Whether it’s stresses from the day or more serious health issues that are keeping you up at night, many botanicals have been known to encourage a good night’s sleep.
Here are a few recommended botanical herbs and how to use them:
- Passionflower can create a calming effect and help control that “vicious circle of thought going round and round in your head”; so you can go to sleep.
- Magnolia bark, used in Chinese medicine, helps to reduce cortisol, which can help the sleep cycle. It promotes relaxation of both the body and mind, and is also good for reducing diabetes and obesity risk.
- Ashawganda is a herb from India that helps to decrease stress. It brings more mental calmness, less anxiety and depression; reducing insomnia.
- Lemon balm has been used for centuries medicinally as a sleep aid. It helps with restlessness, anxiety and insomnia. Studies have even shown it helps agitation and hyperactivity for Alzheimer’s and ADHD patients.
You can partake of these herbs as a tea by brewing your herbs and drinking about one hour before bedtime. You can take it as an extract form about 30 minutes before bed. Mix it with a little water if you do not like the flavor.
In addition to herbs, many turn to essential oils as a natural way to promote sleep.
The following are some sleep-promoting essential oils:
- Lavender helps to relax the body and reduce the feelings of stress, anxiety or unease. In one study, lavender oil reduced depression by 32% in people suffering from post -traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Clary Sage improves mood, balances hormones and reduces stress. Inhaling clary sage promotes soothing feelings of relaxation allowing for a restful night’s sleep.
- Ylang Ylang essential oil can significantly decrease blood pressure and lower heart rate proving it has a sedative effect when inhaled. By acting directly on the olfactory system of the brain, Ylang Ylang has immediate positive effects on your mood and acts like a mild depression remedy. It can also lessen frustration and anger.
- Roman Chamomile inhalation is a natural remedy for anxiety and general depression. In one study, volunteers experienced more drowsiness and calmness with Roman Chamomile which improved sleep quality. Roman Chamomile has also been proven to reduce symptoms of insomnia.
Essential oils can be inhaled by using a diffuser in the bedroom or by dropping a few drops on a cloth or Kleenex and holding it around the nose to breathe it in. Essential oils can also be used directly on the skin. It is recommended to mix your EO with a carrier oil first in case there is any skin irritation. Use jojoba, coconut or shea butter as a carrier.Herbs and essential oils are great natural ways to relax and fall asleep quicker. However, if you’re not sleeping through the night, not feeling well-rested the next morning, or snoring, consider investing in a snoring mouthpiece.