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The Best Natural Herbs for Sleep

great quality herbs to help in sleep

Having trouble falling and staying asleep is an issue many people suffer from. There are many medications on the market today that doctors can prescribe that can help with this problem.

Many have unwanted side effects however and more people are looking for healthier alternatives.

There are herbs that have been used to treat insomnia for thousands of years. Lately, it seems that people are looking for the benefits of herbs and natural remedies that would help them fall asleep instead of putting a potentially harmful product into their body.

Best Herbs for Sleep

Just as with medication, there is not a one size fits all when it comes to herbs treating your insomnia. You may have to experiment with a few to find out which one will work best for you. Finding the best herbs for sleep is going to be key.

Valerian Root

Valerian or Valerian Root has been sold in health food stores for decades. It has been marketed as a known herb that can help reduce stress and promote sleep.

Valerian can be found naturally growing in North and South America as well as Asia. It also dates as far back as ancient Egypt when it comes to being used as a sleep aid.

This is one of the better known herbal options for sleep, so if you are a little skeptical about what will work for you, this may be a good place to start. Research material for Valerian is everywhere and is well known.


Lavender is another one that has been known as one of the calming herbs for sleep. It helps to calm the mind and aid in sleep for a long time. It’s a great option for those who suffer from insomnia as well as for people who suffer from anxiety.

What is nice about lavender is that you don’t necessarily have to ingest it to receive the sleep benefits that it provides.

You can spray a lavender mist over your sheets and pillows before you fall asleep or put a few drops in your oil diffuser for the night.

Some people find that taking a bath with lavender essential oil helps them to relax and get to sleep faster too. If simply smelling the calming aroma doesn't help you, lavender is safe to ingest. You can put it in a caffeine free tea and drink it before you go to bed.


Hops aren't just good for making beer. On its own, it can work as an extremely effective sleep aid. It is an ingredient used in many Chinese herbal recipes for sleep and relaxation. It was also used by the Romans during ancient times to help with sleep.

Another really great feature of Hops is that it has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. If you find yourself up at night due to pain, then hops can help with all of the symptoms of your insomnia for a more restful night.

California Poppy

Poppies have been known to help induce sleep for thousands of years. Many natural health food stores will even carry cold medicine that is made from the poppy for a natural remedy to help aid in cold relief.

California Poppy works by calming your nervous system down which in turn helps you fall asleep much quicker.

It can be mixed into a liquid of your choice to drink before bed. You can also just put a couple of drops on your tongue and swallow. You can drink water to help get it to your digestive system.

California Poppy can also go into tea. People often find that drinking tea before bed is soothing and relaxing. Mixing in a natural sleep sedative to your relaxing routine can help you get a good night's sleep.


Passionflower is known to have a calming effect on your nervous system, which makes it great for calming you down after a busy day.

It isn’t super strong on its own, so if you don’t need something as heavy-duty, then Passionflower may be enough for the sleep you are trying to achieve.

The other nice thing about Passionflower is that you can add it to another herbal sedative. Many people may add it with Valerian or Hops for the calming effect that it has. Combining it may provide more restful sleep.

Herbs for Sleep Apnea

There are other factors to sleep issues besides anxiety and stress and people who have medical conditions that prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep may also want to look into a medical alternative.

There are many ways to help manage Sleep Apnea, but if you are looking for sedative herbs for sleep, there are some options that may help.


Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory which means it directly affects your inflammatory response. This can help with symptoms of sleep apnea by cutting down the swelling of the airways and nasal passages that are affected by sleep apnea. It has calming effects that help people fall asleep and wake up feeling rested.

Green Tea

Green tea has been found to help with symptoms of Sleep Apnea in a roundabout way. Green Tea gives us energy when we drink it and when someone who suffers from sleep apnea drinks green tea during the day it helps with mental focus and clarity.

During this time, it will work against the oxidative stress which is present in the brain. It’s this function that ends up helping with sleep apnea.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar also works on the inflammatory response of the body and also helps to alkaline its PH. Both of these things can help with the breathing issues associated with sleep apnea.

You can add some to hot water and lemon at night before you go to bed and it tastes like a tea that is soothing and relaxing. Although this is not an herb, you can add an herbal supplement to this to add an additional sedative quality.

Chinese Herbs For Sleep

The Chinese have been using medicinal herbs for thousands of years. People with often turn to Chinese medicine as an alternative to avoid pharmaceuticals or try a new route in the event their medication isn't doing the trick.

Shan Zha

This is a Chinese Hawthorne berry that is good for blood circulation to the heart. Many of us may wake up due to heart palpitations and other minor heart-related issues that indicate we are deficient in something.

This helps to maintain the circulatory response of blood to the heart for a better rest.

Yin Tonics

Because often herbs work better together, you will find that if you choose a Chinese medical alternative you may be taking many different herbal concoctions to help alleviate your anxiety.

These can also be referred to as Yin Tonics and they are designed specifically for your insomnia. The herbs work together to help you sleep through the night.

Herbs for Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is loosely defined as “the condition that occurs if you don’t get enough sleep.” and is usually followed by feelings of drowsiness and even lack of energy or strength.

Making sure we get the proper amount of sleep each night is important but sleep deprivation treatment depends on the underlying causes of the condition and on the severity of the individual’s symptoms. Valerian root has a proven track record for reducing stress and promoting healthy sleep and has been in use for years which is why it is the go-to herb when combating sleep deprivation.


Glycine is ideal for helping you to stay asleep. It is a non-essential amino acid that helps keep your nervous system healthy.

It may get you into a deeper, more restful sleep and help you fall asleep more quickly.

Lemon Balm

This is great for adding to a night tea routine but can also be taken as a supplement. Lemon Balm is great for insomnia because it calms the mind.

It also can improve cognitive function during the day. This helps with compact that day time drowsiness which also helps with insomnia.

Herbs For Sleep Tea

Sometimes the best way to get these herbs into your system and acting fast is by drinking them. That is why herbal teas are a great go to if you are looking for something to help you fall asleep.

Any of the above herbs can be added to a tea or come in tea form but there are also some herbs for sleep tea too.


Kava is found in tea and gives you a hazy like feel before you fall asleep. For some, this feeling is very relaxing and comfortable.

You definitely want to take this before you go to bed because it is an herb that is sleep inducing and found in some sleep teas.

Kava is still a hot topic on whether or not you should use it regularly. It may lead to the toxicity of the liver. Err on the side of caution.

As with all herbal supplements, make sure you consult your doctor before using any of these.

Magnolia Bark

This is a great tea for anxiety and insomnia. Studies show that is decreases the time it could take to fall asleep and also helps you to stay asleep longer.

African Dream Root

This is a root that is also prepped for tea. It is a little bit different, however. This is a tea you want to drink in the morning.

It will not hinder you in your daily activities, but when you are ready to go to sleep it will help you to fall asleep faster.

African Dream Root is also known to cause you to have detailed dreams, so if this is something you aren’t sure you want to explore then this may not be the herbal remedy for you.

There are ayurvedic herbs for sleep beside this one if you are looking for something a little different.


With all of the different herbal options out there, it never hurts to try one for yourself. If you are nervous about starting a pharmaceutical regimen for your insomnia or you have one that isn’t working there is an herbal option out there for you.

Keep in mind that is trial and error but eventually, you will find the right herbal remedy for your insomnia and will be off to sleep in no time. People have been using natural herbs for sleep for thousands of years. If it worked for our ancestors it can work for us.

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