When you don't get enough sleep, your focus, energy, and motivation start to suffer. This is why insomnia and other sleep problems can be so devastating to cope with. Luckily, there are several ways to help improve your sleep quality. Herbal sleep remedies are some of the most popular ways to help yourself sleep better.
One of the oldest and most popular herbal sleep aids, chamomile is a soothing and relaxing herb that can help you drift off to sleep faster and keep you sleeping better. Studies have shown this effect, although the reasons behind it are not clear. Some scientists think that chamomile can affect the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which can help to reduce brain activity to calm you down. Chamomile is most often sold in tea form, but for people who dislike tea, it can also be taken a number of different ways, including capsules.
Lavender is largely popular today for its use as a scent in perfumes and lotions, but it can also be used to aid sleep. Its ability to calm and relax the body makes it useful for people having trouble falling asleep. While it can be taken in capsule form, its most useful application is its essential oil diffused throughout a room.
One of the oldest herbal sleep remedies, valerian is known for its ability to calm the body and promote rest and relaxation. There are few studies that have examined how valerian works, but it has a long history of anecdotal support. It can be drunk in a tea or taken in capsules.
Kava is grown in the South Pacific, where it is an important beverage in islanders' social and religious gatherings. It has fairly recently been discovered to have useful sedative effects, and it is becoming more popular as a sleep aid. Use caution with kava, as it may have severe effects on the liver.
Jujube seeds, from the jujube plant that grows natively in Asia, particularly in China, are another popular ingredient in herbal sleeping pills. They also have an effect on GABA and neurotransmitters that influence relaxation. Generally, they are not sold on their own, but rather as ingredients in mixed capsules. However, they can be bought as fruit.
Similarly, licorice root has an effect on GABA that makes it useful as an herbal sleep remedy. Although licorice is more commonly used for other issues, it may still provide assistance in falling asleep and in improving sleep quality. It is best to find medicinal licorice, as candy licorice has unhealthy additives, and many candies branded as licorice actually have no licorice in them.
Be sure to consult a doctor before beginning any herbal medicine regimen in order to ensure that you will not be putting your health at risk or causing any medical interactions. To learn more about healthy ways to beat sleeping problems, read about the foods to avoid to combat sleeping problems.