Everyone around you is somehow always so chipper mere moments after waking up. Everyone, that is, except you.
You may have just resigned to the fact that you’re “not a morning person,” but there may be an underlying issue that causes your morning grumpiness that you haven’t really thought about.
You might not have even realized it, but maybe the problem is you’re having trouble falling asleep, and staying asleep throughout the night. You don’t actually hate mornings – you just don’t have enough energy to enjoy them!
Luckily, there are many ways to combat insomnia and the inability to sleep using herbal supplements that can be bought at health food stores, or even found in nature. These fragrant plants can help you get the rest and relaxation you deserve after a hard day’s work.
Though clinical testing has, as of yet, shown no true correlation between ingestion of passionflower and an increased ability to fall asleep, the herb has been proven to alleviate nerves and anxiety – two key causes of an inability to sleep well.
Along with calming mental “nerves,” passionflower also physically calms the body, as well. Passionflower extract has shown to help calm the nerves of those who suffer from restless leg syndrome, a condition which tends to be most prevalent at night.
The California poppy is a “gentle balancer to the emotions and a calming remedy for times of stress.” It helps reduce the anxious feelings that have built up over the course of a day, and allows its users to fall into a deep sleep without the unpleasant drowsiness that many over-the-counter medications lead to.
It’s also an antispasmodic, alleviating symptoms of physical stress and pain. In infants, California poppy can help reduce instances of colic. In school-age children, it can lead to a reduction in stress-related responses, such as bedwetting and asthma.
California poppy can be ingested in teas and tinctures, as well as lotions and oils.
Yes, the same herb that gives your favorite IPA its bitterness can also help you get to sleep at night. In fact, Germany’s Commission E (the German version of the FDA) approves of using hops to combat anxiety and restlessness. Also, once you have drifted off to sleep, the effects of hops allows you to stay asleep until fully rested.
As hops is quite bitter, you don’t want to overload your tea mixture with it. However, a small dose will do just fine in alleviating your insomnia.
Lastly, do not use hops if you’re currently taking prescription sleep aids, as doing so will increase the effectiveness of the sedative.
Chamomile is a mild sedative that is most often infused in tea at nighttime.
In addition to reducing anxiety and insomnia, chamomile reduces physical malaises as well. The herb has been proven to alleviate symptoms of heartburn, nausea, and colic. It also is thought to have a soothing effect on skin irritations and scratches.
When making chamomile tea, you want to make it strong. Use more of the herb than you normally would in a cup of tea, and steep it for about fifteen minutes. Make sure you cover it while steeping, or you’ll lose the essential oils that give the tea its calming powers.
Of the herbs on this list so far, lavender is likely the most well-known, and perhaps the most-used.
The scent of lavender alone is enough to take the edge off after a long day. Clinical trials have proven that lavender decreases anxiety and insomnia, leading to a much better quality of sleep. In sleeping subjects, lavender increases instances of slow-wave sleep – the type of deep sleep necessary to awaken fully-refreshed.
Using essential oils either in a diffuser or sprinkled on your pillow, lavender will send you off to dreamland with ease, allowing you to wake up ready to face the day come morning.
Featured photo credit: Flickr / asleep / hopetorture via farm9.staticflickr.com