3.5 Insomnia.


Also see entry 2.1, Valeriana.

> I REALLY need some herbs to take for insomnia. My doctor says I am in excellent health, and I am not depressed, but insomnia has been a terrible problem for me since I was a child. Can anyone recommend some herbs to me that either taste good-ok (not valerian--it smells so bad to me :( ) OR tell me how to make a herbal sleep pillow?

From trowan.ivory.trentu.ca (The Literate Tomboy):
Rub a little lavender oil under your nose and breathe deep as you lie in bed...

From burleigh.tcg.anl.gov (darin)
Organic chemistry textbooks. It was a surefire thing in college.

Photo: Humulus lupulus 16. From dsm2.ix.netcom.com (sherree moore)
Okay, I've been lurking around reading the herbal newsgroup and I JUST have to give my remedy for insomnia. When I can't sleep I make a tea from chamomile (of course), valerian, hops, and a smidge of passion flower. Works every time. Of course, this combination might become a bit too much every single night! Therefore, a hops pillow might help. Make a small pillow and fill it with hops. Really doesn't smell bad at all. Oh yes, the tea is an acquired taste, but honey helps.

From carl.mork.nwcs.org (Carl Mork):
The various mints are good in tea for making you relax. I make a nice mix of peppermint, cat mint and apple mint to brew up the tea. A pillow is simple to make. Use the same mints plus lavender. There are other herbs that are used for sleep, but those are the ones I know from practical experience.
The mix for tea and pillows should be to your taste. Oh and I suggest honey in the tea.

3.5.1 Insomnia therapeutics

From Henriette:

Insomnia. The first thing to do is to cut out _all_ caffeine. That means coffee, tea, cocoa, cola drinks, guarana, mate, etc.

Do you exercise? You might not be tired if you don't move during the day. 30 minutes daily walking is good, but more is better (up to a limit).

Don't eat too heavily before bedtime.

Do you have problems with depression? SJW (Hypericum, St. John's wort) helps with mild to moderate depression, and one of the signs of depression is that you wake up early in the morning and can't go back to sleep. Simple insomnia is another sign. SJW needs to be taken regularly for a few weeks before you notice a difference.

Is your room dark enough? Before you shop for dark dark drapes for your windows you can test by investing in a set of those thick cloth goggles to put over your eyes. You know, the type that makes it easier to sleep when you travel by plane.

If all that is OK here's a herbal blend that has worked nicely for all people I have given it to:

1 part Hypericum tincture (fresh flowering tops, 1:2 95 %)
1 part Eschscholtzia tincture (fresh herb, 1:2 95 %)

Mix, take 30 drops as needed. Keep the bottle near your bed, or make a tea of the recently dried herbs and keep the tea ready on your bedside table.

Another blend would be

1 part Hypericum tincture (fresh flowering tops, 1:2 95 %)
1 part Avena tincture (fresh milky seed, 1:2 95 %)

Mix, take 30 drops as needed. This can't be substituted with a tea, as Avena milky seed has to be used fresh.

Or you could try some of the herbal suggestions given above. Whatever you do, don't put lavender essential oil (EO) on your upper lip - that smell will keep you awake. If you want to use lavender EO, put it on a tissue and keep that under your pillow. That way, when you get tired of the smell, you can remove the tissue.