Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated June 24, 2021Sleep is your body’s natural way of healing itself. Good quality sleep prepares you for a productive day ahead. You need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to feel relaxed and rejuvenated, but sometimes getting quality sleep can be difficult. If you are among the 1 in 3 adults in the United States who don’t get a good night’s sleep, natural herbs can be an excellent option for you.Natural herbs contain powerful sleep-enhancing properties for a night of restful sleep. They can calm your nerves and soothe your senses, providing adequate sleep. In this article, we discuss the different types of sleep-promoting herbs, how they can help you sleep better, and how to use them.How Can Herbs Promote Sleep?Herbs can promote sleep by resolving some of the main causes of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is often caused due to a hectic lifestyle, anxiety, and stress. Stress affects the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, but taking some herbal supplements can compensate for this loss.Some natural herbs are high in tryptophan, an amino acid improving the synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that allows nerve impulses to travel from one cell to another. Increasing serotonin levels offsets the chemical imbalance causing the most common sleep disorder, insomnia. Insomnia makes it difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep for 7 to 9 hours at a stretch.In such cases, natural herbs can help. Some of them can induce sleep by reducing anxiety levels or supporting physiological changes, and physiological changes such as relaxing muscles and slowing heart rate enhance sleep.How to Use Herbs for SleepThough natural herbs are safe and don’t usually have side effects, we recommend checking with your doctor before you start using any of them. Here are different ways to use herbs to promote sleep:Make some herbal tea by adding 1 tsp of herbs to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 20 mins, then strain and drink it. You can drink two to three cups of herbal tea in a day.Add herb-flavored essential oils to your warm water bath at bedtime to feel a calming effect, inducing sleep.Put a few drops of herbal oil on your hand and rub your palms together before smelling them.Massage herb-infused oil mixed with olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil on certain parts of your body such as your forehead, neck, chest, wrist, chest, hands, or feet. Your skin may be sensitive to an undiluted essential oil, so diluting it reduces the chances of a reaction.Add herb-infused essential oils to a pot of boiling hot water and inhale the steam coming out of it.Inhale the fragrance of natural herbs through aromatherapy candles.Consume herbal extract supplements, available over the counter in pharmacy stores. Read the dosage instructions on the label to know how much to take per day.12 Natural Herbs for SleepThe following herbs help you unwind, relax, and de-stress, promoting a night of restful sleep. In this section, we discuss how each of these 12 herbs can improve your sleep quality.LavenderThe antidepressive, sedative, and calming properties of lavender help you sleep better. Studies show lavender herbs can relax your nerves, reduce anxiety levels, and stabilize mood disorders. Reduced stress, anxiety, and a positive mood promotes daytime wakefulness and more sustained sleep at night. Inhaling lavender-infused essential oils can also reduce the severity of pain in migraine attacks. According to the above-mentioned study, this may even help migraine sufferers sleep better through the night.ChamomileChamomile is an ancient medicinal herb known for its relaxing effects. Even modern-day scientific studies prove the efficacy of chamomile. It reduces anxiety, soothes your nerves, and eases insomnia. The presence of nerve-relaxing flavonoids in chamomile tea makes it a popular tranquilizing drink. You can feel chamomile’s soothing effect even by inhaling its aroma.ValerianThe roots of the valerian herb are often used to treat insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety in patients. Valerenic acid in the valerian roots inhibits the breakdown of the neurotransmitter GABA. This induces better quality sleep. Valerian works on the principles of anti-anxiety medicines, promoting deep sleep.Valerian also makes you sleep faster, improving your sleep latency. Sleep latency is the amount of time it takes you to sleep once you lie down on the bed and the lights are off.PassionflowerPassionflower contains nerve-relaxing flavonoids, which help you de-stress and sleep better.This tropical flower tastes good and is commonly used in many herbal, over the counter sedatives.AshwagandhaAshwagandha is a medicinal herb commonly used to combat insomnia, as studies have shown it’s effective at improving sleep onset latency and quality of rest. The real sleep-promoting compounds of Ashwagandha are found in the leaves of this plant—triethylene glycol works to eliminate feelings of stress or anxiety, induce calmness, and help you fall asleep easily. Ashwagandha ultimately acts like a sedative, so it’s a great alternative to anxiety medications or OTC sleep aids since it works with your body to naturally bolster sleeping habits.Holy BasilHoly Basil has been used in medicine for hundreds of years to improve a variety of health conditions including, nausea, bronchitis, bug bites, and skin irritations (to name a few). It’s also a powerful herb for combating sleep disorders. Holy Basil promotes better sleep primarily by easing anxiety and reducing stress.It contains adaptogens that our bodies use to naturally adapt to and cope with stress. Adaptogens promote a balanced mental state, preventing stressors from hindering sleep. Holy Basil has also been shown to alleviate aches and discomfort, so if you struggle to get good sleep because of back pain, Holy Basil may be a good option for you.St. John’s WortSt. John’s wort is a weed which grows wildly in pastures. In fact, their growth has to be controlled because they can be fatal to grazing cattle, but they have some therapeutic benefits so they are often called weedy herbs. The yellow flowers of this weed are rich in tryptophan, which boosts serotonin synthesis. Serotonin reduces the symptoms of depression, paving the way to a good night’s sleep. This herb makes your skin sensitive to natural lights. If you are rubbing this herb-infused oil on your skin, avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight right after