Tell me, what is a girl to when she seems to have it all… but her sleep?
It is such a normal thing, isn’t it? You work or study, you go about your day; you see people, do some sports, have some fun, etc. Then comes the time to lay down in your warm, cozy bed and get some well-deserved rest.
You close your eyes. It’s quiet and dark. Everything you need for a good night sleep is there.
But it doesn’t come. Nope. Your body refuses to fall asleep.
It happened to me.
I had just started college. The school was great, I made a few new friends, took a few exams with excellent marks. And then I suddenly lost my sleep.
Some nights I couldn’t fall asleep at all. Others I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep.
At first it seemed handy. More time to do stuff – what’s better than that!
But gradually I came to realize that I was getting tired of it all. I couldn’t concentrate or memorize a thing. I didn’t feel like going out. Even seeing friends turned into a burden.
I saw a doctor. He said that it was only stress. It turns out that even if you don’t feel bad, you can be stressed out in a new situation. Like college was for me.
The doctor prescribed me some sleeping pills but warned me to be careful with those. They were easy to get used to, he said. So I decided not to take them and look for a natural way to deal with the problem instead.
I looked for some alternatives to pills. Finally, I started reading about herbs.
What could be easier than having a warm cup of tea before bed to help you sleep? Described below are the herbs I found that have such a nice calming effect.
1) Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
The lemon balm has an enjoyable lemony taste.And, besides the fact it calms your nerves, it is also good for the stomach. It helps relieve nausea in pregnant women. And it even helps with migraine.
For a cup of tea: 5 oz. water + 2 tbsps. dried lemon balm leaves.
Let it sit for 15 minutesand drink warm with honey, if you prefer it sweet. Drink a cup of this tea 2-3 times a day.
2) Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian has an excellent sedative effect and it is a great sleeping aid. You can find it in the form of pills. But it is always best to get the herb and make tea out of it.
For a cup of tea: 5 oz. water + 1 tsp. valerian root.
Cover the pot and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. It doesn’t smell great, but it works wonders.
It may take a couple of weeks of regular use to feel the best effects of valerian tea. Don’t overdo it, however, and don’t combine it with other calming or sleeping pills as it may cause drowsiness or even dizziness.
3) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile has antibacterial, antioxidant and relaxing properties. Besides helping get a better night sleep, it is really good for your skin, when used in ointments.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 2-3 tbsps. Chamomile.
4) St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
When used regularly, St. John’s wort can cure anxiety, stomach discomfort and mild depression. It also helps treat wounds and can ease first cold symptoms.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. St. John’s wort.
5) Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint tea is refreshing at any time of day. And, besides helping you relax, it can also improve digestion and relieve headaches.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. mint leaves.
6) Hawthorn (Crataegus)
Hawthorn improves blood circulation, high blood pressure, and, of course – sleep problems. You can drink 2-4 cups of this tea.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. dried hawthorn leaves.
7) Vervain (Verbena bonariensis)
Verbena has a general refreshing effect and it helps fight fever. It is used to heal nervousness and exhaustion. When used on the skin, it also helps with burns or wounds.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. vervain leaves.
You can drink one cup 2-3 times per day.
8) Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Besides its calming effects, lavender is also known to disinfect and act as a painkiller. You can also use it as an air refresher.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. dried lavender blossom.
Let it sit for 2 hours, filter and drink a cup 2-3 times a day.
9) Hops (Humulus)
Hops tea can help you sleep better. It can also help with menstrual pain. It improves digestion, stimulates appetite, and some even believe it can act as an aphrodisiac.
For a cup of tea: 5 oz. water + 1 tbsp. dried hops leafs.
You can have 1-2 cups of tea before bed.
10) Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Motherwort is good for your nervous system and it also helps relieve menstrual problems, headaches and high blood pressure.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. Motherwort leaves.
The best way to make herbal tea is by putting the herbs in some infusion device – a tea bag or a tea ball. Pour hot water on top of it and cover the pot well.
For best results, make a fresh herbal infusion every day and don’t let it stay for more than 24 hours before consuming.
Herbs are a natural and healthy way to improve your sleep but don’t overdo it. Be careful when mixing them and don’t forget that too much of a good thing may become harmful.
Unlike synthetic medicines, herbal treatment effects come more gradually. It takes more time and patience to experience real benefits.