Everyone strives for a good night's sleep . However, we've all experienced the following: you feel exhausted, but you can't fall asleep. Maybe your brain is too active to fall asleep, or you think too much about certain things. When you finally fall asleep after a long time and wake up again, you don't feel rested. It feels like you've been running for miles instead of sleeping.
How did that happen? A good question! It is possible that your day-night rhythm and biological clock are disturbed. This results in an imbalance in your circadian rhythm (biological rhythm whose cycle lasts 24 hours). This rhythm keeps us awake or puts us to sleep. Fortunately, there are a number of tools with which you can give your biological clock a helping hand. You can think of certain types of herbs.
That is why in this article we describe a number of natural herbs that will contribute to a good night's sleep. There are also a number of supplements for deep sleep .
What prevents us from a good night's sleep?
However, stress and other factors — such as pain and other ailments — can block or reduce the relaxing brain chemicals. This has a negative impact on a good night's sleep. While you may have been tempted to use a sleeping pill, natural alternatives should be looked into first. Sleeping pills and medicines can cause unwanted side effects.
Fortunately, numerous studies show that there are herbs that can promote a healthy and good night's sleep by helping you relax. This makes it easier to fall asleep and you wake up feeling energized and refreshed.
1 . Herbs against occasional insomnia(GABA)
Certain herbs are believed to help you get a good night's sleep by affecting an important neurotransmitter called “gamma-aminobutyric acid” (GABA). This neurotransmitter regulates the need for sleep in your brain.
However, the following caveat should be made: these herbs work best if they are only taken occasionally. Think of a few nights in a row to deal with occasional sleep problems.
When you take herbs or drugs that affect the GABA system every night, it can suppress natural GABA production over time. This will only worsen your insomnia in the long run.
Here are a few herbs to use occasionally for occasional insomnia:
2 . Passionflower
The effect of this exotic purple flower is as beautiful as its appearance. One species called “passiflora incarnata” is particularly acclaimed for its ability to calm mental turmoil. This promotes a good night's sleep. For example, a scientific study found that patients taking passionflower extract felt calmer than those given a placebo. Another study found that a combination of passionflower, valerian, and hops worked significantly well to improve sporadic insomnia.
3 . Bacopa helps promote a good night's sleep
Bacopa, an herb native to India, has been used for thousands of years and is best known as a means to support memory, focus and mental well-being. But it also has a calming effect and has a mild anesthetic effect. For example, one study found that the herb bacopa could mitigate some of the effects of stress.
4 . Heart span (motherwort)
Although native to central Eurasia, this member of the mint family has long been used in herbal medicine and today grows in gardens in the temperate regions of the world. It is a beautiful, calming herb that affects dopamine levels and has a sleep-promoting effect.
Russian researchers found that 80% of subjects (with high blood pressure and sleep problems) who took heart strain experienced significant or moderate improvement in their mood and sleep problems. This herb is therefore very effective when you strive for a good night's sleep.
5 . CBD from hemp
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural compound in the hemp plant. This substance has a beneficial effect in the human body by mimicking endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are part of the endocannabinoid system, which regulates parts of your nervous system, mood and emotions.
By mimicking endocannabinoids, CBD can help improve sleep and increase feelings of well-being. To fully experience the benefits, use 15-30 mg of CBD oil just before going to bed. You may need more or less for a good night's sleep, but it's best to start with a lower dose and build it up gradually. That way you can find out what works best for you. Before you start with CBD oil, it is important to first discuss this with a dietician or a doctor.
Herbs for a good night's sleepSometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't get to sleep. Or maybe you fall asleep just fine, but your eyes pop open at 3:00 am for no good reason. And this almost always seems to happen before an important event, when you need your focus and energy the most.
In that case, you can use a blend of more potent herbs listed below. These herbs provide immediate sleep support , so you can have a good night's sleep.
6. Finger helmet flower (Corydalis)
Finger helmet flower has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine for a variety of health conditions. You can think of insomnia, headache and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). The sleep-promoting properties of finger helmet flower are attributed to tetrahydropalmatine, which is an alkaloid with sedative properties. An important side note: finger helmet flower should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
A good night's sleep thanks to passion flower
Passionflower is a natural herb that has a calming effect on your mood. This herb is therefore often used to reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Passionflower contains nerve-relaxing flavonoids, which calm the nerves and result in a relaxed feeling.
These soothing effects are also associated with a good night's sleep. For example, in one study, it was found that participants who took a passion flower supplement reported better quality sleep and felt fitter the next day than those who took a placebo.
You can take passion flower in the form of tinctures, capsules or tea. In any case, always opt for a high-quality natural product with passion flower. That way you can safely experience the sleep-promoting effect of this herb.
7 . Jujube seed
The fruit jujube is consumed worldwide as a food and herbal medicine to find mental peace and improve sleep quality. In particular, the seeds of jujube have been studied, showing that they can improve insomnia, memory and the ability to learn. This is most likely due to certain flavonoids (bioactive ingredients in plants) in jujube seeds that have a sleep-inducing effect.
In addition, jujube seed helps promote healthy serotonin levels in the body. It also works in synergy with other herbs, such as kava kava and finger helmet flower. In short, jujube seed should certainly not be missing from this list of herbs for a good night's sleep!
Herbs to lower daily stress
The key to a good night's sleep is not just what you do before bed, but also what you do during the day. Read on to learn more about herbs that can help reduce stress during the day and contribute to a good night's sleep.
8 . Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha – found in Africa – is one of the best-known adaptogens. Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help the body adapt to stress. In addition, this category of herbs keeps you calm and calm in the face of adversity. This logically has a positive impact on the quality of your sleep, since stress is a major enemy of sleep.
9 . L-theanine
This calming amino acid, which occurs naturally in green tea, is why green tea doesn't produce the same uplifting effect as coffee – despite green tea also containing caffeine. L-theanine helps counteract the stimulant effects of caffeine. In addition, l-theanine ensures that our brains are not overstimulated and overstimulated. This amino acid has a beneficial effect on neurotransmitters that promote relaxation and keep anxious feelings under control.
Research shows that this can also manifest itself in better sleep. For example, one study revealed that l-theanine reduced sleep latency and extended sleep duration. In other words, it significantly increased total sleep time. It is also nice that l-theanine can be used both in the morning and in the evening to reduce moderate stress.
Herbs against pain and ailments that keep you awake
There are also certain herbs that counteract pain and ailments that keep you up at night. The most well-known herbs in this area are turmeric and boswellia. Read on to learn more about how these natural herbs work.
10 . Turmeric
Do sore knees, hips or other joints prevent you from getting a good night's sleep? Then consider adding turmeric to your diet. This classic spice, which gives Indian dishes their yellow hue, is increasingly being praised for its ability to soothe aching joints.
Much of the credit goes to curcumin and other curcuminoids. Curcuminoids are the active compounds in turmeric with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Research indicates that curcumin is associated with anti-inflammatory properties at the cellular level.
While it's easier than ever to add more turmeric to your diet, it's still difficult to get therapeutic amounts from your daily diet. Fortunately, supplements with turmeric offer the solution. It has been found that most benefits are achieved by taking 200-400 mg of turmeric daily.
11 . Boswellia for a good night's sleep
Boswellia, which is native to India, is a close relative of frankincense. And while it may not be as well-known as turmeric, boswellia deserves similar attention for its antioxidant properties. Studies suggest that boswellia helps inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines. These are proteins that play a role in rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis). Reducing pain with the help of this herb can lead to a good night's sleep.
Combining boswellia with turmeric seems to enhance the health benefits of boswellia. A dose of 100 mg boswellia twice daily is recommended to maximize the benefits.