a bedtime mug full of soothing, herbal liquid. 

4. Lavender 

The most important component of lavender is its essential oil. One of the many herbs that may improve sleep quality, lavender is best used as a calming scent that can help promote relaxation. For instance, I often include it in my DIY mattress spray that transforms my bedroom into a calming oasis and improves my sleep every night. 

5. Passion Flower

A climbing vine that grows in warm, tropical and temperate regions. Many believe that American Indians used to consume herbs, including passion flower, to help with issues like sleep and nightmares. It is widely regarded as one of the best herbs for better sleep. 

Other Natural Ways to Fall Asleep 

If natural herbs aren’t doing the trick for you, there are other natural ways to fall asleep that you can try. For instance, the National Sleep Foundation has found that setting a regular sleep schedule and sticking to consistent sleep patterns can affect sleep in a positive manner. For people who have trouble getting to sleep or need help with insomnia, herbal tea before bed is strongly recommended – but other suggestions include reading and listening to soft music. 

Chronic insomnia in adults may need even more aggressive strategies – but you do not have to take traditional prescription medications to treat insomnia. Some studies show that cognitive behavioral therapy can also help insomnia patients deal with anxiety and sleep, including anxiety-related restlessness and disturbed sleep. 

When to see a doctor for insomnia

If you are still struggling to get a high quality sleep and you have tried herbs for improved sleep as well as other natural tactics, it might be time to see a doctor. If you continue to lose sleep, you might be facing sleep deprivation, which can have extremely adverse effects and can impact your daily life in many negative ways. If you’re regularly having trouble sleeping, or if you are feeling fatigued even after getting a restful sleep, it might be time to see a doctor

If you try these herbal remedies and experience success, don’t hesitate to let me know. Certain herbs have proven health benefits, and the ones outlined in this article are just a few of them. My commitment to herbs in the home isn’t just sleep-related, however. I’m always trying to support my family with all-natural, plant-based fixes to common household problems. Check out some of my other recent articles on building a herbal home right here

Hi, I'm Janiece

It all started with a midnight epiphany and the rest is history.

I've worn the hat of a dedicated corporate woman, a tenacious go-getter, and a passionate career climber. After welcoming my first bundle of joy into the world just three weeks into a global pandemic, I realized there were fragments of myself I had set aside while on my upward career trajectory. Somewhere over the years, I realized I stopped wholly caring for myself and my family in exchange for career success.

So, I made a choice – a choice to embrace whole living, nurturing every part of myself from the inside out.

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