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5 herbs backed by science to help you sleep

Sleep-soothing herb. Picture: Nisa Saral/Pexels

Sleep-soothing herb. Picture: Nisa Saral/Pexels

Published Feb 3, 2023


It’s important to note that although many herbs are harmless and have no side effects it is worth talking to your doctor before making any drastic changes.

Your body naturally heals itself through sleep. A restful night’s sleep gets you ready for a successful day. To feel refreshed and at ease, it’s recommended you get seven to nine hours of sleep, although sometimes getting good sleep can be challenging.’s sleep specialists with the assistance of Dr Nayantara Santhi have shown how using natural herbs can be beneficial for people who have trouble falling asleep at night.

How can herbs promote sleep?

For a night of comfortable sleep, natural herbs provide potent sleep-enhancing effects. They can soothe your senses and calm your nerves so you can have a good night’s sleep.

Stress, anxiety, and a hurried lifestyle are frequently to blame for sleep deficiency. Serotonin production is impacted by stress, however, taking herbal supplements can make up for this shortfall.

Some herbal remedies are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps serotonin synthesis. Serotonin supplementation corrects the chemical imbalance causing underlying insomnia, the most prevalent sleep condition.

5 Best Herbs to try


You can have better sleep thanks to lavender’s hypnotic, relaxing, and antidepressant effects. According to studies, lavender herbs help calm your nerves, lessen anxiety, and stabilise mood disorders. Reduced stress, anxiety, and a positive mood promote daytime wakefulness and more sustained sleep at night. Typically, lavender is used via sprays or inhaled.

Essential oils have a lot of flavour, and because they are rarely called for in recipes, it is important to know when to add them. Picture: Pexels/Mareefe


The soothing properties of the therapeutic herb chamomile date back thousands of years. Modern-day scientific studies support the effectiveness of chamomile. It eases sleeplessness, calms your nerves, and reduces anxiety.

One study discovered that drinking chamomile tea at night for two weeks reduced sleep inefficiency and depression in postpartum women who had trouble sleeping. Chamomile tea is a well-liked calming beverage because it contains nerve-relaxing flavonoids.

Chamomile tea is made from the chamomile flower and is used to treat a wide range of health issues.Picture: cottonbro studio/Pexels


Patients who suffer from insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety are frequently treated with valerian plant roots. The valerian root’s valerenic acid prevents the breakdown of the Gaba neurotransmitter. This encourages more restful sleep. To promote deep sleep, valerian uses the same principles as anti-anxiety medications. Valerian is widely available and comes in tablet form.

Valerian root has a long history of use as a sedative. Picture: FPhil Mitchell /pexels.


Passionflower contains nerve-soothing flavonoids that promote better sleep and stress relief. This tasty tropical flower is frequently used in herbal, over-the-counter sedatives.

Chemicals in passion flower have calming effects. Picture: Pela Peters /Pexels.


Ashwagandha is a medicinal plant that is frequently used to treat insomnia since research has shown it to help reduce sleep onset delay and enhance sleep quality. Triethylene glycol, which is present in the plant’s leaves, serves to reduce stress and anxiety, promote serenity, and make it easier to fall asleep.

How to use herbs for sleep

Herbal tea

By adding 1 tsp of herbs to a cup of boiling water, you can brew herbal tea. After 20 minutes, drain it and drink it. Herbal tea is acceptable to have two to three glasses of each day.

Essential oils

When it’s time for bed, add herb-flavoured essential oils to your warm water bath for a relaxing, sleep-inducing experience. Massage olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil infused with herbs on specific body parts, such as the forehead, neck, wrist, chest, hands, or feet. Undiluted essential oils could cause a reaction on your skin, therefore diluting them lowers the likelihood.'s spokesperson said: “Sleep disturbances happen when the typical procedures of waking up and/or starting sleep do not take place. Genetic, environmental, sleep-related, and other psychobiological factors may all play a role in this.

“If the pattern of sleep disturbances continues over time, these factors can create a vicious cycle of ongoing sleep problems with consequences in our waking lives. ‘As they say, sleep health is as important as diet and exercise for our well-being.’”