There are many people who face severe issues of sleep disorder and it is difficult for them to fall asleep. Sleep is a key component of good health. They say humans need at least 8 hours of sleep a night to rejuvenate and restore their bodies. Unfortunately, in the days of stress, chaos, constant electronic bombardment, adrenal fatigue, and hormonal craziness, we are seeing people generally getting less sleep, and the sleep they do get, tends to be interrupted in some way. This means the sleep quality and quantity have a lot to be desired. Thankfully, we have these 6 magical herbs which can help you relax, rejuvenate, and come to a quiet place of rest and relaxation.
6 Magical Herbs To Help You Sleep
1. Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry)
It is an adaptogen with strong affinities towards the nervous system. It helps the body deal with stress and hormone fluctuations caused by stress, especially helping regulate cortisol levels at night time. Cortisol is what wakes you up at 2 am thinking about a million things at once and not being able to fall back asleep. Taking 500mg of Ashwagandha daily can help your body even out stress hormone levels which can help you get a good night sleep. It has also been shown to ease anxiety and depression.
It is a wonderful calming herb. It relaxes both the body (muscles) and the mind. It is also a wonderful, gentle sedative. It is safe and effective for children. Chamomile tea sipped by a breastfeeding mother can soothe the baby after breastfeeding. Toddlers can sip chamomile tea with a little bit of honey before bedtime to calm them down. Adults can drink 1-2 cups of chamomile tea at the end of the day to help calm down before bedtime. Steep chamomile in hot water for 10 minutes in a tightly capped jar, strain and enjoy.
Chamomile oil can also be put in bath water (5-6 drops) to soothe overwrought nerves, diluted to 2% to make an excellent massage oil, or used as an inhalant.
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3x daily; Tincture, 30 drops 3 x daily.
Everyone knows that Lavender is great for relaxing and calming the mind and body. The essential oil can be diffused in the evenings alone or combined with other relaxing essential oils to bring on a state of peace and relaxation. The leaves can be drunk as a tea, or added to food. It is great for insomnia, agitation and restlessness. Lavender is a gentle strengthening tonic for the nervous system as well. A few drops of lavender oil added to a bath before bedtime are recommended for persons with sleep disorders. Additionally, the oil may be used as a compressor massage oil or simply inhaled to alleviate insomnia.
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Essential oil may be inhaled, massaged into the skin (use 10 drops essential oil per ounce of vegetable oil), or added to baths (3-10 drops).
It’s a great herb for people who wake frequently throughout the night. It is a safe herb for most (excluding excessive use in pregnancy, especially in the first trimester), including children and can be taken in large doses frequently. It is used to promote a deep restful sleep and ease anxiety. Take 30-60 drops of passionflower tincture an hour before hitting the bed, and again at bedtime if you are not yet tired. The herb can be combined with others to make a wonderful night time tea as well. Passionflower is used for minor sleep problems in both children and adults (Bruneton, 1995). It is an excellent sedative with no side effects even when used in large doses (Spaick, 1978).
Dose: Tea, 1 cup 3x daily; Tincture, 30-60 drops 3-4x daily.
5. Lemon balm
It is used primarily to lift the mood and promote calmness and relaxation. Since depression is often related to insomnia, probably because of a lack of serotonin, lemon balm can help you achieve sleep by promoting mental and physical health. Several studies have confirmed its sedative effects, however, it should be noted that too high of a dosage (1800 milligrams) increases anxiety.
To make it into a mild, uplifting, and relaxing tea. You will need:
- 2 tablespoons of dried lemon balm, or 8-10 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm
- 2 teaspoons dried chamomile
- Honey to taste (optional)
- 8 ounces of fresh water
Directions: Place the loose herbs in a mug and cover with 8 ounces of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain, and drink 30-45 minutes before bed.
6. California Poppy
This is a great herb for insomnia due to restlessness and anxiety (and it’s safe and gentle enough for children). This herb not only helps you to fall asleep, it improves the quality of your sleep as well. A tincture is the most powerful way to take this. Try 30-40 drops twice daily (the second dose close to bedtime).
These herbs can be combined to make a lovely relaxing night time tea that works for your specific needs. That is the great thing about herbs, some speak to you more than others. Those are typically the herbs that you should do some more work with to see if they suit you!
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