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6 Herbs To Take Before Bed For A Deep Sleep

Herbs for deep sleep

Exercising regularly, eating well, and stressing less are all important factors in maintaining a fit and healthy body and mind. However, there’s almost no point in doing any of them if you’re not also going to prioritize sleep.

Deep, restful sleep is vital if you want to keep your body and mind in an optimum state of wellbeing.

However, although it’s such a vital component of a healthy life, a lot of people find it incredibly difficult to actually get good quality sleep. Whether we’re stressed from work, we naturally suffer from insomnia or we’re kept awake by the blue light from our phones, most of us find it pretty hard to drift off into a deep, rejuvenating slumber – this is incredibly frustrating!

However, there’s no need to get wound up and feel helpless, because there are several powerful herbs that will ensure you get a good night’s sleep, every night. So, in this article, I’m going to share with you the 6 most powerful herbs that promote a night of deep sleep.

Chamomile

If you’re looking for a natural sleep aid, you’ve likely come across chamomile. Chamomile, typically consumed as chamomile tea, but sometimes taken in capsules or used in essential oil form, is one of the most popular sleep aids, and rightly so.

Chamomile reduces anxiety levels and has a sleep-inducing effect, as well as protecting cells from damage and reducing the risk of certain types of cancer due to being packed with antioxidants, so it’s a win-win for your sleep and your overall health!

How To Take: You can drink 1 cup of chamomile tea approximately 30 minutes before bed, or you can take a chamomile capsule at roughly the same time. You can also use chamomile essential oil to relax – pop 1-2 drops in a warm bath, but a few drops in an oil diffuser or use it (sparingly) on aching muscles.

Valerian Root

Valerian is a popular herb that aids with falling asleep and increases the quality of sleep people experience. It’s also proven effective to replace and help with withdrawal symptoms of, sleeping medications that people with insomnia often take.

Valerian not only makes you feel more relaxed and sleepy, but it also increases the speed at which you will fall asleep and helps to increase the time spent in a deep sleep. Other benefits of the herb include reduced menstruation pain and decreased levels day time fatigue.

How To Take: You can drink 1 cup of valerian tea 1 hour – 30 mins before bed, take it in capsule form (300-600mg recommended), or put a few drops of valerian essential oil into a diffuser.

Lavender

Lavender, both in essential oil form (how it’s typically used) or as tea, is used all over the world to reduce stress, relax the body, bring on the feeling of sleepiness, and increase the quality of sleep.

Lavender increases the speed at which it takes people to fall asleep, and promotes deep sleep. It also reduces daytime fatigue.

How To Take:You can drink 1 cup of lavender tea (it’s typically mixed with chamomile tea, and you might see it included in ‘sleepy teas’), or you can use lavender essential in your diffuser, as a pillow mist, or you can (sparingly) massage it onto areas of tension on your body.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a herbal extract that’s known to reduce stress and anxiety levels, promote a feeling of relaxation, make people feel sleepy, and increase the quality of sleep people experience.

In addition, it’s also known for improving circulation, easing the pain of menstruation, and boosting cognitive function. So, you’ll not only have better sleep, but you’ll be more alert and benefit from increased overall health.

How To Take: Gingko Bilbao is typically found in capsule form, but it’s also a common ingredient in superfood powders. You can take Gingko Bilbao at any time during the day, or 30 mins – 1 hour before bed to enhance sleepiness.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that lowers cortisol levels, reducing stress levels, relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety, and boosting the mood overall. This is obviously beneficial for feeling relaxed and ready for sleep.

However, it also contains triethylene glycol in its leaves, a component that promotes the feeling of sleepiness and increases deep sleep.

How To Take: You can drink 1 cup of ashwagandha tea 30 mins – 1 hour before bed, or you can take ashwagandha as a supplement throughout the day. Ashwagandha is available on its own, in capsule form, but it’s also a common ingredient in superfood formulas.

Melatonin

Although melatonin is technically a hormone that the body produces, it’s essential to include this on the list!

Your body naturally produces melatonin when it gets dark, as an indicator that you should get ready for sleep. However, light suppresses melatonin and most of us use our phones frequently (blue light being the most effective at suppressing melatonin), some of us might work during the evening so need to sleep when it’s light, or just need an extra boost of melatonin to help us (those that suffer from insomnia).

Melatonin lets your body know that it’s ready to go to sleep by creating a state of relaxation and sleepiness. It also improves the quality and length of sleep.

How To Take: You can take a melatonin supplement (typically in capsule form) although you should only use these for a short period of time, or eat foods rich in melatonin, such as bananas, goji berries, nuts, and seeds. You can also reduce the bright lights in your house in the evening.

How Many Sleep Aid Herbs Should You Take At Once?

This article has been put together to share the most potent herbs that encourage sleep, and I’m not saying that you should take all 6 herbs in this article at the same time!

It’s not recommended that you take more than one type of sleeping aid per night, and you should never take more than the recommended dose of a supplement to avoid adverse effects.

If you’re not sure which herb you want to use, you might want to try experimenting with a few of them. For example, you might want to try Valerian for a week or two (by itself, of course), and if you find that it doesn’t agree with you, stop using it and try out chamomile tea for a week or two.

What Else Can You Do To Improve Sleep Quality?

As well as taking a herbal supplement or drinking herbal tea before bed, there are several things you can do to increase your quality of sleep. You need to make sure that you are winding down for sleep in a restful and peaceful environment, with low lighting.

You should put your phone and electronic devices down around 1-2 hours before you go to sleep, as the blue light emitted from these devices interrupts your melatonin production. You might want to do some light stretching, yoga, or mindfulness practice too, to quiet your mind.

What Is The Circadian Rhythm?

Circadian rhythms are your natural, interlock clock that controls the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. A circadian rhythm that’s out of sync can lead to insomnia and fatigue during the day, so it’s essential that you support your body’s internal clock if you want to have restful sleep that rejuvenates the body and be full of energy during your waking hours.

You can support and improve your circadian rhythm by making sure you have a consistent sleep-wake pattern, meaning you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. You also need to prioritize proper nutrition and exercise, as well as stay off those blue-light emitting devices during the evening.

Can You Do Anything In The Daytime To Improve Sleep Quality?

There are lots of things you can do during the daytime to improve your quality of sleep, so let’s talk about some of them here!

You should make sure that you exercise every day, stop consuming caffeine 6-8 hours before bed, don’t nap during the day, finish earring at least 4 hours before bed, make sure you’re consuming all the vitamins and minerals that are essential (you can do this by taking a greens supplement daily).

Ready To Experience Restful Sleep?

If you started reading this article as someone that struggled with sleep and didn’t know how to rectify your sleep issues, hopefully, you are now ending this article as a sleep-expert, ready to go and find out which herb suits you the most, as well as understand how you should be living if you want to optimize sleep.

Remember, sleep is incredibly important for your overall health and wellbeing, so dedicate more time to thinking about sleep and ensuring you have a bulletproof evening routine that eases you into a deep, restful sleep.

Now it’s time to take everything you’ve learned and go and ensure that every 24 hours you are at least having a wonderful 7-9 hours of sleep.

Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!

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