Insomnia can be caused by a number of different factors, including mental and emotional issues as well as physical problems. Curing insomnia usually requires more than just taking a sleeping pill or drinking an herbal tea. You may also need to make lifestyle changes such as creating new waking and sleeping patterns, eating and drinking healthier, and eliminating as many stress factors from your daily life as possible. There are a number of herbs that can be taken to help relieve some of the mental and physical elements causing insomnia, which not only will help you sleep, but don’t carry the side effects some synthetically created sleep medications do. Each of these herbs serve a unique purpose and should be chosen depending on their ability to fight the factors effecting your ability to sleep in the first place.
In some cases insomnia is caused by general anxiety, restlessness, or nervousness. Herbs such as Chamomile, Hops, and Valerian can help with these situations. Chamomile, or Anthemis nobilis, is a popular herb found often in teas and essential oils. It is a mild sedative and safe for use by both adults and children. Hops (Humulus lupulus) is one of the main ingredients in beer and can also be found in herbal pillows created to help with mild insomnia cases. Valeriana officinalis – or Valerian – has a very strong scent and is often mixed together with herbs such as Hops, Passion Flower, and California Poppy to create teas and oils that can aid in not only helping you fall asleep but stay asleep once that has happened. It is another sedative herb which causes no serious side effects or addictions like prescription medications might.
One of the reasons many people try herbal remedies instead of chemical medications is because they are worried about suffering side effects. Few herbs will cause problems like medicines might. Passion Flower, or Passiflora incarnata, can be taken in large amounts to help soothe mental nervousness and exhaustion but without causing side effects. However, Hypericum perforatum (commonly known as St. John’s Wort) must be taken very carefully in minimal doses because it can cause a sensitivity to sunlight in the skin. This herb not only helps combat insomnia, it also can relieve some mild depression symptoms brought about by chemical imbalances in the brain.
Though not as frequent as seen in adults, children may also suffer from bouts of insomnia, and you will want to treat them with the safest methods possible. Herbs such as Wild Lettuce and California Poppy have no side effects and are gentle and safe for use on children. Wild Lettuce (Lactua virosa) has mild sedative properties and can be used for acute or chronic insomnia problems. California Poppy, or Eschscholzia californica, is a popular herbal remedy used in the United States. It is a mild sedative and analgesic and not only helps you fall asleep but improves the quality of your sleep.
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is one of the most commonly used herbs because it not only relaxes and soothes the mind, but it can be used in a variety of forms including essential oils, teas, and inhalants. It is added to candles and incense for relaxation, used in massage oils for soothing, and combined with other herbs in bath water to ease the mind. It has no side effects and is safe for use by both adults and children. It is also one of the easiest herbal remedy ingredients to find, and can be purchased from not only homeopathic stores but also general pharmacies and whole foods stores.