What Are Some Effective Herbal Sleep Remedies?


| 8/15/2008 12:00:00 AM


What are some effective herbal sleep remedies?

Ephram Ellis
Kellogg, Idaho

Sleep is essential to great health, yet the amount of sleep Americans get each night is on the decline — 100 years ago, nine and a half hours was the nightly average; in the 1960s, the average dropped to eight hours; and today it’s seven and a half hours. Because sleep is so important to your well-being, it’s worthwhile to make it a priority in your life. Try some of the tips below to get the rest you need, naturally.

Important note: If you suffer from persistent sleep problems that don’t respond to healthy lifestyle changes, consult your doctor. 

* If your insomnia is caused by tension or by working too much late at night, try a cup of tea made from relaxing, non-habit-forming herbs like catnip (Nepeta cataria), a gentle sedative; chamomile (Matricaria recutita), which helps calm the nerves and soothe the stomach; or passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), a safe sedative particularly helpful for insomnia caused by anxiety, worry or an overactive mind.



* Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is the best-known and most-researched herbal sleep aid—more than 200 studies on valerian have been published in the last 20 years. It’s a mild sedative herb that is nonaddictive and does not leave the user with a “hangover” feeling in the morning. Because the herb has an extremely unpleasant taste and smell, it’s best to use it in capsule form (according to package directions) or combined with other herbs, as in “Herbal Insomnia Formula” below.

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