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Top 5 Herbs for a Good Night’s Sleep

Using plants to enhance sleep is a centuries-old practice that still continues today, as herbal medicine sees a renaissance in the wellness space. Check out this rundown of our 5 favorite herbs for sleep and try one (or a few)! As always, consult with your primary care physician before starting any supplements to reduce the risk of negative reactions.


What it is: Chamomile is a variety of grassy plants in the Asteraceae that produce flowers (usually small white and yellow ones, but they can come in many colors). Chamomile is commonly used in culinary applications, herbal medicine, and decoration.


How it can help you: A chemical called apigenin, found in chamomile, is responsible for the sleep benefits associated with this herb! Apigenin is a type of antioxidant that interacts with receptors in your brain. These antioxidants regulate neurotransmitters responsible for making you sleepy.


Tips for use: Making a chamomile herbal tea is one of the easiest ways to use this herb for sleep. Drink a hot cup of chamomile tea at least half an hour before bed to fight insomnia and help you fall asleep naturally.


What it is: Valerian root comes from the Valerian plant, which is native to parts of Asia and Europe. It often produces small white or pink flowers. The roots and stems of Valerian plants have been used in herbal medicine for centuries, and in modern times it’s a popular alternative to melatonin supplements.


How it can help you: Valerian root increases a natural chemical compound found in our bodies called GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid, if you want to get technical). These compounds act as a neurotransmitter that helps carry signals to and from the brain to other parts of the body. It helps with sleep (and sometimes pain and anxiety) by blocking certain signals that get sent to the brain and reducing feelings of stress.


Tips for use: You will find Valerian root works best when taken orally as a tincture, capsule, or tea. Experts recommend taking between 300 and 600 milligrams around 30 minutes before bed for best results, though if you’re new to using this herb for sleep, you may want to start on the lower end.


What it is: Lavender is a flowering herb that produces small, light purple flowers and a distinctive fragrance. It’s part of the family Lamiaceae, which also includes other soft edible herbs like mint and rosemary. Its flowers, leaves, and oils are often used to scent household objects and add flavor to dishes and baked goods.


How it can help you: Lavender has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, fight inflammation, and induce relaxation. Lavender contains aromatic compounds called terpenes (specifically, it’s got a high concentration of the terpene linalool). Terpenes are natural chemicals that produce fragrance and interact with our nervous system. You can read a little bit more about terpenes here (optional link to terpenes and pain blog).


Tips for use: There are a ton of different ways you can incorporate lavender into your nighttime routine! You can diffuse it, apply it topically, or use a warm lavender compress or an eye mask. Or, spray your linens, add to a warm bath, or come up with other creative ways to incorporate it.


What it is: Passionflower is a beautiful white-and-purple vining flower. It is native to parts of North and South America. Indigenous peoples have used this herb for medicinal properties (mostly as a sedative or sleep aid) for centuries. It’s often said to have a unique (sometimes unpleasant) scent. This makes it easy to distinguish from similarly colored flowers in nature.


How it can help you: Like valerian root, passionflower naturally increases GABA neurotransmitter levels to temporarily block specific signals to the brain and lower the impacts of stress, inflammation, and pain on your body. This in turn helps you fall asleep and sleep more soundly! 


Tips for use: You can steep Passionflower into an herbal tea or extract and incorporate it into a tincture for easy use! Use this herb for sleep right before bedtime as it will cause drowsiness.


What it is: CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that is naturally found in cannabis plants. It doesn’t have the same psychoactive effects as THC, another popular cannabinoid. It can be ingested orally, absorbed through the skin or under the tongue, or vaporized and inhaled.


How it can help you: Humans make similar chemical compounds called endocannabinoids that help regulate our nervous system. These compounds aid us in carrying out important functions, including sleep. Cannabinoids in CBD act similarly to the endocannabinoids found in our bodies. Using CBD as a supplement can help you fall asleep faster and get a better quality of sleep.


Tips for use: If you use CBD during the day, take a larger dose at night to act as a sleep aid. Opt for products containing a full-spectrum CBD extract (like ours!) and incorporate it into your bedtime routine 15-60 minutes before you plan to go to bed.


Taking herbal supplements can be an integral part of a healthy nighttime routine for better sleep! Ready to level up your sleep routine using natural herbs? Start by browsing CBD products (our tincture is a favorite!) or check out more herbal information on our blog. Sign up for our email list for 20% off your first order along with important updates and natural wellness info!

If you try any of these recommendations, let us know how it worked for you by reaching out on social media! You can find us at @frostyrootsfarm on Instagram or Facebook.

Aria Hastings

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