Herbs For Sleep: 5 Effective Remedies | Botanic Tonics

Herbs For Sleep: 5 Effective Remedies | Botanic Tonics

Reviewed by Jamal Bouie

5 Herbal Remedies For Better Sleep

Never underestimate the role that quality sleep plays in your life. If your sleep quality suffers, your waking hours probably aren’t going to be a walk in the park. Constant yawns and brain fog are less than ideal when you have a busy, full life fighting for your time and attention.

When you go through a crammed day only to toss and turn in bed at night as the clock slowly ticks down to your alarm, it can test your sanity. You may feel like you’re willing to try just about anything to improve your sleep quality, no matter how outlandish it sounds.

But before leaping to extremes, you might be relieved to know that there’s a completely natural solution for better sleep in arm’s reach: herbs for sleep. Herbal remedies for sleep have existed as a natural sleep aid for thousands of years. Countless people find relief in them, and they can help you, too.

What Causes Poor Sleep?

For most people, poor sleep stems from a combination of factors, both internal and external. Some are within your control, while others aren’t.

When it comes to the uncontrollable factors, you’re not alone in experiencing them. As modern society urges us to work harder, do more, and achieve constantly, it’s easy to see why stress levels elevate and sleep hygiene falters. A stressful lifestyle leaves less room for the relaxation that promotes healthy sleep.[1]

When looking at other common causes of poor sleep, you can break them down into these categories: 

  • Poor sleep hygiene – Is your room too bright, too noisy, too hot, or too cold? That might make it harder for you to get restful sleep. You might also struggle if your bed is uncomfortable, or if you use your bedroom for work during the day. It’s important to have that mental divide and only use your bedroom for sleeping.
  • Mental and physical health conditions – Anxiety, depression, and other stressor-based disorders can wreak havoc on your moods and sleep alike. Chronic pain, restless leg syndrome, or other health conditions may also leave you wide awake, unable to get comfortable enough to drift off into a good night's sleep.
  • Medications – Certain steroids, antidepressants, and other types of medicine come with the potential for insomnia. If you already have insomnia, some medications may worsen it.[2]
  • Lifestyle factors – This can include things like work shift schedules, frequent travel, and jet lag, and the amount of caffeine or alcohol you indulge in before sleep.

You might find some of these factors easy to change. Others may feel entirely out of your hands, or they may really be beyond the scope of your personal influence. Knowing how to work around the challenges you can’t directly impact will help you focus on what you can control and improve. 

Benefits of Herbal Remedies for Sleep

Variety is one of the biggest benefits of herbal supplements. They target multiple factors that can interrupt your deep sleep. These can include anxiety, stress, physical pain, or aches.

Most herbal remedies for insomnia also lack the unwanted side effects that over-the-counter medication sometimes causes. This makes it a more appealing option if you want to see change without diving into the complex world of pharmaceutical sleep aids.

The lack of addictive components and withdrawal symptoms are enticing reasons to give herbs a try, too. If a particular herb doesn’t work for you, you can typically stop using it and try something else without worrying about a detox period.

Best Herbs for Sleep

When choosing what to try, you should know what causes your sleep deprivation, and how you want to tackle treatment. Depending on this, you can try out herbs that align with your wellness and sleep goals. For example, certain herbs for energy should be avoided if you are looking to improve your sleep. 

Different supplements affect health in many ways, but some popular herbs surface time and again due to their noted effectiveness.

#1 Rhodiola Rosea

This adaptogen is great if you have daily stress that contributes to anxiety. It has been shown to stimulate the central nervous system, regulate the body’s stress responses, and even potentially support healthy serotonin levels in the brain.[3]

Rhodiola rosea comes in many forms, including powder, tablets, and extracts. It’s most often consumed orally in teas or other beverages. 

#2 Kava Root

Kava is becoming more popular today as fans of natural herbs discover its many uses. Along with the potential to aid sleep, kava carries a world of potential benefits, including: 

  • Promoting the relaxation of muscles
  • Creating a sensation of calmness
  • Easing feelings of discomfort

Kava can help attain a sense of calmness, which can help you work your way to a more restful sleep.

#3 Lion’s Mane

Considered a veritable fountain of youth for the brain, this mushroom boasts properties that may help stimulate the nerve growth factor (NGF).[4] As you age, so does your brain, which can lead to symptoms like fatigue and restlessness at night. Combating age-related wear and promoting positive brain function may help promote better deep sleep and overall wellness. 

