Insomnia can be a debilitating affliction, leaving us physically, mentally, and emotionally depleted. And it can be surprisingly difficult to overcome, its causes complex and often mysterious.
If you do suffer from insomnia, you are certainly not alone, as a 2013 study from the CDC revealed that nine million Americans use prescription sleeping pills to help them sleep at night. When you factor in how many unwanted side effects generally accompany pharmaceuticals, that number is certainly alarming and in dire need of change.
Thankfully there are healthier, natural solutions for you and your loved ones to turn to should you have trouble sleeping. Here are four of the best herbs that you can start using today to help you get a good night’s rest:
Most of us are familiar with lavender-scented soaps and detergents. Lavender’s distinctive aroma is enjoyed by most, and thankfully, it grows in many places around the world (including the United States and Europe), making it relatively easy to find.
Lavender is commonly credited as a relaxation aid, something that many troubled sleepers could surely benefit from. There are two great ways to use lavender as a potential sleep aid: 1) Add a few drops of lavender essential oil into a warm bath or diffuser before bed; 2) Spritz some lavender room and linen spray onto your pillow and bedding.
Most people know of the calming qualities of chamomile tea. Chamomile, unlike other popular tea choices such as green or black, comes from a daisy-like plant rather than a tree.
This particular plant contains chrysin, a flavonoid to which many credit chamomile’s calming effects. For a more potent dose, opt to dissolve some organic chamomile powder, rather than tea bags, into hot water.
3. Passion Flower
In addition to being a stunningly beautiful plant, passion flower also happens to be a sleep aid powerhouse. Scientific studies have confirmed the plant’s sedative effects, as well as its ability to assist with tension, restlessness, and irritability.
To make passion flower a part of your sleep regimen, steep a couple of teaspoons into a cup of hot water.
Hops are the flowers of the humulus lupulus plant, most commonly known for their role as a stability agent in beer. However, it turns out that hops are also a powerful sedative.
Adding just a few drops of a concentrated organic hops extract to water can induce sleep. The infamous Dr. Whitaker suggests combining it with valerian root extract (120mg of hops, 500mg of valerian) to create a concoction that research has shown to not only improve sleep quality but also reduce sleep onset time.