Sleep is an important part of our daily life cycle. It gives the body the rest and time it needs to replenish the energy that it loses during the day. But what makes sleep even more important is that it helps our bodies to be physically and mentally healthy and alert.
With the help of natural herbs that aid sleep, you can improve your sleep quality to make your mornings better.
Keep reading to learn more about herbs that can improve your sleep.
Sleep well to rest well!
Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep? If there is one thing that people anticipate for the day, it is probably sleeping time.
And sleeping is not just important because everybody loves it. Sleeping is essential for any of us to give our body a recharge after a long day.
So how much sleep does our body need for it to perform its function properly? Essentially, our body would need at least seven to nine hours of full sleep each night. This way, our body and mind will be able to rejuvenate and refresh, so that when we wake up, we will be in the best physical and mental condition.
Moreover, giving our body the adequate amount of sleep that it needs also rewards itself with the following health benefits:
- Sleeping can enhance your immune system
- Sleeping helps to maintain a healthy weight
- Sleeping prevents the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Sleeping keeps you alert, mindful and productive
- Sleeping improves your mood making you happy
- Sleeping boost brain function
Sleep deprivation and its health risks
Pulled up an all-nighter to catch up with some backlogs from school or at work? Don’t be surprised if you start feeling grumpy, low on energy and weak.
When you lack sleep, your body does not fully recover the energy it expended several hours before. It can cause fatigue and weaken your resistance to stress and disease-causing organisms. It also makes you irritable, sloppy and unproductive.
You need to have sufficient amounts of sleep every day. Sleep deprivation is one of the root causes of many health problems including depression, weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
But what about the times when you just find it difficult to sleep? These could be triggered by worry, the foods you eat, caffeine or an event that requires you to stay up late at night. It often happens and it is beyond our control.
When this happens, you should consider giving yourself a quick break or even a power nap can be helpful. You may also need to take herbs as natural sleeping aids to help you sleep easily. They are a lot better than synthetic sleeping pills because they do not carry serious side effects.
There are a number of different herbs that can be used to promote sleep. Some of the more popular ones include chamomile, valerian, and lavender. These herbs can be consumed in a variety of ways, including teas, tinctures, and capsules. It is important to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.
Why Use Herbs for Sleep?
After learning the importance of sleep and the risks involved in depriving yourself of it, let’s discuss how herbs can help you sleep.
But before we explore the different herbs that you can use, it is essential for you to know what herbs are. Knowing what it is and where it came from, allows you to understand how it is considered beneficial fully.
Herbs are plants with leaves, seeds, or flowers that are used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume. There are many reasons why people might choose to use herbs for sleep. Herbs can be a natural and effective way to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
Aside from that, herbs are often less expensive and have fewer side effects than medications. Additionally, some people find that herbs offer a more holistic approach to managing sleep issues.
Here are four herbs that can help to make you sleep easily:
Chamomile is a flowering plant that is part of the daisy family and has been used for centuries. The flowers are used to make tea, which has calming and soothing properties. As a tea, it is often consumed before bedtime as it can help to promote improvement in sleep.
Chamomile has many health advantages, but its most popular property is its relaxing effect and ability to induce sleep. But keep in mind that, according to the University of Texas, pregnant women should not consume large amounts of chamomile because it can stimulate uterine contraction.
Is chamomile a safe sleep aid?
Chamomile is often touted as a natural sleep remedy, and while there is some research to support its use, it’s not necessarily safe for everyone. Chamomile can interact with certain medications, and it can also cause allergic reactions in some people. If you’re considering using chamomile to help with sleep, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first to make sure it’s safe for you.
2. Kava Kava
Kava kava is a shrub native to the Pacific islands. It has been used for hundreds of years both as a ceremonial drink and as a sedative and analgesic. This plant is also known for its relaxing and mood-enhancing effects. Many people use it to treat insomnia, anxiety and other nervous disorders.
