The month of love has past – so now perhaps you are tired of all this romantic waffle, or perhaps need a bit of sleep after too much romance! Here are 3 herbs I find helpful for most simple sleep problems.
Difficulty getting off to sleep
Passionflower is my favourite choice here. It creates a feeling of doziness, where you can start looking forward to going to bed and resting. Especially where insomnia has become a viscous circle – just the idea of trying to get some sleep stresses you out. It blends nicely with Limeflower in a tea, but is available as tincture and fluid extract also from a Herbalist.
Waking up early and unable to get back to sleep
This is usually linked to anxiety – too many thoughts in the head. Perhaps you wake up with a list of jobs to do. Skullcap is traditionally used for calming the mind of excess thoughts. I find it invaluable in my personal sleep mix. It is now a restricted herb so you need to buy this direct from a herbalist – but it is worth the effort.
Not able to get comfortable physically to enable sleep
Wild Lettuce works as an antispasmodic to relax the muscles. This was once used as a herbal alternative to opium. It can cause dreaming to be more intense so avoid if you already have too many intense dreams, otherwise it is a wonderful herb. This is a bit bitter to taste as a tea so nicer to take as a tincture or capsule, but can be mixed with peppermint for a better flavour.
Be aware of common herbal treatments and side effects
If you have tried anything herbal before for insomnia it has probably included Valerian or Hops. Both great herbs but have side effects. Valerian can make you feel a bit dopey in the morning, however, this is rare at a low dose. Hops should be avoided in cases of depression as it can make it worse. However, if these herbs work for you without side effects – keep using them!
When to get professional help
If the condition is long term, linked to another condition or you are pregnant or breastfeeding please do seek professional help before taking herbs. You can find your local Herbalist on the NIMH website or get in touch with me at the Chamomile Clinic for more information.