Overcoming Insomnia with Herbs

teaNot being able to sleep can be very frustrating, and although certain medication can help, you worry about the possibility of getting dependent on them as well as the lingering hangovers you get from them.  However, you can fight insomnia with the help of safe and gentle herbs, as well as some simple breathing exercises before bedtime.

Chamomile

Have a cup of chamomile tea hours before sleep, which you can spend while enjoying a book or watching a DVD movie. 

To prepare for this concoction, you need to rinse, chop, and place these herbs in a teapot: 

4 tbsp. chamomile flowers (Matucaria recutita)
2 tbsp. kava leaves (Piper methysticum)
2 tbsp. catnip (Nepeta cataria)
4 tbsp. passionflower leaves (Passiflora incarnate)
2 tbsp. linden flowers or leaves (Tilia americana)

You can buy them at any herbal pharmacies or at Chinese drugstores.  Then, pour boiling water over the herbs and let it steep for about five minutes before straining.  Add honey and lemon if desired. 

If you cannot find some of the herbs listed, it is okay to leave one of them out, but the chamomile is the most essential among them.  Be sure to drink tea at least an hour before bedtime because the liquid would make you urinate, and waking up right after falling asleep just to take a leak would only make your attempt to sleep worse.

Valerian root

Valerian, or Valeriana officinalis, is a stronger herb compared to chamomile.  It comes in herbal pharmacies in the form of capsules or tincture. 

The root is said to be the most effective sedative for the brain among all herbs, making ideal to put your overactive mind into calm.  Take three full droppers of tincture in a small glass of water, or follow the recommended dosage for capsules.

Kava

The kava leaves can be very useful in promoting sleep.  It comes in both capsules and tincture.  Make sure not to exceed label instructions for dosage because too much of it can cause quite a hangover, usually described as having a large dose of Valium.

Lavender

Add one teaspoonful of lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) on your bathtub and take a dip in it.  Relax and do some deep breathing as you take a soothing bath before bedtime.

If all of these herbal remedies fail to give you a peaceful sleep, it is best to consult your doctor.