Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which one is lacking healthful, restful sleep. This means you may have difficulty going to sleep, staying asleep, and/or reaching REM sleep. Insomnia affects about 20% of adults at some point in their lives. Insomnia can be caused or exacerbated by many factors, including age, stress, diet, emotions, or lifestyle.
Treating Insomnia Naturally
Whatever the cause, it is important to address this condition as quickly as possible, as a lack of sleep can have a drastic impact on your productivity, mood, and overall health. The herbal solutions below will help you treat your insomnia quickly, effectively, and naturally.
Chamomile is revered for its soothing abilities, and this includes its ability to soothe you to sleep. It is most often consumed as a tea, but chamomile oil can also be added to your bath to help your mind and body relax. If you opt for the tea, try drinking 2-3 cups daily, but no later than 1.5 hours before you go to bed. Chamomile can also be taken as a tincture.
You may hear hops and think beer, but a cool beverage on a Friday evening is not the only thing hops are good for. Hops have long been used to induce sleepiness and calm nervousness and restlessness. You can try a hops pillow for mild insomnia, or brew yourself a cup of tea using hops.
Another ingredient well-known for its ability to relax, lavender is widely recommended for use by individuals with sleep disorders. You can add a drop of lavender essential oil to your pillowcase, take a bath with 3-10 drops of oil, or enjoy a cup of lavender tea 2-3 times daily. A great calming massage oil combine 10 drops of lavender with 1 ounce of vegetable (or coconut, olive, or other) oil.
4. Passion Flower
Especially if your insomnia is linked to stress, worry, overwork, or nervous exhaustion, passion flower is an excellent choice to combat insomnia. Passion flower may be consumed in the form of a tea (one cup, up to 3 times every day), or a tincture (30 drops, 1-3 times daily).
Valerian is often and generously used by herbalists to combat insomnia, nervousness, and restlessness. Valerian shortens sleep latency, which makes it a very good choice for those that have a difficult time falling asleep. Drink 1 cup of valerian tea as needed.
6. California Poppy
Studies have shown California poppy’s ability to act as a sedative and address anxiety. It has also been shown to help individuals fall asleep and have productive sleep. Again, you can drink it as a tea (up to 3 times every day), or a tincture (30 drops, 2-3 times per day).
7. St. John’s Wort
Aside from its odd name, studies have shown that St. John’s Wort is very effective in treating chronic insomnia and even mild depression. You can find it in capsule form (take 2-3 daily) or powdered extract tablets (take 1-2). This may increase your sensitivity to the sun, so make sure you apply some natural sunscreen and wear protective clothing.
Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies naturally produce to promote sounds sleep. Melatonin (usually as a capsule, or chew) can easily be found in your local grocery, health food, online, or supplement store. Take as directed about 30 minutes before going to bed.
9. Herbal Tea Blend
You can make yourself an excellent bedtime tea by combining the following ingredients:
Add the herbs to boiled water and cover; steep for 20 minutes; strain. This mixture with 1 quart of water will yield many servings; pour yourself one cup and save the rest in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Especially when suffering from insomnia, it is so important to take your sleep seriously and make it a priority. To help yourself fall asleep, get into the routine of going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning.
Make sure all lights and electronics in the room are turned off if you especially have a hard time falling asleep, try a sleep mask and/or ear plugs. Stop drinking liquids one hour before bedtime. A healthy diet and regular exercise also help regulate your sleep and improve sleep quality.