Snooze Like a Baby: How Herbs and Essential Oils Can End Your Tossing and Turning

As you age, it’s normal for your sleep patterns to change. Some people may find themselves sleeping longer and waking up more refreshed, while others may struggle with restless nights, tossing and turning, or waking up multiple times. Whatever the case, it’s essential to find ways to improve your sleep for both your short- and long-term health. One option you may not have considered are herbal aids and essential oils.

Herbal Aids for Better Sleep

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy lists several herbal aids that can promote regular sleep patterns. While these remedies are typically not addictive, they should not be your only course of action for improving sleep. Always consult with a health professional to address any underlying issues such as depression, chemical imbalances, stress, or general poor health habits. Some effective herbal aids for sleep include:

Valerian – Valerian is a centuries-old remedy for regulating sleep patterns. Recent scientific research shows that the herb contains natural sedative elements that help promote a restful night’s sleep.

Eucalyptus – This versatile herb can be found in various forms, including oils, lotions, and sprays. Known for its natural sleep aid properties, eucalyptus oil can be rubbed into your feet at night for better sleep. Plus, it may help ease coughing and chest colds.

Passion Flower – This herb has multiple benefits, such as relieving diarrhea, aiding in wound healing, and improving sleep quality. Passionflower works by helping your body relax.

Hops – Despite not being as well known for sleep, hops can relax the body and encourage a good night’s sleep. Available in pill, liquid, and leaf forms, this plant is famous for its beer-making properties and may reduce anxiety and ease menstrual cramps.

Lemon Balm – Lemon balm is an edible plant with numerous benefits beyond just promoting sleep. It functions as an antibacterial agent and can help reduce depression, heal sores, calm upset stomachs, and relieve headaches, fevers, and colds.

Additional Tips for Better Sleep

Apart from considering natural alternatives, you can try the following tips from the Student Health and Counseling Services department at UC Davis for improving sleep:

  1. Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule

  2. Avoid caffeine consumption four to six hours before bedtime

  3. Refrain from smoking, especially before bedtime

  4. Steer clear of alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime

  5. Engage in regular exercise

  6. Minimize noise, light, and extreme hot and cold temperatures in the bedroom

  7. Try waking up without an alarm clock, so you wake up naturally

  8. Attempt to go to bed earlier every night for a specific period – even just by 10 minutes. This will ensure that you’re getting more sleep

In conclusion, herbal aids and essential oils offer a natural solution to sleep problems that many people face. By combining these remedies with other healthy lifestyle changes, you can set yourself up for a more restful, energized, and healthier life.