applying it.Wild LettuceWild lettuce contains lactucarium, a milky fluid which has analgesic and sedative properties. It soothes your nerves, alleviates pain, and relieves symptoms of mild insomnia. This natural herb is also used in homeopathic medicine for treating anxiety and sleeplessness. Wild lettuce has minimal side effects so it’s a common ingredient in homeopathic sleep remedies for children.HopsHops flowers contain methylbutenol, a sleep-inducing chemical. Since this chemical enhances sleep, hops are used as an effective treatment option for insomnia. In fact, in the early 1900s, physicians recommended patients use pillows with a sachet of powdered hops inside. The strong fragrance of the flower induces sleep in those affected with insomnia. These flowers taste bitter, so while brewing hops, combine them with chamomile tea for a better taste.MintPeppermint is a natural muscle relaxant, which eases built-up tension in your body and prepares you for sleep. Mint also aids digestion, so if a bloating tummy keeps you from sleeping then a cup of mint tea can help you. Some sleepy teas such as hops or passionflower may not taste great. Adding mint leaves to these teas enhance their flavor.Lemon BalmLemon balm belongs to the mint family of plants. If you don’t like the taste of mint leaves, try the lemon balm leaves. They have the same properties but have a citrusy tinge to them.California PoppyThis ornamental plant is native to the United States and Mexico. It has analgesic properties, meaning it can alleviate pain. You can sleep better when you have less or no pain. Steep the bright orange leaves or rub California poppy-infused oil to relieve mild pain. If you want to feel a stronger effect of the herb, opt for an oil massage because the California poppy flavored tea usually has a milder effect.Sleep Hygiene Methods to Enhance SleepHerbs can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, helping you sleep better. To enhance the effect of these natural herbs, follow good sleep hygiene methods. Sleep hygiene includes certain behaviors and practices followed throughout the day to sleep well through the night. Here are some important sleep hygiene practices:Be consistent about your bedtime and wake-up time; don’t deviate by more than an hour even on weekends.Practice bedtime routines such as taking a warm water bath or shower, brushing your teeth, and reading a book before sleeping.Avoid having coffee or caffeinated beverages after 2 pm.Avoid strenuous exercises 3 hours before bedtime, though you can do some light stretching exercises to relax your muscles at bedtime.Avoid heavy or spicy foods for dinner.Avoid electronic devices such as smartphones, TVs, and tablets at least one hour before sleep because their blue light delays sleep onset.FAQsHow can I increase melatonin levels naturally?Exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning hours and avoiding blue lights an hour or a couple of hours before bedtime increases melatonin levels naturally. Melatonin secretion is influenced by your body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is your internal clock maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle. When your eyes perceive light, melatonin secretion is suppressed promoting alertness during the day, resulting in better sleep at night.How can I solve my sleeping problem naturally?Solve your sleep problems naturally by following a consistent bedtime routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Try to soak in some natural lights in the morning hours to suppress daytime sleepiness, promoting better sleep at night. Follow good sleep habits such as taking a warm water shower, reading, and avoiding blue lights an hour before bedtime. Certain dietary supplements such as herb-infused tea or herbal extract pills can further promote sleep quality.What is the strongest herb for sleep?Lavender is one of the most popular herbs for sleep. This herb gives you a night of sound sleep because it can reduce anxiety, pain, depression, and mood disorders. Lavender also enhances the deep sleep stage, when you are less likely to get disturbed.What foods help fight insomnia?Certain sleep-inducing foods such as walnuts, bananas, basil leaves, tart cherries, and yogurt can help you fight insomnia. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that improve the synthesis of melatonin in your body. Melatonin is the sleep-inducing hormone secreted by the pineal gland in your brain.Do herbal sleep remedies work?Yes, herbal sleep remedies often work in improving your sleep quality. Several studies show the powerful effects of these herbs. They can influence the production of certain neurotransmitters, crucial for a good night’s sleep. To reap the maximum benefits of herbal remedies follow good sleep hygiene practices as well. If you can’t sleep well despite following these herbal sleep remedies, we recommend consulting a doctor for your sleep problems.ConclusionMost of the natural herbs have a long history of use for the treatment of insomnia. These herbal medicines were being prescribed by physicians since ancient times as natural sleep aids. It’s important to note, though, you should never take all of these herbs at once. Instead, choose one that seems appropriate for your sleep troubles, and start with that. Even though these herbs are all-natural solutions for sleep troubles, taking too many of them at once can throw your sleep schedule off and lead to more troubles.Modern-day studies and researches have supported the efficacy of taking these herbs for a great night’s sleep, so any of these options can be a good fit. That said, some natural herbs can trigger negative reactions in some people. Always check with your doctor if you experience any adverse changes after taking any natural herbs for sleep.About the author Rosie Osmun CERTIFIED SLEEP COACH Rosie Osmun is a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.For more than 13 years, she has been involved in the beauty, health, sleep, and wellness industries. Her work has been featured and published in Byrdie, Lifehacker, Men’s Journal, EatingWell, and Medical Daily. Find more articles by RosieAuthor Social Links Follow: Author Linkedin Author Twitter CommentsLeave a comment Rocco Du Plessis February 4, 2021 at 5:09 am ReplyWhat kind of herbal medication can I buy at a pharmcy? Hubert Graham February 18, 2021 at 3:37 pm ReplyI’m very interested in the Herbs listed on this page, Because I strongly believe that it is much safer than Synthetic Drugs. 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