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5 Herbs for Sleep & Insomnia
By Angela Willard Cl.H
Angela Willard is a Clinical Herbalist with a passion for growing herbs. She loves wildcrafting, herbal consulting, and sharing her love and knowledge of plants. Angela finds balance between nurturing Harmonic Arts' vision and raising a young family.
If I have a poor night’s sleep, my ability to function the next day becomes a struggle. I have less patience for loved ones, my brain feels foggy, and everything just feels heavy. Committing to creating good sleep patterns and consistent rest is one way I support a happier, fulfilling, and balanced life.
These days, sleep troubles and insomnia are a common challenge for many of us. The stress of a modern lifestyle makes it crucial to stay balanced by prioritizing sleep routines and self-care. Luckily, the shorter days and longer nights of fall and winter give us space to elevate our sleep routine for optimal wellness.
As an herbalist, there are a few approaches I utilize to guide the body towards better sleep.
- Relaxing the nervous system.
- Nourishing the hormonal system responsible for circadian rhythms, and
- Calming the stress response.
These 5 herbs balance the body in all 3 ways, and have shown success in improving sleep:
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a prized herb in Ayurveda, a 5,000 year old lifestyle system guided by plant medicine. This gentle adaptogen softens the effects of stress, making it a choice herb for adrenal fatigue and burnout. This soothing root calms the nervous system in preparation for sleep when we’re feeling overwhelmed, wired, and exhausted but unable to settle down to get a good night’s rest.
Hops: The sedative properties of Hops have been long known by brewmasters, and this herb was originally added to beer for its relaxing effect. Described by some herbalists as a plant to counter intense personalities and nervous exhaustion, Hops slows us down and eases us into an easygoing state of mind. It relaxes the body into letting go, helping us achieve deep sleep.
Passionflower: Passionflower promotes better sleep through its action on the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain responsible for reasoning, thought, and perception. By helping to slow down an overactive mind, Passionflower nurtures feelings of calmness, allowing the body to let go and relax into sleep.
Reishi: Well-used in Chinese culture for over 2,000 years, the healing benefits of Reishi are thought to have similar effects on the body and mind as a meditation practice. Reishi has been shown to positively regulate delta brainwave activity, which is associated with states of deep and restful sleep.
Skullcap: Skullcap is a potent herb that can be used for both short-term and long-term sleep troubles. It promotes a calm mind, andacts on the entire nervous system. Skullcap relaxes tense muscles, settles an overstimulated sensory system, and eases irritated mental states.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep and waking up well-rested, these herbal allies may help you achieve a peaceful slumber and resilient stress response!
Try our Feel Calm Tincture, featuring Passionflower, Skullcap, and Hops Flower, to slow down and make time for nourishment and deep rest.