Lion’s mane is most often consumed by mixing a powdered form into drinks like smoothies, but can also be found in perfected doses in our kava mushroom drink

#4 Chamomile

One of the most well-known herbal supplements for stress and sleep disruptions, chamomile is a natural sleep inducer. It has documented benzodiazepine-like properties, which can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.[5] It’s most popular in the form of chamomile tea, making it an easy option to incorporate into a comforting, soothing bedtime routine.

#5 Lavender

This flower may help calm the central nervous system and help the body adjust to slow-wave sleep cycles more fluidly.[6] Unlike the above options, which all favor oral consumption, lavender can be used easily as an essential oil in aromatherapy for relaxation. Many people enjoy lavender-scented candles or lotions before bedtime to enjoy its potential benefits. 

Safety Tips to Consider

You may find relief from your insomnia or sleep disturbance through the supplementary use of herbs. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind any time you introduce new elements to your life.

When you start taking a new supplement, consider the following.

  1. Follow recommended dosing instructions.
  2. Take supplements as recommended by a doctor's order.
  3. Consult with your physician if you’re taking other medications or supplements for sleep support.
  4. Research the benefits and side effects of the supplements you want to take.

Exploring natural herbs for sleep and other potential benefits can certainly be worthwhile, but it’s important to do so responsibly. The bottom line: Consult with your healthcare provider about the herbal supplements you’re interested in, and incorporate them slowly and methodically into your routine.

Additional Tips for Restful Sleep

Disordered or troubled sleep often stems from different sources. It makes sense, then, that you may need a few different tools to combat them.

Some methods of improving your sleep quality maintain a high level of popularity because of the wide net they cast when it comes to treating symptoms. A few include:

  • Fixing your sleep hygiene
  • Making changes to aspects of your life that are incompatible with sound sleep
  • Improving your diet or exercise routines
  • Getting treatment for mental and physical health issues that interfere with sleep latency

Enacting some of these changes as needed alongside the use of herbal supplements may help you see long-lasting improvements in sleep.

Sleep Hygiene and Lifestyle Changes

If you go to a sleep clinic for insomnia or other sleep problems, this is likely going to be the first set of changes they suggest you tackle. These are the aspects that you often have the most control over. 

Lifestyle and sleep hygiene factors can include working late shifts, staying up to watch TV shows, or browsing through your phone while in bed. Just a few simple alterations, like using a blue light filter on your electronics or cutting off screen time an hour before bed, can help you improve your sleep hygiene.

Diet and Exercise

Exercising for at least 150 minutes a week has been shown to have a notable impact on sleep quality, length, and overall restfulness.[7] This breaks down to 30 minutes of exercise over 5 days. 

The food you eat can also greatly change the quality of sleep you get. Try cutting down on sugar and caffeine to see if that eases any of your symptoms. Increasing your intake of healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits may also improve your physical health, which in turn can impact your ability to sleep soundly.

Knowing When to Seek Treatment

If you suffer from mental or physical health issues, you may find some relief by adding herbal supplements to your routine. But there are some things that need a little more help. If you try out non-invasive methods of bettering your sleep and still feel like you can’t shake your exhaustion, it might be time to see a doctor and explore other options.

Achieve a More Restful Sleep 

The process of fixing sleep deprivation is no small task. You may have to implement multiple changes in order to see lasting results and improvement. It’s a process of trial and error that can take weeks, months, or even years. Remember that what you need to get a good night’s sleep may look different over time as your stressors and body change.

Fortunately, herbal supplements offer a proven, all-natural starting point on your journey to better sleep. At Botanic Tonics, we encourage natural remedies to reach a healthier, happier you. 

The world may not slow down for you, but you can slow down the stress in your body and mind with herbs that pave the way to that good night’s rest you’ve been craving.


1. NHS Inform. Insomnia. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/mental-health/insomnia/

2. Mayo Clinic. Antidepressants: Get tips to cope with side effects. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/antidepressants/

3. Psych Central. 7 Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea. https://psychcentral.com/health/rhodiola-benefits

4. International journal of medicinal mushrooms. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/

5. Journal of education and health promotion. Investigation effect of oral chamomilla on sleep quality in elderly people in Isfahan: A randomized control trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470311/

6. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. Lavender and the Nervous System. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/ 

7. Sleep Foundation. What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise for Sleep? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/best-time-of-day-to-exercise-for-sleep

About The Author

Jamal Bouie Botanic Tonic

Jamal Bouie

Jamal Bouie is an accomplished professional with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Biomedicine at Salus University. Jamal has worked in several industries; he began his career in pharmaceutical manufacturing and transitioned to the cannabis industry, where he specialized in analytical testing and manufacturing, playing a vital role in ensuring product safety and compliance. Now, Jamal has turned his attention to the dietary supplement field, combining his scientific acumen with his passion for health and wellness.

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