Best herbal remedies and aids for sleep

September 4, 2020 4 mins read
Best herbal remedies and aids for sleep

Are you tossing and turning all night? There are herbal remedies available that can help you sleep better and get the rest you need.

Imagine what life would be like if you regularly got quality sleep? You can make insomnia a problem of the past and feel healthy and well-rested throughout the day with the best herbal remedies for good quality shut-eye.

Benefits of herbal remedies

Herbal sleep remedies are sleep aids that are made from natural ingredients, like flowers and herbs. You can take them when you struggle to wind down after a stressful day or feel sleep-deprived.

  • Fewer side effects: natural sleep remedies are generally considered safer than over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids.
  • Lower dependence: using natural remedies for a short time typically doesn’t lead to dependence. 

4 best herbal sleep aids

Skip pharmaceuticals for now. (The ones that contain ingredients you cannot even pronounce and that have a risk of chemical dependency). Instead, try these herbal sleep aids to help you sleep better at night and feel your best in the day:

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that can help you to relax and fall asleep at night. One of the best ways to enjoy the sleep-inducing benefits of magnesium is to take an Epsom salt bath before bed. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is easily absorbed by the skin and can help to relax your whole body. You can also include more magnesium in your diet by including foods like dark chocolate, avocado, nuts, seeds, legumes, and oily fish.

You could also take a magnesium supplement to help make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. However, the type of magnesium supplement that you choose is also an important factor to consider.

Different types of magnesium are used to make over-the-counter supplements, such as:

  • Magnesium chelate and magnesium glycinate are forms of magnesium that are the most bioavailable, meaning your body can easily absorb them.
  • Magnesium oxide and sulfate are not the best sleep aids as they are not easily absorbed when they are taken in supplement form.

2. Lavender

Lavender is your friend if you struggle with insomnia or if you need some help calming down when stressed or anxious. The smell of lavender has an incredibly calming effect. Getting some lavender essential oil, smelling some lavender flowers, using a lavender pillow spray, and having a cup of lavender tea are all ways that you can use lavender to help you relax and fall asleep easier.

3. Valerian root

Did you know that valerian root is not only a popular natural remedy to help reduce stress and anxiety, but it aids sleep too? Valerian root can increase gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain, which is a chemical messenger that helps regulate your nervous system.

While there isn’t much scientific research to back up its sleep benefits, the relaxation and rest that many people have experienced is enough evidence for you to consider giving it a try. You can take it in tablet or capsule form, as a tea, or as a liquid extract.

4. Passionflower

Passionflower is another herbal remedy you can take to help you relax and sleep better at night. It has been used to help relieve stress and anxiety, as well as treat mild sleep problems for centuries. It also appears to increase concentrations of GABA in your brain, which will help you feel relaxed and improve the quality of your sleep.

Dried passionflower leaves can be placed in boiling water to make a tea, but you can also get it as a liquid extract or as capsules or tablets.

Do herbal remedies really work?

Herbal sleep aids and remedies work for promoting sleep, but the extent to which they do so depends on you as an individual. The severity of your sleep problems, your genetics, your levels of stress, which herbal remedies and aids you use, and how you use them all influence whether herbal remedies for sleep will work for you.

Before resorting to stronger pharmaceuticals, try the best herbal sleep aids, such as passionflower, lavender, valerian root, magnesium, and even melatonin to see if they will help you get the rest you need.

If you still struggle with insomnia, consult your doctor. They will be able to do a proper examination, refer you to a sleep specialist, and offer further advice on what you can do to manage your insomnia.