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How’d you sleep last night? Terrible, again? It’s time to look at herbs for insomnia.
The digital stimulation we experience these days is overwhelming. This past year was no exception. In 2020, virtual meetings and classes took over our homes, near constant attention to news updates became necessary, and online social media became the primary means for community. Many people are constantly digitally connected and stimulated by artificial lighting. It’s no wonder why nearly 60 million Americans experience insomnia and other sleep-related problems daily (and this statistic was taken before the Covid-19 global crisis).
Many people turn to over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping aids and even stronger prescription medication without first considering a more natural alternative. If you are one of those people, consider this: Sleeping pills including Benadryl, Aleve PM (aka Diphenhydramine), and Unisom (aka Doxylamine succinate) all contain antihistamines. Unfortunately there are some adverse reactions to antihistamines and our bodies are able to develop a tolerance to the sedative effects quite quickly.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture are ancient medicines that have proven herbs for insomnia. They are safe, natural, and effective.
Instead of depending on sleeping pills, consider herbs. Herbs can help with insomnia and increase your quality of sleep. Many of these herbs can be easily found in your local grocery store, or better yet prescribed by a TCM Practitioner.
Herbs for Insomnia
Chamomile tea is a great choice for anyone before bedtime. It is a gentle herb with calming effects and has shown in numerous studies to promote relaxation. Chamomile has a light flavor making it easy to combine with other nighttime herbs.
Chrysanthemum tea is very popular in East and Southeast Asia, and has been for centuries. Both for it’s flavor and medicinal effects. Chrysanthemum tea is known to help cleanse the liver. When the liver is not working properly, it can cause insomnia, irritability, and dizziness. This tea is often combined with honeysuckle and monkfruit.
Ginseng tea is used for several health benefits. It is commonly used to help fatigue, dry mouth, and shortness of breath. Although ginseng is typically known as a stimulant, the root works by normalizing your body’s stress levels. When taken during the day, studies have shown that it can help increase the quality of sleep at night.
Schisandra tea can be found at most health stores and is known to promote lung and kidney function. It can also improve liver function by stimulating enzymes in the liver to promote cell growth. It is a great tea to help insomnia and fatigue.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain as a response to darkness. It is involved in the management of the circadian rhythms or the “sleep-wake” cycle. Melatonin supplements may help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep.
Valerian is often combined with hops and lemon balm and can be a very effective treatment for insomnia; however more research is needed as it has shown to interact with some medications.
Cooking Herbs At Home:
If you have raw Chinese herbs to cook at home, here’s Jonathan Fleming, L.Ac., walking us through how to cook herbs at home.
A TCM Prescription: I recommend a full, in-person diagnostic evaluation to address your health concerns with a licensed acupuncturist, check out our directory to find someone qualified near you.
If you or someone you know is struggling with insomnia, don’t hesitate to contact us. Traditional medicines offer a plethora of safe natural and effective therapies to address the root cause(s) of your sleepless nights.