Are you looking into herbs that help you sleep? If you’ve ever hopped into bed, ready for an amazing snooze, only to stare at the ceiling for hours on end, you’re not alone.
In this piece, we shall look at some of the best snooze-promoting herbs you can grow for improved sleep quality.
For various reasons, sometimes it can be downright challenging to fall asleep at your intended time. Other times, factors like noise, heat, and poor lighting may also interrupt your sleep, and get you waking up in the middle of the night.
All these factors affect your sleep quality in the long run, which is vital to your overall health. But what if someone told you there’s a way to get your sleep health on track?
Yes, and if you’re a savvy gardener, all you would need is to pluck some flower petals or leaves from your backyard herb garden and use them to promote sleep.
What Are Herbs?
In a nutshell, a herb is a type of small plant usually grown and used for its medicinal, culinary, or aromatic properties. Herbs can be used fresh, dried, or as an extract.
As a matter of fact, herbs are among the most common sources of plant extracts used to treat a wide variety of ailments in herbal and alternative medicine.
Some of the most common types of herbs include basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, mint, and lavender.
Benefits of Growing Herbs
There are many benefits to growing herbs. For instance, herbs like mint, rosemary, and basil are commonly used as kitchen ingredients to add flavor to food.
Besides having medicinal properties, many herbs are also used to make teas that help with various purposes, from boosting immunity to improving digestion, warding off stress, curing anxiety, and of course, improving sleep.
Most importantly, many herbs are relatively easy to grow, either indoors or outdoors. They can also be used fresh, dried, or frozen.
5 Herbs That Help You Sleep
Below are five of the best herbs you can grow for the purpose of improving sleep, among others.
One of the most effective herbs when it comes to improving sleep is valerian. This herb has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Valerian root extract is thought to work by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This is a chemical that promotes relaxation and sleepiness.
As one of the most effective natural herbs for sleep, consuming the roots of this perennial flower 30-60 minutes before bedtime can incredibly help your slow-wave sleep.
Taking valerian for several weeks or a month or two can have even better outcomes for your sleep quality.
How to take valerian for better sleep
One way to take valerian root for better sleep is tea. Simply harvest valerian root, dry it, and grind it. You can use the powder to make valerian tea by pouring a teaspoonful of valerian root or powder into a cup of boiling water and stirring.
Valerian is a hardy plant that can be grown in most soil types. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Valerian is a spreading plant that can reach up to 2 feet in height. The flowers are small and white and appear in summer.
2. Holy Basil
Holy basil is another one of the best herbs for better sleep. It is popularly known as a natural sleep enhancer for many people, due to its calming and relaxing effects.
Holy basil, which is native to India and Palestine, has a very powerful diuretic (cleansing agent) effect on the body that can make you feel extremely refreshed upon consumption.
It is also said to promote feelings of peace and well-being. It has a calming effect on the brain and body and can be very beneficial if you have trouble sleeping. Some people have even used it as an antacid.
How to take holy basil
If you wish to try the benefits of this herb, all you have to do is apply it under your tongue, where it is known to provide strong benefits.
You can also chew a fresh leaf of the herb, boil the leaves to make basil tea, or crush them up for use in soups and salads. Those who know how to grow basil know that it is a fast-growing herb that can even be grown indoors.
Chamomile is one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the world. In recent years, its efficacy in improving sleep quality has been studied in detail. Researchers have found that this herb does, in fact, help improve sleep quality and to sleep for longer periods of time.
A 2005 publication noted that the effectiveness of chamomile in promoting high-quality sleep patterns is due to Apigenin, one of the flavonoids contained in the herb’s leaves.
Chamomile can be used as an effective remedy to ease the discomfort of insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders.
Often taken as a tea from its dried and powdered flowers, chamomile can be grown easily indoors as well as outdoors depending on how much space one has.
However, the plant tends to do better in sunlight, and best in neutral pH soil.
The calming and soothing effects of lavender have made it a popular natural remedy for insomnia and anxiety. Research has shown that lavender oil can help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
Researchers even suggest that lavender oil can enhance the effectiveness of various pharmaceutical sleep medications and can act as a tranquilizer as well.
It also helps improve mood and can help to reduce blood pressure.
If you’re considering growing lavender, start by choosing the sleepy variety, making sure you have plenty of space outdoors. This is because it is a fairly large plant that does best in plenty of sunlight.
Pungent with its invigorating smell, peppermint leaves have been used for centuries to relieve pain and soothe tension. Peppermint tea is praised for its many benefits, including being one of the best herbal sleep remedies.
It can be found in many different forms, including leaves, ground leaf powder, and peppermint oil. Studies have shown that peppermint leaves can have both antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, and are well-known for helping to soothe tension and anxiety.
If you wish to consume the leaves as tea before bedtime, just boil a cup of water, add 2 tablespoons of the leaves, and steep the tea for 5-10 minutes before serving it to yourself.
Peppermint is also fairly easy to grow from plant cuttings as well as seeds. However, bear in mind that it’s a quick-growing herb, so you’ll want to keep monitoring (and harvesting) so it doesn’t become overwhelming.
Wrapping Up Our Guide to Herbs that Help You Sleep
Besides the ones mentioned above, other effective sleep promoting herbs include:
- Wild Lettuce
- Lemon Balm leaves
- Clove Leaf
Having a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness, and many people go to great lengths to improve their sleep.
If you're a gardener or considering getting started, the above are some of the sleep promoting herbs you can plant, some of which have many other benefits, including uses in the kitchen.
Get that much deserve rest by growing these herbs that help you sleep.