We all experience some of those nights where we just can’t seem to fall asleep or keep waking up every few minutes. Having trouble sleeping can leave you feeling tired the next day and unable to focus. Sleep problems are common, especially as we get older. If you are not so keen on using medication to help you sleep, because of the side effects, you can always turn to nature’s pharmacy for a natural sleeping aid alternative.
Herbs that help for sleep have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The best thing about them is that you can plant them in your own back garden. Insects like bees and butterflies love them, and most are natural insect repellents. You can use your herbs to help you sleep in various ways. Soothing home-brewed herbal tea and hour before bed can help lower your anxiety and stress levels, helping you to sleep better. You can add them to your bath with essential oils for some ultimate pampering and relaxation. Scented pillow sachets stuffed with lavender from the garden is another easy way to incorporate an herb with natural sleeping properties into your night.
What are the best herbs to grow in your garden that will help for sleep?
Herbs are truly amazing plants. Their medicinal effects range from aiding digestive issues to helping with anxiety and stress. Here are five herbs that you can easily grow in your garden and use them to help you relax and have a better night’s rest.
Chamomile is one of the oldest1 medicinal herbs around and so easy to grow. It’s a member of the daisy family and you can buy it at most supermarkets as a tea. It helps to aid digestion, reduces inflammation and has a calming and sedative effect. Its smell is sweet and calming and works well in pillow pouches. You can steep a pot of chamomile and mint tea an hour before you go to bed to help you have a good rest.
Valerian is probably the most studied herb when it comes to sleep and relaxation. You can plant it in a sunny spot in your garden and use it to make a soothing herbal tea. It’s also available as a natural sleeping aid supplement at health stores. Studies have shown that it improves sleep quality by letting you sleep longer and deeper, with less waking up throughout the night2.
If you love gardening, you probably already have a bush of fragrant and spicy lavender somewhere in your garden. Lavender is a versatile herb that helps to calm and relax. Add a few drops of essential oil to your bath or use fresh lavender buds and give then a good rub and squeeze so they release their oils into the water. You can also use dried or fresh lavender for a pillow sachet. The calming scent will help you to relax and fall asleep more easily. For a tea, you need to grind up the flowers and steep them before drinking.
Passionflower is a powerful herb with direct effects on the nervous system. It helps relax and reduce anxiety by boosting GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter in your brain that reduces feelings of stress. It’s an herb native to the Americas and can reduce insomnia and aid digestion3. You can use dried flowers and leaves in your bath or get it as a tea or supplement from your health shop.
Lemon balm is a sweet herb with beautiful healing properties. It’s part of the mint family but has a zingy taste great for a sleeping aid tea. It’s easy to grow and can help to reduce stress and anxiety too. Lemon balm has a calming effect and can help to boost cognitive performance and has antiviral properties4.
Nature’s pharmacy has an array of herbs that can help you sleep better. Give them a try, and you will be sure to see some improvement in your sleep. Herbs are generally safe to use, especially in sleeping pouches or in teas. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor if you are taking blood pressure medication, other sleeping medication, or any other medication, before using any of these herbs to aid your sleep.