Kentuckians need sleep. It is your body’s natural way of healing itself. Good quality sleep prepares you for a productive day ahead. You need 7 to 9 hours to feel relaxed and rejuvenated, but sometimes getting quality sleep can be difficult.
Sleep experts at Eachnight.com have revealed how natural herbs can help those who may struggle to drift off at night. Dr. Nayantara Santhi has medically reviewed this research.
How can herbs promote sleep?
Natural herbs contain powerful sleep-enhancing properties for a night of restful sleep. They can calm your nerves and soothe your senses, providing adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation is often due to a hectic lifestyle, anxiety, and stress. Stress affects the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, but taking some herbal supplements can compensate for this loss. Some natural herbs are high in tryptophan, an amino acid improving serotonin synthesis. Increasing serotonin levels offsets the chemical imbalance causing the most common sleep disorder, insomnia.
5 Best Herbs to try
The anti-depressive, sedative and calming properties of lavender help you sleep better. Studies show that lavender herbs can relax your nerves, reduce anxiety, and stabilize mood disorders. Reduced stress, anxiety, and a positive mood promote daytime wakefulness and more sustained sleep at night. Typically, lavender is used via sprays or inhaled.
Chamomile is an ancient medicinal herb known for its relaxing effects. Modern-day scientific studies prove the efficacy of chamomile. It reduces anxiety, soothes your nerves, and eases insomnia. One study, for example, found that women who had given birth and struggled to sleep experienced less sleep inefficiency and depression when drinking chamomile tea at night for two weeks. The presence of nerve-relaxing flavonoids in chamomile tea makes it a popular tranquilizing drink. You can feel chamomile’s soothing effect even by inhaling its aroma.
The roots of the valerian herb are often used to treat insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety in patients. Valerenic acid in the valerian roots inhibits the breakdown of the neurotransmitter GABA. This induces better quality sleep. Valerian works on the principles of anti-anxiety medicines, promoting deep sleep. Valerian is available in many stores and usually comes in tablets.
Passionflower contains nerve-relaxing flavonoids, which help you to de-stress and sleep better. This tropical flower tastes good and is commonly used in many herbal, over-the-counter sedatives.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb commonly used to combat insomnia, as studies have shown it’s effective at improving sleep onset latency and quality of rest. The real sleep-promoting compounds of Ashwagandha are found in the leaves of this plant—trimethylene glycol works to eliminate feelings of stress or anxiety, induce calmness, and help you fall asleep easily. Ashwagandha ultimately acts like a sedative, so it’s a great alternative to anxiety medications or OTC sleep aids since it works with your body to bolster your sleeping habits naturally. Ashwagandha can be bought as capsules that are ingested.
How to use herbs for sleep
- Make an herbal tea by adding 1 tsp of herbs to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 20 mins, then strain and drink it. You can drink two to three cups of herbal tea in a day.
- Essential oils Add herb-flavored essential oils to your warm water bath at bedtime to feel a calming effect, inducing sleep.
- Massage herb-infused oil: Mixed with olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil on certain body parts such as your forehead, neck, chest, wrist, chest, hands, or feet. Your skin may be sensitive to an undiluted essential oil, so diluting it reduces the chances of a reaction.
- Aromatherapy: Inhale the fragrance of natural herbs through aromatherapy candles.
- Supplements: Consume herbal extract supplements, available over the counter in pharmacy stores. Read the dosage instructions on the label to know how much to take per day.
If the pattern of sleep disturbances continues over time, these factors can create a vicious cycle of ongoing sleep problems with consequences in our waking lives. As they say, sleep health is as important as diet and exercise.
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