Herbs to Help Sleep

Herbs to Help Sleep

Several herbal supplements can support restful sleep. Passionflower, Valerian root, Chamomile, and St. John’s Wort are all helpful. Read on to learn more about each of them and their benefits. Then, see if any of them can help you sleep better. Try one or all for yourself. You’ll be glad you did! And don’t worry about relying on a drug or alcohol.

St. John’s Wort

Researchers have found that St. John’s Wort can help people fall asleep. Its herb extract can reduce immobility in rats in a forced swimming test, and it protects animals from stress. The herb also improves mood in people with seasonal affective disorder, a condition caused by the lack of sunlight during winter. Aside from its sleep-enhancing properties, St. John’s wort may also be beneficial for a variety of other conditions.


Although there are no scientific studies to prove that passionflower is effective for improving sleep, there is some evidence that this herb can help you fall asleep. In one study, passionflower improved the sleep patterns of mice. It increased slow-wave sleep and decreased rapid eye movement sleep. In addition, passionflower decreased the amount of time it took to fall asleep and improved the duration of sleep. Other reported benefits include improved sleep, increased productivity, and reduced anxiety.

Valerian root

Whether Valerian root really helps you sleep remains an open question. The root contains various compounds that interact with brain receptors involved in sleep and mood. These compounds promote calmness and relaxation, making this herb an effective natural sleep aid. Its benefits also go beyond insomnia. In addition to promoting healthy sleep, it can help women manage menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and PMS. There have been several clinical trials conducted on the herb, though no conclusive results have been reached.


Some herbal remedies for sleep contain ingredients that induce sleep. Chamomile is one such herb. It has been used for centuries to promote rest. Its high safety profile makes it an ideal choice for all ages. Its calming action and sedative effects may help the body prepare for sleep. Other herbs that can be taken to aid sleep include lavender and chamomile. These herbs have a wide range of uses and are often included in relaxing nighttime rituals.

Lemon balm

Traditional use of lemon balm for calming, relaxing and sleep-enhancing effects is gaining scientific support. The herb’s calming effects may be the result of a polyphenol called rosmarinic acid that inhibits the enzyme GABA transaminase. GABA slows down the activity of the brain. This polyphenol increases the amount of GABA in the brain. Higher GABA levels mean a calmer mind. The herb has been found to reduce anxiety and depression in an acute setting, but it may not help in chronic situations.

Catuaba bark

The chemical constituents of catuaba bark are alkaloids, flavonoids, aromatic oils, fatty resins, and phytosterols. Catuaba bark also contains flavalignans such as cinchonain, which have both antibacterial and anti-cancer effects. The bark of Trichilia catigua contains a high amount of flavonoids. Its anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties make it a great choice for promoting restful sleep.


There are a number of essential oils, including lavender, which are considered herbs to help sleep. The aroma of essential oils travels from the nose to the brain, influencing human emotions and physiological functions. Different oils can affect the release of dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that help us fall asleep. While research on most oils for sleep is limited, there is good evidence for lavender oil. In fact, Dr. Charlene Gamaldo, a renowned sleep specialist, says that lavender oil could help sleep afflicted people.