Natural supplements can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. The following herbs may be
helpful in regards to improving your sleep. Many are used by themselves, while
several are also found together in many popular sleep aids:
- Black Cohosh -This Native American herb is said to ease
pain, such as that from neuralgia, and improve relaxation.
- Boneset - This herb is said to calms the nerves. It
- California Poppy Root - Eases anxiety and nervousness
that can cause sleeplessness.
- Camomile (Chamomile) - This herb promotes well-being,
improves digestion, is relaxing and considered generally soothing. A cup
of chamomile tea before bedtime is an excellent way to encourage sleep if
you have a history of allergies, however, especially to plants such as
ragweed, you shouldn't use chamomile.
- Catnip - Catnip makes cats nuts but for humans it is
actually relaxing and great for the digestion. It's often used in insomnia
formulas and as a sleep promoting tea
- Gotu Kola - This Asian herb has a calming effect and
also improves the circulation.
- Hoelen - A Chinese herb known for it's calming,
- Hops - Hops, as a tea, is relaxing and calming. It's
also relieves pain and aids digestion. It's not advised to take this herb,
however, if you are depressed, as it is somewhat of a depressant.
- Jasmine - Best known as aromatic oil, it promotes
relaxation. Used as a tea, it's a mild nerve sedative. A few drops of the
oil on your pillow can also be very soothing.
- Jujube (Da T'sao) - The Chinese Jujube date is said to
relieve nervous tension and anxiety.
- Kava Kava - This member of the black pepper family is a
very popular sleep aid. Long-term use isn't advised, however, as it can
cause liver damage.
- Lavender - This is another herb known better as aromatic
oil for relaxation however, when taken in a tea, it can help to relieve
anxiety. A few drops of the oil on your pillow can also be very soothing.
- Lemon Balm - A tea made from lemon balm is said to
improve digestion, promote relaxation and relieve nervous tension.
- Marshmallow Root - Marshmallow is known as a relaxing
- Melatonin and its precursors - If
behavioral changes do not work, it may be possible to improve sleep by
supplementing with natural supplements such as melatonin, or one of melatonin's
precursors, L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).
- Passion Flower - This herb is said to be calming, and
also said to reduce muscle spasms that can disrupt sleep.
- Peppermint - Peppermint when used as a tea is said to
ease digestion, relieve gas and helps with insomnia. Don't take peppermint
if you are on iron supplements as it tends to interfere with the
absorption of iron.
- Red Clover - Red clover is often used as a tea for
inner cleansing, however it is also said to reduce anxiety and increase
- Reishi Mushroom - This mushroom is said to reduce
anxiety and calm the nervous system.
- Sage - Sage is said to ease depression and is good for
the nerves. Use it when you cook the evening meal, or as a calming tea.
The variety known as Clary works best.
- St. John's Wort - St. John's Wort is commonly used for
mild depression, reduce anxiety, and to improve the quality of sleep.
- Spearmint - Spearmint is a great aid to digestion, and
relieves gas. It has a calming effect on the entire body. A few drops on
your pillow can also be very soothing.
- Thyme - Like sage, thyme is common cooking herb, and
also excellent for treating nervous disorders. Thyme is said to also be
useful for respiratory problems.
- Valerian Root - Valerian root is known to reduce
anxiety, relieve nervous and muscle tension. Valerian tea is a natural
sedative and it very beneficial aid to sleep
- Wood Betony - Because of its calming effect on the
nervous system, Wood Betony is good for anyone suffering from Parkinson's
disease. It's also great for calming anyone's nerves and promoting sleep.
Use it as a substitute for black tea. The taste is very similar, but it
contains no caffeine.
Authors Note: Natural supplements
can affect health negatively in some people. Even natural products can cause
adverse side effects, including serious illness and death. Some natural
products may also interfere with drug therapies that you may be on. So, before
starting any supplement therapy, discuss your plans with your physician.
About the Author
Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of
health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine. His work also often appears in
several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, and
fitness websites. Behar is also a well sought after personal trainer, motivational speaker, and weight loss expert.
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA