Soporific herbs for a better night’s sleep

Herbs are not just there to flavor your meal. The plant is used in various ways in herbal medicine. For example, as a medicine or as a means to improve sleep. It can be used in the form of tea, as drops, tablets or dragee. With some herbs you have to pay attention to the dose because they can have a powerful effect. How can herbs improve your night’s sleep?

Medical effect

Contemporary medicines are based on herbal substances. Like traditional medicines, herbs cause straightforward biochemical reactions in your body. Herbs can be very powerful and with some types you have to be careful that you get the right dose. Herbal medicine is also called phytotherapy and the entire plant (root, stem and leaves) is used for this. It is processed in different ways: as tea, tablet, dragee and as drops. In the right amount, herbs can help combat sleep problems, especially if the cause is stress and anxiety.

Improve night’s sleep

Sleep problems and depression affect your serotonin levels in your body. This is a chemical that your body makes from the amino acid (protein) tryptophan. These substances are important for sleep. If this gets out of balance, it can lead to sleep problems. Certain herbs can help restore balance. There are also herbs that have a calming effect on your brain.

Buy good herbs

You can grow your own herbs on your windowsill, but you can also buy them at health food stores and pharmacies. The quality can often vary. Bad herbs may contain disease-causing substances or only a small amount of active substances. You can also ask a herbalist for advice. A good herbalist should have a safety and quality guarantee and should be able to tell the name of the supplier. Products with a label and production number are better because this means that a quality investigation has usually taken place and means that the source is traceable.


Lavender is one of the easiest herbs to grow and is also one of the most soothing herbs. Buy seeds at the garden center or just buy a lavender plant. Provide the plant with organic plant food regularly and keep the soil moist during flowering, from late spring to mid-autumn. As soon as flowers appear, remove the leaves from the stems and tie them together in loose bunches and hang them where they can dry out completely. Then place them in an airtight container. It is wonderful to put a bag of lavender under your pillow. You can combat a headache by rubbing a few drops of lavender oil on your temples.


Chamomile has a calming effect and chamomile tea is also used for this. To do this, put a teaspoon of chamomile in a pot of boiling water and let it steep for a while (5 to 10 minutes). Ready-made chamomile tea is also available, also with a honey flavor. Chamomile is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You can also opt for a relaxing chamomile bath.


This also occurs in beer, but this does not mean that drinking beer before going to bed is the solution to your sleeping problem. An old-fashioned way to tackle insomnia is to put some dried hops in your pillowcase. It was also used in the past against nervous disorders. Not everyone likes hop tea because of its bitter taste. But with a spoonful of honey the tea becomes a lot sweeter.


This calming herb will help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. It has fewer side effects than synthetic tranquilizers such as Valium. Dissolve two or three drops of tincture (an alcoholic extract based on natural products) or one to two teaspoons of dried valerian root in hot water. Drink this before you go to sleep. Do not take more than one cup per day because too much valerian can cause headaches.

Lemon balm

This is a sedative and stomach pain relieving herb that is often used in combination with other soothing herbs. Place two or three teaspoons of dried lemon balm in a cup of boiling water and let it steep for a while. This calming tea also tastes good.

St. John’s wort

Research shows that this herb provides relief from chronic insomnia and mild depression. The balance of brain chemistry is disturbed. This is usually taken in the form of a capsule.

Side effects

Herbs are considered a natural alternative to certain medicines and they are usually safe. In some cases they can have a powerful effect and can be poisonous. If in doubt, ask a herbal expert or your GP for advice. Some herbs can cause side effects when used in combination with medications. For example, St. John’s wort can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.

read more

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  • Tips for relaxing in the bath: a moment for yourself
  • Stimulants and their influence on sleep
  • The influence of stress on your night’s sleep
  • Yoga as a relaxation tool for a better night’s sleep
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