This hers considered as an effective sleep aid and concentration enhancer due to its high concentration of kavalactones. Kavalactones are a class of compounds that act on the brain to produce a calming, sedative effect. Kava Kava also increases levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and better sleep.
Kava kava is said to have a rare but potential risk to your liver. Use it under the close supervision of a health professional.
Is kava safe to use as a sleeping aid?
There is no definitive answer to this question as kava’s safety profile is not well understood. Some experts believe that kava may be a safe and effective natural sleep remedy, while others believe that it may pose risks. If you are considering using kava for sleep, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider first to weigh the potential risks and benefits.
3. Passion Flower
Passionflower is a plant native to North, Central and South America. Native Americans used this plant as an herbal sleep aid for its sedative effect. It is also able to provide a relaxing effect that helps to alleviate anxiety.
This herb has traditionally been used as a relaxant. It is thought to work by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate nerve activity. Passionflower is also used as a sedative to treat insomnia and anxiety.
Is Passion Flower safe to use to help improve sleep?
Yes, passion flower is considered safe for most people when used in small amounts. It is typically used as a tea or tincture and is thought to be helpful in improving sleep quality. Passion flowers may also have other health benefits, such as reducing anxiety and relieving pain, but more research is needed in these areas.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian root is a perennial herb native to Europe which is used as a natural sleeping aid for its sedative and calming effects. It is also used to combat stress, anxiety, menstrual cramps, headaches, muscle spasms, and stress-related digestive disorders.
It is an herbal supplement that has been used for centuries to improve sleep and concentration. Valerian root works by promoting relaxation and easing anxiety. Consumption of this herb increases the levels of GABA in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate sleep.
You can consume this herb in its capsules or tea form depending on your preference. But remember to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed. Side effects may include headache, upset stomach, and morning drowsiness.
Are there risks with taking valerian to improve sleep?
There are some risks associated with taking valerian, particularly if it is taken in large doses or for long periods of time. Some of the potential side effects include headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, and difficulty sleeping. In rare cases, valerian may also cause allergic reactions. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking valerian to make sure it is safe for you.
These are the four top herbs that you can use as natural sleep aids. Use them for relaxed, restful sleep, and get refreshed each morning after.
Natural sleep aids vs prescription sleep aids
Now, we know that there are certain occasions where staying up late at night is unavoidable. Thus, you want to know more alternatives that you can take in cases where herbs are not available.
There are a variety of sleep aids available on the market, both prescription and natural. But how do these two vary and which one is best for you to take and use?
Prescription sleep aids, popularly known as sleeping pills, can be effective in treating insomnia. Although sleep is essential to boost your immune system, sleeping pills may also come with a range of side effects. Among these includes:
- dry mouth
- upset stomach
Natural sleep aids, on the other hand, are generally considered to be safer, but they may not be as effective as prescription medications. It is important to talk to a doctor before taking any sleep aid, to ensure that it is safe for you and will not interact with any other medications you are taking.
Other natural ways to fall asleep
Natural sleeping aids are great, but keep in mind that it is not the best solution out there that could help improve sleep.
There are a few other natural ways to fall asleep that don’t involve taking any kind of medication. These other ways are usually cost-free and more effective as long as you are committed to doing it. So, are you ready?
One efficient way is to make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet, and that you’re comfortable. You can also try doing some relaxation exercises or reading a book before bed.
Another proven way is by meditation. This physical activity is also a natural way to fall asleep. It is a simple and effective way to calm the mind and body and to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
There are many different techniques that can be used, and it is important to find one that works best for you. It is also important to practice regularly, as it takes time to develop the skill of meditation.
Risks and Precautions to Consider Before Using Herbs
There are a few risks and precautions to consider before using herbs.
First, make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in the herb. Second, some herbs can interact with the medications you are taking, so it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before using herbs. Finally, be sure to start with a small amount of herb to see how your body reacts before taking more.
Discover the other benefits that herbs can provide by reading our food blog posts.