There are literally hundreds of products on the market today to treat insomnia and chronic sleep problems, including expensive prescription drugs that have potential side effects. Natural herbal sleep aids are a great option for anyone who suffers from restlessness and sleep issues that make it difficult to get a good night's rest.
With sleeping pills and prescriptions, it's important to remember that effectiveness varies and these treatments are not designed for long-term use. They also carry potential side effects and can leave you drowsy for hours after you wake, making it dangerous to even operate a motor vehicle. OTC and prescription sleep medication can also cause serious withdrawal symptoms, drug dependence, drug intolerance after extended use and even rebound insomnia.
Natural sleep aids, on the other hand, can usually be used effectively for a long time and carry virtually no side effects. There are several herbs that are shown to help many people sleep, such as valerian root, lemon balm, lavender, St John's Wort and chamomile. They can be taken in pill form, as a tea or even used as an oil in a bath. Lavender oil can be added to a bath, or used in a stuffed pillow. Lavender tea can also be made with fresh or dried lavender for a safe herbal sleep aid.
Chamomile as an Herbal Sleep Aid
Chamomile is an easy to find herb that can be purchased as a premade tea, making it easy to enjoy before bedtime to relax and help you ease into sleep gently. It's been used for thousands of years to treat insomnia and other health problems. Along with the tea form, chamomile is also sold as an extract and even a topical ointment and is found in health food stores and supermarkets. It's shown to be an effective yet mild sleep aid that produces no side effects at all, making it safe even for children.
Valerian as an Herbal Sleep Aid
Valerian is another herbal supplement that has been used for thousands of years to treat insomnia and anxiety. While it's a popular choice, it's effectiveness isn't fully backed by science. Because it can cause strange dreams and other side effects in large doses, always use valerian supplements in small amounts to determine if it's effective for you.
Other Herbal Sleep Treatments
There are other herbs used to treat insomnia that aren't as popular, but are still quite effective for some people. Kava kava is one natural herb that has a calming effect on the body. It can be a good choice for anyone who suffers from chronic fatigue and helps your body prepare for rest. Along with relaxing you, many users find kava kava enhances dreaming, too. Be aware that kava can cause liver damage with extended use, so be careful to use small doses and do not use kava for long periods of time. Finally, St John's Wort can also be an effective and safe treatment for both insomnia and depression. St John's Wort is an herb with yellow flowers that has been used to treat sleep issues and mild to moderate depression for many years. While it's effective, it can interact with medications so talk to your doctor before taking St John's Wort for your insomnia.