These are some ways to help you when you have insomnia, when you just can’t sleep. Some are simple, some are more complex and require more work, but they likely will not have the side effects that chemical sleep aids do. I have tried some, let me know how they work for you!
These are taken from Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies Natural Health, Beauty & Home Care Secrets by Jude C. Todd. This was one of my textbooks for a class in my Herbal Studies program.
Buttermilk – a glass of buttermilk before bed has helped some people
Milk – heat 1 cup of milk and add 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and drink it a 1/2 hour before you go to bed.
Oatmeal – make it normally, but add enough milk or water to make it thinner; this is particularly good for children and for times when you get sick since oatmeal soothes the stomach, is nutritious and gives a warm full feeling.
Apple – eating one before bedtime has helped put people to sleep.
Yawn – practice it and it has been helpful in sleeping, before you know it.
Cooked lettuce – making a tea from this herb has been shown to be a great relaxant; pour a cup of boiling water over a cup of shredded lettuce (not sure what kind) and let it steep or sudar/sweat for 30 minutes. Strain it and drink it before you go to bed. The author highly recommends this as a good relaxant, and it also works well for folks who have been ill.
Now some herbal teas – a note, since most herbs tend to share their powers when steeped or sweated in boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes, it is not actively boiling, it is after you took it off the stove. With herbal flowers, such as chamomile, it is good to let them steep for about half that time, or around 5 minutes, because flowers share their power more easily. Never boil the leaves or flowers of herbs, although you can do so for the roots and stalks of some of them because otherwise it is harder for them to release their magic. When you steep the herb in boiling water, that means you pour it in ur favorite cup and cover it, to retain the medicinal power of the herb (so it won’t evaporate into the stratosphere). Strain means that you take the herb or flowers out of the liquid where they deposited their power, and drink up the liquid and enjoy the benefits of our green friends. We have evolved together for thousands of years, after all!
The author often says to sweeten these teas after you have strained or removed our herbal friends from the liquid, which seems counterintuitive for blood sugar levels before sleep, but I think it is because these herbs are powerful and our often sweetness-addicted palates are not used to these flavors. Try it out, and see what is best for you!
Chamomile tea has often worked well for me to help me sleep. I also purchased a passion flower and valerian tincture that will knock you out! I would not recommend the latter one for children.
Passion flower blossoms – steep several of these in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. After straining the liquid, add honey and drink it cool.
Catnip – you might think, well, I’m not a cat, but this is a great relaxing herb, and those of us who have kitties know this well. Use two cups of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried catnip, cover it and let it sweat and cool. After straining the liquid, add honey if you want. The author suggests 1 tablespoon of the dried herb for children, and two for adults.
Hops – pour 4 cups boiling water over 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried hops flowers. Let it sweat covered for 10 minutes, strain the liquid and sweeten. This is why beer often makes people sleepy, because hops is in it.
Aniseed – boil 1 teaspoon in a cup of water, and let it brew for 20 minutes; this has also been shown to help with indigestion too.
Pennyroyal – NOT FOR PREGNANT WOMEN: pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of this herb and let it steep for 15 minutes, strain and then sweeten. Drink it warm before you go to bed.
Bee Balm – pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of this herb, let it steep for 15 minutes, strain, sweeten and drink it warm.
Feverfew flowers – this is a great herb to help the body prevent and get rid of migraine headaches, and is also a good helper to slide into the sleep world. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of these flowers. Let them steep for 5 minutes, strain and then enjoy!
Powdered Valerian Root – pour 2 cups of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of this herb’s powdered root and let it steep 20 minutes. Strain and sweeten; the sweetner in this case is pretty important since valerian smells and tastes like dirty socks, not that I have tasted dirty socks, but you get the idea from the smell! You could also add peppermint or some other delish herb to the mix, if you would rather not add honey.
Bee Balm, Hops, Peppermint, Chamomile, Fennel Seed – this one really packs a punch as they say and should have you in happy lala land in no time. The fennel seed needs to be crushed and mixed in with the other herbs in a 1 teaspoon to 1 cup boiling water ratio. Let it steep 10 minutes, then strain. Add honey and drink it a 1/2 hour before going to bed.
Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage – mix 2 tablespoons of peppermint with 1 tablespoon each of rosemary and sage; pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoonful of this herbal mixture, cover and steep for 10 minutes, strain and sweeten. Great for the nerves, and peppermint is great to increase the flow of blood to the brain to relieve headaches and great to kick out the gas from the belly.
Um, getting sleepy!
Here’s to sweet dreams through restful healing sleep!