Herbs for Sleep
February 13, 2012
If all of the interventions in the Sleep Soultions article have proved unsatisfactory at producing adequate sleep, then here are some herbs that can help.
*Consult your physician for children's doses.
Chamomile herbal tea - this herbal infusion has been used for centuries to induce relaxation and calmness that can lead to sleep onset. Try drinking 12 ounces of tea 1 hour before bedtime while you are reading to dim light.
Valerian - an herb used for sleep induction and to combat insomnia. It can be taken as a tincture, capsule or tea. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/valerian/
For insomnia, valerian may be taken 1 - 2 hours before bedtime, or up to 3 times in the course of the day, with the last dose near bedtime. It may take a few weeks before the effects are felt.
•Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoonful (2 - 3 g) of dried root, steep 5 - 10 minutes.
•Tincture (1:5): 1 - 1 1/2 tsp (4 - 6 mL)
•Fluid extract (1:1): 1/2 - 1 tsp (1 - 2 mL)
•Dry powdered extract (4:1): 250 - 600 mg
•For anxiety, 200 mg 3 - 4 times per day
Once sleep improves, keep taking valerian for 2 - 6 weeks. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/valerian-000279.htm
Melatonin - Probably the best known and widely used herb for sleep issues.
•Insomnia: 1 to 3 mg 1 hour before bedtime is usually effective, although doses as low as 0.1 -0.3 mg may improve sleep for some people. If 3 mg per night does not work after 3 days, try 5 - 6 mg 1 hour before bedtime. You should work with your doctor to find the safest and most effective dose for you. The right dose for you should produce restful sleep with no daytime irritability or fatigue.