Insomnia is something that plagues as much as thirty percent of the population at any given time. Some people have health issues that cause their insomnia while others just can’t seem to get into a good sleep routine and find themselves staring at the ceiling for hours at a time each and every night. Regardless of the reason, insomnia can be something that many people attempt to fix and sometimes even turn to prescription medication as a way to ‘turn off’ each night. Fortunately, there are much safer and natural methods for curing insomnia including some very tried and true herbs including valerian root, passionflower and kratom, among others. Whether you are having frequent bouts of insomnia or this just happens a couple of times each month, herbal remedies can cure insomnia quickly and effectively.
Valeriana Officinalis (Valerian)
Valerian root is an herb that is frequently sold as a natural supplement used for insomnia thanks to its sedative properties. In addition to helping people sleep, valerian can be used for anxiety and nervousness. Many people who have taken valerian have found to not only reduce their insomnia episodes but also to feel better overall, likely due to more restful and rejuvenation sleep. There are very few adverse effects associated with valerian and it is non-habit forming. Many people find the smell of valerian to be very strong and pungent but this if this is the most severe comment people have, this product is quite safe to use.
There are currently approximately 250 species of valerian in the world. The most common is valerian officinalis and this form is found in the United States and Europe, and the most commonly used. The root, rhizomes and stems are used in the production of many products that contain valerian. You can find teas, capsules and tincture drops in a number of stores and online. A lot of times you will find herbal sleep aids that are valerian based, but contain other herbal products as well as vitamins or minerals that also help promote a healthy sleep. Used as early as the second century, valerian is effective and commonly used for insomnia.
Many people like to use the herb passionflower as a method of treating insomnia because while it can make you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, it does not really have effects like many other herbs do. Passionflower will not leave you feeling spacey or hungover when you wake up. In fact, it can help you think clearer and in general, promote a more restful sleep. It is recommended that you give the herb approximately one hour to work before you go to sleep and in that time you should wind down and stay away from any physical activity or anything that stresses you out. Truly wind down and let passionflower work its magic.
It is recommended that in order to use passionflower, you make a tea about one hour prior to you laying down in bed for the night. You can add honey if you would like, which actually helps keep your blood sugar steady throughout the night and keep you from waking up looking for a nighttime snack. One teaspoon of passionflower herb should be added to a normal mug of hot water. You don’t want to strain the herb solids out of the tea as this is where a lot of the insomnia-reducing properties are housed. Drink it all down. Liquid tinctures are also available if you are someone that would prefer not to have the herb directly in your cup of tea. Five-hundred milligram capsules are the common dose that is recommended for an adult and is non-habit forming.
Eschscholzia California (California Poppy)
The California Poppy, also known as: Eschscholzia California, is commonly used for a number of health conditions that includes insomnia. Anxiety and depression are also common ailments that utilize California Poppy. It is not quite known how this herb effectively works in the body but many believe it could be due to the alkaloids that are contained in the herb itself. These alkaloids are commonly used in a number of prescription medications that are designed to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Native to the western side of the United States, California Poppy is found on the west coast as well as in Mexico. This herb can be found in a lot of the same forms that other insomnia-targeting herbs are used but you can also choose to smoke California Poppy. Many people claim the effects of the Poppy plant are very similar to prescription-based benzodiazepines such as xanax and clonazapam.
From the same plant family as the coffee plant, Kratom can be used as both a stimulant and a sedation technique. The difference is the dosage. In larger doses, energy is promoted but smaller doses can actually calm a person down and help them to sleep better. Less sedative effects are reported with Kratom. Rather, this herb is used to reduce anxiety and get rid of that restless exhaustion feeling that many people develop after a long work day or work week. You typically need to use this product approximately two hours before bed otherwise, REM sleep can be disrupted.
It can take a bit more effort to use Kratom as a way to reduce insomnia but many people report that taking this herb at the right time does in fact help them feel more relaxed which in turn helps them to sleep faster and helps promote a deeper sleep. Alkaloids contained in Kratom include mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which will hook to opioid receptors in the brain. This can help stabilize heart rate, steady breathing and calm a person down.
There are many herbal products on the market that claim to help with insomnia. One of them to take very seriously is chamomile. There are two ways a person can take this herbal supplement to help cure their insomnia. Chamomile can either be taken as a supplement or the form of tea.
It is a nerve relaxant. It is the primary ingredient within chamomile that helps a person sleep at night. It is similar to what is in Zanax, though it is not as strong. It has the same effect. It helps to calm the body and mind and induce a good night’s sleep. The only difference between this and Zanax is that the dependency is not as severe. It is a natural herb. Zanax is a prescription drug. Prescription drugs always have a tendency to become habit-forming. Chamomile is different. No matter how much a person drinks, there is never a cause for dependency.
1) It produces a sense of calming, mental relaxation, and mental well-being.
2) It is going to help a person fall fast asleep at night and stay asleep.
3) It not only aides in calming a person’s mind and body but it helps to relieve anxiety.
Tea Versus Supplements: Which Is the Better Choice?
The supplements are going to have more potency to them. There is a higher concentration of the Glycine. Those who do not like tea do not have to drink it. There are many men and women who do not like tea. They do not like the taste. They can take a supplement and get the same benefits. It also comes down to dosage. Would a person rather have a small dosage? Would a person rather have a large dosage that induces sleep faster?
The Side Effects
There are no plausible side effects that a person need concern themselves with. A person can find more side effects when they take a prescription drug for the same reason. It is natural, so there is no need to worry.
The worse case scenario involves someone who is allergic to the chamomile itself. The most amount of side effects a person may face is some vomiting and severe drowsiness. Other than these two things, everything should be okay.
Some Other Herbs That Help With Insomnia
- Magnolia Bark
- Lemon Balm
- Kava Kava
- Holy Basil
- Gingko Biloba
- German chamomile
- Rick Simpson oil
- Blue Lotus
Tips On Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
1) Try getting into a routine of some kind. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day and night.
2) Try to avoid sleeping in, especially on the weekends. It is going to be tempting. This is part all part of the routine. The longer a person lingers in bed each morning, the more prone that person will be to insomnia.
3) Do not overcompensate when it comes to napping. It is okay to take a nap during the day but limit the time. Do it early in the afternoon and only for about 15-20 minutes.
4) Do not take a nap early in the evening. This is called “giving into early evening drowsiness”. Get up and do something. Find a way to stimulate the mind and body.
5) Spend more time outside, like on a lunch break or something. This will counteract the “early evening drowsiness”. The more tired a person feels before going to bed, the longer they will sleep. This includes taking the chamomile supplement or drinking the tea.
The great thing about taking an herbal supplement for something like insomnia is that these herbs are not typically habit forming and they don’t carry negative side effects like many prescription medications do. You can safely help treat your insomnia using natural supplements that contain kratom, California poppy and valerian root and take these products when the need arrises. Many people find their insomnia is worse when their stress levels are high or when they have been on a rough work schedule. These are the perfect times to utilize a safe and natural supplement so that your body can get the rest that it needs in order to stay healthy as well as feel its best.