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Herbal Allies for a Good Night's Sleep. Blog image features an illustration of Hops and Skullcap on a beige background.

Harmonic Arts Blog

Herbal Allies for a Good Night's Sleep

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 of fall and winter give us space to elevate our sleep routine for optimal wellness.  

We can promote restful sleep by:

  1. Relaxing the nervous system. 
  2. Nourishing the hormonal system responsible for circadian rhythms, and 
  3. Calming the stress response. 

Achieve this blissful state by incorporating herbs and a nightly wind-down routine into your wellness practice. 

 

Herbs for a Good Night’s Sleep

If you’re having trouble falling asleep and waking up well-rested, look no further! These herbal allies may help you achieve a peaceful slumber and resilient stress response. 

Hops

Herbalists often describe Hops as 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 (1). Our Co-Founder, Yarrow Willard shares the benefits of this herbal ally on his Youtube Channel here. 

Passionflower

Passionflower promotes better sleep through its action on the cerebral cortex. This is the area of the brain responsible for reasoning, thought, and perception. By helping to slow down an overactive mind, Passionflower nurtures feelings of calm, allowing the body to relax into sleep (2). Learn more about Passionflower here. 

Skullcap

Skullcap is a potent herb that can be used for both short-term and long-term sleep troubles. It promotes a calm mind, and acts on the entire nervous system. Skullcap relaxes tense muscles, settles an overstimulated sensory system, and eases irritated mental states (3). 

Find Hops, Passionflower and Skullcap in our Feel Calm Tincture. Feel relief from nervous tension and promote restful sleep with this soothing tincture blend. 

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a prized herb in Ayurveda. 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 (4). Learn more about Ashwagandha here. 

Reishi

Reishi is a potent adaptogen that offers grounding effects on the body and mind. It helps us build resilience to stress while soothing anxiety and nervous tension (5). This functional mushroom has been shown to promote sleep by positively affecting serotonin pathways within the gut microbiome (6). 

Find Ashwagandha and Reishi in our Adapt Artisan Tea. Restore balance and get grounded with every sip of this nourishing loose-leaf tea. 

 

Build a Wind-Down Routine

Creating a nightly wind-down routine helps our brains separate day from  night. It clears our mind and body of the day’s stresses and allows us to relax into sleep. 

Consistency

Our bodies have a circadian rhythm that causes us to get tired a few hours before bedtime. Setting a consistent bedtime and a wakeup time trains your body to naturally feel tired when it’s close to bedtime.  

Herbal Support

Some of the herbs mentioned above like Skullcap and Passionflower are great for winding down. Sip on an herbal tea or take a tincture to help relax your body and mind. The nervine herbs in our Feel Calm Tincture and Dream Artisan Tea help to relieve nervous tension and slow an overactive mind. 

Stretch and Soothe

Yoga and breathing exercises are a great way to calm down before bedtime. Also consider taking a warm bath about an hour before you go to sleep. Your body will heat up from the water and cool down as it evaporates. This can help you feel tired and relaxed. 

Avoid Electronics

The blue light that gets emitted from your electronics tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Turning off your phone, tablet and tv about an hour before bed can keep your body on track to head to dreamland. We recommend reading a good book in the bath instead. 

Create a Sleepy Sanctuary

Part of your wind-down routine should include getting your bedroom ready. Turn the temperature down, draw the curtains, and turn on your aromatherapy diffuser with your favourite relaxing scent. Remove clutter and make getting into bed the very last thing you do. 

 

Click here to shop our Relaxation Collection and get ready for a good night’s sleep. 

 

References

  1. Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels in apparently healthy young adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study. (2017, July 24). HORMONES. https://doi.org/10.14310/horm.2002.1738 
  2. Lee, J., Jung, H. Y., Lee, S. I., Choi, J. H., & Kim, S. G. (2020). Effects of Passiflora incarnata Linnaeus on polysomnographic sleep parameters in subjects with insomnia disorder. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 35(1), 29–35. https://doi.org/10.1097/yic.0000000000000291 
  3. Awad, R., Arnason, J., Trudeau, V., Bergeron, C., Budzinski, J., Foster, B., & Merali, Z. (2003, January). Phytochemical and biological analysis of Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): A medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties. Phytomedicine, 10(8), 640–649. https://doi.org/10.1078/0944-7113-00374 
  4. Deshpande, A., Irani, N., Balkrishnan, R., & Benny, I. R. (2020, August). A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep quality in healthy adults. Sleep Medicine, 72, 28–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2020.03.012 
  5. Zhao, H., Zhang, Q., Zhao, L., Huang, X., Wang, J., & Kang, X. (2012). Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012 , 1–8. doi: 10.1155/2012/809614 
  6. Yao, C., Wang, Z., Jiang, H., Yan, R., Huang, Q., Wang, Y., Xie, H., Zou, Y., Yu, Y., & Lv, L. (2021, July 1). Ganoderma lucidum promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-involved pathway in mice. Scientific Reports, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92913-6

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