Difficulty in falling asleep is a common problem these days. To mitigate this health problem, many herbs are used which relieve our stress and make us calm.
Herbs are naturally occurring plants, seeds, or leaves that regulate the level of those hormones responsible for our sleep and relaxation as melatonin and serotonin hormones.
In this article, you’ll be going through the different types of herbs and how they work to make us relaxed and sleepy.
You’ll get enough information about natural herbs for sleep that don’t have side effects.
How can herbs reduce stress and promote sleep?
Sleep is the natural way to healing the body, but sometimes some external factors as poor diet, anxiety, lifestyle, depression, or hectic life make it difficult to get quality sleep.
For these different treatments, medications and therapies are suggested, but the most effective and natural way to get good sleep is using herbs. Herbs are high in tryptophan, Amino acid and responsible for synthesizing serotonin hormone (sleeping hormone)1.
Herbs contain powerful sleep-enhancing properties that calm our nerves and soothe our senses, resulting in adequate and quality sleep. Some herbs also relaxed our muscles and slow heart rate. As a result, our stress reduces2.
13 natural herbs for sleep and dreams
L-tryptophan is an amino acid that is found in many plants. It is used to treat insomnia, depression, anxiety, and facial pain.
When L-tryptophan is taken, it is converted into a molecule called “5-hydroxytryptophan” to make serotonin and melatonin hormones3.
This affects the brain and turns off our thinking abilities at night and makes us sleepy. Moreover, these hormones regulate the sleep-wake cycle4.
- Goji Chamomile
Chamomile is also referred to as a sleep inducer. It is used to reduce inflammation, anxiety and treat insomnia.
An anti-oxidant known as apigenin is found abundantly in the Gojichamomile, which binds to our brain receptors and decreases our stress, resulting in sleep initiation5.
- Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a perennial herb that is from the mint family. Lemon balm is used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and dementia.
It contains some chemicals and anti-oxidants as rosmarinic acid, which have soothing and calming effects6. Rosmarinic acid increases the level of “Gamma-aminobutyric acid” neurotransmitter in the brain, resulting in relaxation and adequate sleep without anxiety7.
- Passion Flower
Passionflower is a climbing vine used to treat insomnia, anxiety, stress, and good sleep8. It contains some chemicals which have calm, sleep-inducing, and muscle spasm relieving effects.
Moreover, it boosts the level of “Gamma-aminobutyric acid” in our body, resulting in anxiety relief and sleep better9.
Taurine is an essential amino acid in our body that performs many functions effectively. It is used to treat diabetes, anxiety, and sleeping disorders. It supports nerve growth.
In addition, it reduces the cortisol hormone in our body, which is a stress hormone and produces “Gamma-aminobutyric acid,” which is a natural inhibitory neurotransmitter and turns off our brainstorming at night10.
Hops are the flowers from the hop plant. It has been used for several years in the production of beer due to its sedative nature. Therefore, it is used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. It contains a substance called lupulin, which relaxes the muscles and relieves our stress11.
- St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is a flowering plant with yellow color flowers. It is mainly used to treat mood disorders and anxiety.
It contains chemical hypericin, which acts on the neurotransmitter to regulate the mood and keep us relaxed12. It also benefits sleep by increasing the production of the sleeping hormone” melatonin”13.
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a non-proteinogenic amino acid. It is recognized as an essential neurotransmitter for the initiation and maintenance of sleep.
Skullcap is a flowering plant of the mint family. These days, this plant is available in supplement form and is used to treat heart disease and mental issues like stress.
Skullcap is used as a sedative to treat anxiety and sleeping disorders like insomnia. It increases the sleeping hormones, “melatonin and serotonin, to regulate the sleeping cycle16.
L- Theanine is an amino acid that is found in mushrooms. It improves mental function and is used to manage anxiety, stress, insomnia, and cognitive impairment.
L-Theanine has a similar structure to an amino acid in our body, “glutamine,” which helps transmit nerve impulses to the body, which boosts this process of transmitting, and our brains produce serotonin.
Serotonin switches off the brainstorming activity of the brain and makes us sleep17.
One of the best and renowned natural herbs for sleep. Ashwagandha is a root that is used to treat chronic insomnia. Overall, it has positive effects on the endocrine system, cardiopulmonary system, and nervous system with anti-oxidant and anti-stress effects.
This herb contains a chemical known as “triethylene glycol,” which promotes sleep induction18.
Inositol is a herb that is also referred to as Vitamins B-12. It promotes feelings of calmness and peacefulness. It also increases the production of serotonin in our body, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle and keeps us healthy and relaxed19.
Moreover, it also regulates GABA functioning, responsible for transmitting the messages to the brain through nerve impulses. So, it is used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety.
5-hydroxytryptophan is a herb that is also available in supplements. These supplements are used to boost the serotonin level in the body. The human brain uses serotonin to regulate mood, appetite, and sleeping patterns. It also relaxed our muscles and relieved our stress20.
Sleep is the natural way to relieve stress and feel relaxed. But, sometimes, due to poor diet or some mental or health issue, sleepover disorders take place and lead to stress.
The stress again leads to deprivation of sleep, and this cycle aggravates the situation. There are different treatments to cure these health issues, but the most effective is the intake of herbs in leaves, nuts, seeds, or supplements.
These herbs regulate our hormones of serotonin and melatonin. The most commonly used herbs for the management of anxiety and sleeping are l-tryptophan, gojichamomile, lemon balm, passionflower, L-taurine, Hops, St. John’s wort, GABA, skullcap, L-theanine, Ashwagandha, inositol, and 5-HTP.
All these herbs have different unique properties, making them effective in regulating the hormones, resulting in sound sleep.
These natural herbs for sleep are so potent that we combined them with vitamins for sleep to make our powerful and effective natural supplement for sleep.
- 1. 9 Natural Sleep Aids: Melatonin & More, Benefits, Risks. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sleep-aids#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
- 2. 12 Natural Herbs For Sleep – each night. Published June 15, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://eachnight.com/sleep/12-natural-herbs-for-sleep/
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- 4. How Tryptophan Boosts Your Sleep Quality and Mood. Healthline. Published February 25, 2018. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tryptophan
- 5. The 6 Best Bedtime Teas That Help You Sleep. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/teas-that-help-you-sleep
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- 8. The Calming Effects of Passionflower. Healthline. Published October 10, 2014. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/calming-effects-of-passionflower
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- 10. Sleep MH. L-Taurine and Sleep. My Healthy Sleep. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://myhealthysleep.com/blog/f/l-taurine-and-sleep
- 11. HOPS: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-856/hops
- 12. St. John’s Wort: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.rxlist.com/st_johns_wort/supplements.htm
- 13. ST. JOHN’S WORT: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-329/st-johns-wort
- 14. GABA mechanisms and sleep – PubMed. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11983310/
- 15. Gottesmann C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. Neuroscience. 2002;111(2):231-239. doi:10.1016/s0306-4522(02)00034-9 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11983310/
- 16. Skullcap: Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/skullcap
- 17. L-Theanine: Dosage, Benefits, and Side Effects. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/l-theanine
- 18. ASHWAGANDHA: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-953/ashwagandha
- 19. INOSITOL: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-299/inositol
- 20. 5-HTP: Side Effects and Dangers. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/5-htp-side-effects-dangers
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