Sleep Remedies

where you can finally take a rest

My personal rating of best herbs for insomnia

best natural sleep remedies

It is common knowledge that natures herbs have a variety of health benefits: whether it’s improving our cardiovascular health or immune system in general — you can always find that special one that helps solve your immediate health need.

Sleep problems are not an exception. If we want to find out how to treat insomnia naturally and without medication — we definitely should look more into what herbs could give us.

Bundles of best herbs for insomnia on sale at a market

I tried many herbal remedies for insomnia — some work better than others, some — to be honest — didn’t live to my expectations. To organize the vast knowledge and experience on the topic, I tried to compos a neat pros-and-cons list of herbs, that may help anyone suffering from sleep problems.

I hope you will find something new and use that knowledge to improve your sleeping quality. Enjoy!

Valerian

Valerian is widely known as the go to plant when we have any issue with sleeping. Many people consider using valerian for insomnia treatment and for a good reson. Valerian roots contain a large amount of alkaloids, which have a wide beneficial effect on our nervous system. Even the name “Valere” means “To be healthy” in latin! Valerian flowers

Valerian can be used in many forms like tincture and extract (conveniently sold as pills). I found tincture to be the most efficient, although you should try to find the form that suits you best.

However, one should be cautious about consuming too much of valerian — it could be so effective that it would put you to sleep even if you are engaged in some activity! So please please please use it in a safe environment, like just before going to bed.

Here are my personal ratings for using valerian as a sleep aid:

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ease of use                — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Passionflower

Passionflower — not so popular as it’s other sleep herbs colleagues — is mostly known because of it’s edible fruit also known as maracuja. Yet our goal here is to find the best sleeping herbs, not the tastiest herbs (unfortunately, I’d love to make an extended research on that kind of topic 😄)

Passionflower with dark leaves

Passionflower was used by Native Americans for a variety of health benefits from insomnia to pain relief. Either dried or fresh leaves based tea was made and consumed by Native Americans (and then Europeans) to improve sleep quality and become more calm.

Passionflower nowadays can be found in liquid forms and capsules (extracts) so you would avoid the hassle of making your own tea or some other form of consumption.

Sad that this herb is also not so great when talking about side effects. In fact, the US government deemed it as possibly unsafe, because it can cause extreme sedation and dizziness. So I advice you to start with lower dosage and see how your body would react.

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️⭐️
Ease of use                — ⭐️⭐️⭐️

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Having a hard-to-pronounce scientific name (e-sh-sh-whaaat?), California Poppy is also considered as a great way of improving sleep. It’s beautiful golden flowers (some legends say that when they touch the ground — it becomes filled with gold — oh how I wish that this was true) along with leaves are being used as a quality sedative and antidepressant. A field of california poppy plants

Similar to passionflower Native Americans consumed California Poppy as a water extract to improve health.

You would likely find California Poppy as a liquid form in shops. Though, if gardening is your thing, you could try to grow this herb — beautiful and benefical — that is definitely a win-win situation!

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️
Ease of use                — ⭐️⭐️

Ashwagandha

Deeply rooted (pun intended) as a part of ayurvedic medicine traditions ashwagandha has a ton of health improving properties. In fact, if I wanted to list them all, I’d have to write a separate article! Just know that it is a wonder-plant, and in this article I will only focus on sleep related effects.

Did you know that the latin name for this herb is “Somnifera” which means “sleep-inducing”. Pretty awesome, huh? In other words, that proves that both East and West consider somnifera/ashwagandha one of best herbal tranquilizers that nature has to offer.

An indian girl holding a plant

This sleeping herb is so popular, that you can find it in any form for your liking — tincture, capsules with extract and even powder for tea. For me the tea powder gave a more pronounced effect compared to other forms. But again, try for yourself and see what works.

Ashwagandha is definitely among the top of my recommendation list. Especially if your are a fan of India medicine – I strongly recommend that you try this herb

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️
Ease of use                — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnolia Bark

From India we move to China, which has it’s own health herb called Magnolia. The bark of this plant is being used in traditional Chinese medicine for a long time.

A tree branch with magnolia flowers

I was able to find out that the strongest benefits of Magnolia is that it helps with stomach issues. Good in its own way, unfortunately I’m not able to recommend this herb for treating sleep issues as there’s simply not enough evidence.

Furthermore, it is really hard to come by, so my advice is that you focus your attention on some other herbs, like the next one that I’d like to tell you about.

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️️️️️️️️️️️️️⭐️⭐️
Ease of use                — ⭐️

Lavander

A flower so pretty that a color was named after it, Lavander in addition to other herbs, also offers us some help in terms of getting a good sleep.

Lavander at night in France

Even though it is mostly used in culinary, lavender also applies a pleasant effect onto our nervous system. Here’s a simple recepie: take some dry lavender flowers and put them in a small cloth bag. When you have trouble sleeping, crush it a bit and put next to bed. The rich soothing fragrance will definetly help you fall asleep faster.

Lavander is fairly easy to get in different forms — essential oils, liquid and even cream!

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️️️️️️️️️️️️️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ease of use                — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

There is another interesting plant that deserves a mention in this list — hops. Although, most of us know it as a plant, largely cultivated by the brewing industry, hops is also used in medicine.

A brewer holding hops

If you want to get the calming, even sedative effect, please try hops essential oil. Rich in humulene, this oil is perfect for sleep (given that you’re OK with hops strong aroma).

If oil is not your thing, you can also make a sleeping tea with hops.

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️️️️️️️️️️️️️⭐
Ease of use                — ⭐️⭐️⭐

We are almost done! As you can see there are lots of natural sedatives for sleep. Yet, there’s one more that I was saving for last. And, in my opinion, it’s the best amongst others!

Chamomile

Today chamomile is, hands down, the most common medicine plant there is. Medical community strongly stands behind chamomile usage for treatment of a wide variety of health issues. Even I focus solely on sleeping benefits — chamomile has it all: herbal tranquilizer, natural antidepressant, nervous system enhancer and more…

Chamomile plants at dusk

In fact, there has been a lot of research and proof, that chamomile indeed has all of the aforementioned quality. Scientists, medics (traditional and classical) have invested a lot of time into this herb, as it showed greatest potential for human health. Moreover, even Ancient Greeks have reported that chamomile has great healing properties.

If that isn’t enough to convince you for using chamomile as a natural sleep remedy — check out how many forms of chamomile are out there on the store shelves! Balms, extracts, oils, creams and of course dry herb for tea.

I advice to try all of the herbs on that list and check out what works best for you. But if you asked me for a personal favorite – it would absolutely be chamomile!

Ratings

Sleep remedy score — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Side effects                — ⭐️️️️️️️️️️️️️⭐⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ease of use                — ⭐️⭐️⭐⭐️⭐️

There you have it! A deep dive into the wonderful world of sleep herbs! I hope my personal research helped you find that one plant that makes you fall asleep easier and feel 100% fresh in the morning!

All in all, each herb is unique and provides it’s own benefits. So if something doesn’t quite work for you there’s always another natural solution to try for improving our sleep.