SLEEP SERIES | Herbal Sleep Aids
Like prescription sleep aids, you want to employ herbal sleep remedies, especially those with an intense sedative effect, for a short period of time. While they aren’t habit-forming like their prescription counterparts, you really want your body to establish its own natural rhythm by practicing the techniques in my previous post. Think of these herbs as a helpful sidekick on your journey to better sleep.
• Kava – If anxiety is behind your sleepless nights make nice with Kava. This relaxing herb begins working within minutes and is best used as needed, not for daily support.
• Ashwagandha – This calming adaptogen is becoming increasingly popular as a sleep aid. It also nourishes the nervous system and can help to relieve chronic pain.
• Skullcap – This wonder herb helps with everything from insomnia to agitation to sensory overload. It’s a delightful addition to herbal tea blends and also works great as a tincture.
• Passionflower – Similar to Skullcap, Passionflower is excellent for relieving insomnia and anxiety. Toss it in your Skullcap tea blend!
• Valerian – The big guns of herbal sleep aids, Valerian sedates the nervous system while relaxing muscles. As you can imagine, that makes it much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
• California Poppy – This wildflower is great for those of us who just can’t seem to turn our minds off at night. It’s also wonderful if pain is keeping you awake at night. (It’s thought to help with colic and crankiness in babies!)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but simply represents some of my favorite herbs for relaxation and sleep. If buying single herbs or tinctures to make a custom blend doesn’t rank high on your to-do list, purchase a prepared sleep formula. Urban Moonshine Simmer Down Tonic is wonderful for mellowing your mood at night and their Hit the Hay formula is perfect for occasional sleeplessness.