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Herbal Sleep Remedies

If you've got insomnia that's caused by stress or if you've been working late too much, you can try a cup of herbal tea. There are different herbs you can use for this purpose.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Not just for cats, this acts as a mild sedative which should help you sleep.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
This helps to calm your nerves and also soothes your stomach.


Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
This is a safe sedative which should help for insomnia that's been caused by anxiety or hyperactive thoughts.

Kava (Piper methysticum)
This is the national drink of Fiji. It promotes sleep by calming the nerves... however it also causes mild euphoria and can enhance dreams. Don't use it if you have liver problems, and don't take it with alcohol.

Jamaica dogwood (piscipula Piscidia)
This works well for insomnia caused by nervous tension, as well as for pain. You can take it orally or in a herbal bath. This is quite potent, so don't exceed the recommended dose. Can be combined with hops and valerian though.

This lowers blood pressure, relieves spasms and soothes the digestive system. Works for stress, anxiety and depression. Can be taken orally or in a bath.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
This has mild sedation properties, is not addictive and doesn't leave you with any kind of hangover like feelings in the morning. It does taste really unpleasant, though, so it may be best taken in capsule form. NOTE: Do not take Valerian with other medications, especially anything that affects the CNS - like any other kind of sedative or antihistamines. Don't take it before or after surgery either, or in combination with alcohol or if you have any kind of liver disease. Basically, it can be bad, so you should probably ask your doctor first.


California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica)
Relieves pain and calms you down. Works well for insomnia as well as menopause and anxiety.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
This should calm your nerves and help with relaxation. Good for PMS, tension, stress and depression. You can take this orally or you can make a herbal bath with it.

Hops (Humulus lupulus)
This is what beer is made from - it's effective for mild insomnia and can also be used in a herbal pillow to help you sleep when you breathe in the aroma.


These tips should help you to fix your normal ability to sleep.

  • Avoid caffeine - Caffeine tends to keep you awake and can even make you restless. So you should avoid coffee, tea and any drinks that contain caffeine (like Coca Cola or Red Bull). Also check chocolates as well as cold medicines, as some of them may contain caffeine as well.
  • Avoid sweet things - Sweet things give you a burst of energy, it messes with your blood sugar levels and can disrupt your sleep when the effect wears off.
  • Eat foods that help you sleep - Eat things containing tryptophan - it's an amino acid that gets converted into melatonin (which is a hormone that helps you sleep). Carbohydrates are also good for sleep, but stay away from sweet things.
  • Eat foods containing Magnesium - Magnesium is actually a natural tranquilizer, and if you don't have enough of it it can cause sleep disturbances and constipation or even muscle cramps and anxiety and pain. So it's definitely good to get this in your system. To do so, eat lots of seeds and legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, cashew nuts and almonds, and whole grain foods.


About The Author:
I'm a student in Canada. I like learning new things on my own, but don't like to be told how to learn. I also like writing. Interests: fitness, martial arts, writing, photography, games, psychology, alternative education... and more.
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Posted in: Health by on September 27, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

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