Anyone who has wasted time tossing and turning in bed is well aware of how difficult it can be to fall back asleep. If this becomes a nightly occurrence, the cumulative sleep loss can take a toll on a person’s health and well-being. The struggle to obtain a good night’s sleep can be referred to as insomnia. But before you rush out to the store for a bottle of over-the-counter (OTC) pills, you may want to consider a natural herbal supplement for sleep.
Why Herbal Supplements for Sleep?
Have you ever looked at a television commercial for a brand-name pill and heard the numerous side-effects that made you wonder, “Why the heck would I even consider taking this?” These side-effects can be dangerous enough to cause next morning sedation. This is the drowsy feeling you get the next morning, as if the pills hadn’t kicked in until you woke up. There are also bazaar behavioral issues such sleep binge-eating and sleepwalking. You’ll find that most herbal supplements in contrast have far fewer side-effects — if any.
Herbal supplements are derived right from nature. They possess pharmaceutical effects that require little to no manipulation. Herbal supplements tend to be non-addictive as well as non-habit forming. This is what makes herbal supplements great as an alternative to prescription and OTC medications.
If you’re new to the world of herbal supplements, you’ll find that there are numerous options, in a variety of applications, and for many different purposes. For our purposes, let’s focus on the top there most popular herbal supplements for sleep.
Top 3 Herbal Supplements for Sleep
The following are the three most commonly recommended herbal supplements for sleep. When taking any of these supplements, you should always start with low doses. Never take any of these supplements long-term. You should also consider addressing some lifestyle changes in conjunction with using these herbal supplements.
This herbal remedy has been around since ancient times to help people with a wide array of physical ailments. You’ll often find Chamomile in the tea aisle of your grocery store, but you can also find it both as an extract and as a topical treatment. It’s well known for it’s sedative effects. Chamomile is also great for relieving anxiety, insomnia, as well as other disorders. The flavonoid Apigenin is has been known to trigger Chamomile’s sedative effects by binding itself to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
A potent oil can be distilled from the plant and be utilized for aromatherapy. The vapors will induce a mild sedative effect. Chamomile, when grounded into a powder, can be brewed as a tea.
Speaking of tea — a perfect introduction to Chamomile would be a box of Taylors of Harrogate Organic Chamomile Herbal Tea. Each cup has a soothing flavor and a delicate aroma. Great for a night cap! It has been selected as Amazon’s Choice and is currently rated at 4 1/2 stars. Try a 20 teabag box of Taylors of Harrogate Organic Herbal Tea from Amazon today!
Australians may want to try DICTEA – Chamomile Tea. (Unfortunately, Taylors of Harrogate Organic Chamomile Herbal Tea is not sold in Australia as of writing.)
Valerian Root is an herbal supplement extracted from the valerian plant. It has also been used since ancient times to treat a wide array of physical ailments. It is commonly used for treating insomnia and anxiety. Valerian Root works its magic by sedating the brain and nervous system.
Valerian Root is easy to find in retail stores, usually within the vitamin aisle. Valerian is sold in a variety of forms — teas, tablets, capsules, and as an extract. Valerian is also commonly combined with other herbal supplements such as lemon balm, passion flower, and calamine to help induce drowsiness. Valerian Root is commonly consumed in large doses — often ranging from 300 to 900 milligrams.
A recommended product to consider is Herb Pharm Valerian Root Glycerite. This is an easy to use liquid herbal extract that works with the body’s natural mechanisms to help promote relaxation and a restful night’s sleep. The liquid is extracted from hand-harvested fresh rhizomes and roots of Valerian plants that are Certified Organically Grown on Herb Pharm’s own farms. Herb Pharm Valerian Root Glycerite contains no synthetic solvents, is alcohol-free, vegan, non-GMO, and even gluten-free. Herb Pharm Valerian Root Glycerite can be purchased at Amazon in both 1 ounce and 4 ounce bottles. (Also available in an organic cane alcohol formula.)
Australian readers may want to consider a bottle of Blackmores Valerian Forte at Amazon.com.au. Blackmores has been voted as Australia’s most trusted supplement brand from 2009-2017 in Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Survey.
Melatonin is one of my personal favorites. It also happens to be one of the most common and popular natural sleep aids on the market. Melatonin is naturally produced in humans, animals, plants, and microbes. It can be absorbed by consuming foods such as milk, ginger, and chicken. We humans produce Melatonin with the Pineal Gland, found within the center of the brain.
Melatonin plays a central role in regulating sleep and Circadian Rhythms. Our ability to produce Melatonin becomes reduced through aging, staying up late, and consumption of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Synthetic Melatonin can be used to supplement what the body fails to produce. These supplements can be purchased in pill form and can be used in a similar manner as an over-the-counter sleeping pill. Melatonin is quite useful for treating jet lag and delayed sleep phase disorder.
If you’re interest in trying out a Melatonin supplement, you should consider a bottle of Nature Made Melatonin 3 mg Tablets. Each tablet contains no artificial flavors, no colors, no preservatives, no yeast, and it’s gluten free. Nature Made is a trusted name in supplements and has been producing high quality product for over 45 years. To ensure the high-quality of their Melatonin, it is independently verified by the USP. Customers at Amazon currently rate Nature Made’s Melatonin Supplement with 4 1/2 stars! You can purchase a Value Size bottle of Nature Made Melatonin 3 mg Tablets at Amazon.
Australian readers may want to consider Bioglan Melatonin Homeopathic Sleep Formula. It’s available now at Amazon.com.au.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing Herbal Supplements
Please keep in mind that because a supplement is labeled “natural” and/or “herbal”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be free of side effects or negative interactions with other medications. Before you purchase any herbal supplement, be mindful of your current health situation as well as whatever medication and/or supplements that you are currently taking. If you consume alcohol and/or tobacco, you’ll want to find out if there will be any adversed interactions. Those of you with allergies will also need to do some quick research to insure that they won’t be triggered by the herbal supplement that your considering. Most reputable brands will provide this type of information on the product label.
If you still feel unsure, I highly encourage you to consult your doctor or a qualified medical professional. They possess the training and knowledge to help provide you with a more informed opinion.
About The Amazon Links…
If you happen to have read this website’s FTC Disclosure page, you’re likely aware that this site uses affiliate links to Amazon’s website to help pay to keep this website up and maintained. Clicking on any of the Amazon affiliate links provides this site with a small percentage of any purchase that you make. This percentage comes out of Amazon’s net profit on the sale. This means that the products suggested on this page will not cost you any extra.
The Amazon affiliate links are “dynamic” and will refer you to your localized version of Amazon if you live within the U.S., Canada, U.K., Spain, Italy, France, or Germany. Unfortunately Aussies have to have their own links. Not all products suggested will be available in all nations. Please support this site by using the links if you decide to try any of the suggested herbal supplements.
Bibliography and Further Reading:
Matthiessen, Constance. “Natural Sleep Aids” WebMD. Retrieved May 3, 2018 from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/sleep-supplements-herbs#1
“Melatonin for Sleep: Hormone and Supplement Effects on Sleep,” WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/melatonin-overview, July 07, 2010
“Valerian,” University of Maryland Medical Center,” https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/valerian, May 7, 2013
“Valerian (herb),” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerian_(herb), January 31, 2014
Janmejai K Srivastava, Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta, “Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future,” National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/valerian, February 1, 2011