The Best Essential Herbs for Sleep

The human body needs adequate sleep, and it will let you know when it doesn’t get it. If you wake up from a poor night’s sleep, you feel groggy and cannot focus. While you try your best to get the target eight hours of sleep, you may fail due to several factors.

If you’ve looked high and low for sleeping solutions, you may have seen suggested herbs to get that good night’s rest. Can herbs be the key? Let’s flip to the cool side of the pillow, grab a mug of tea and talk about the best herbs to help you sleep.


To set the nightstand for this discussion on the best herbs for sleep, let’s take a closer look at how so many of us got into this struggle with our sleep. If you live in the United States and don’t get enough quality sleep, you’re not alone. In the Gallup-Casper “The State of Sleep in America 2022 Report,” surveyors found that one-third of respondents experienced “fair” or “poor” sleep. Stress, work, family responsibilities and poor habits can lead to a less-than-stellar night of sleep, affecting your physical and mental health.

While sleep needs vary from person to person, most people need about eight hours a night. When you miss that sleep goal, it affects every part of your day and your overall quality of life. A lack of sleep lowers cognition, raising the risk of errors and accidents while working, driving or interacting with others.

As your sleep deprivation becomes chronic, the risk for maladies mounts. When you don’t get proper sleep, your irritability rises, concentration erodes and ability to manage stress falls. Your appetite may increase, and your motivation to exercise can dwindle to nothing. This killer combination of sleep deprivation effects can ratchet up the risk of diabetes, heart disease and mental health problems.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The amount of sleep you need can vary based on age, lifestyle, and individual differences, but on average, adults typically require between 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night to function at their best. Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining physical and mental health, as it allows your body to repair and recharge. As mentioned, insufficient sleep can lead to a range of negative effects on day-to-day life, including decreased cognitive function, impaired decision-making, mood disturbances, and heightened stress levels.

Conversely, getting an adequate amount of sleep can lead to improved concentration, better emotional well-being, and enhanced overall productivity. A good night’s rest contributes to a more vibrant and fulfilling daily life. That is why prioritizing your sleep hygiene and ensuring a consistent and sufficient sleep schedule is essential for your overall health.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Cleaning Up Our Sleep Hygiene

If you want to sleep better, you need to make sleep a priority in your life. While herbs may help you find restful sleep, you must first focus on establishing good habits. It’s easy to let sleep slip behind work and social obligations. However, if you put rest on the back burner, you will get burned out. To prioritize sleep, you need to actively look at your bedtime habits and sleeping environment, also known as sleep hygiene. A few ways you can improve your sleep hygiene include:

  • Taking note of your bedtime habits - The act of physically writing down your current bedtime routine helps you become actively aware of the actions that may be disrupting or making it difficult to sleep.
  • Establishing regular times to go to bed and awaken - An erratic sleep schedule may lead to an inability to sleep restfully. Setting a time to begin winding down for the evening can help you reset your body’s circadian rhythm, leading to more restful sleep.
  • Avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon and evening - It’s okay to enjoy your cup of coffee or tea in the morning to start your day. However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, that afternoon pick-me-up can be a letdown when you’re trying to sleep. Look for other ways to boost energy, like taking a quick walk, grabbing a bottle of water or a caffeine-free alternative, like a chicory root tea.
  • Limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption - While taking a nightcap or smoking one last cigarette before bed may seem like a good idea to relax, they can disrupt or make it difficult to fall asleep.

Once you begin to recognize some of the habits that may be keeping you from getting the sleep you need, creating the right sleep environment is essential.

Creating The Right Sleep Environment

When you only make your bedroom a place for sleep and intimacy, your brain will associate it with sleep and rest. Remove distractions such as electronics, TVs and computers. Take care of other essential tasks and conversations outside the bedroom, if possible. While you can’t control external factors (roommates, neighbors, street traffic and lights, etc.), do what you can to make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool.

You can also create relaxing bedtime routines – read, stretch, turn down the lights, take a warm bath, massage lotion into feet and hands, consciously slow your breathing, meditate or otherwise encourage your body and mind to unwind and prepare for sleep.

If you’re still looking for a way to help promote restful sleep after changing your sleep routines and environment, it may be time to turn your glance to a few choice herbs.


  • Valerian


    Valerian is one of the most researched hypnotic (sleep-inducing) herbs for insomnia, as it has an extended history of usage dating back to the ancient Greek and Roman empires. Some researchers believe that valerian’s sedative quality may come from its ability to increase the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA could slowly relax the mind, which could make sleep more achievable. Due to valerian root’s unusual musty flavor, a tincture may be more favorable than a cup of valerian tea.

  • Passion flower

    Passion Flower

    Passion flower is a tropical climbing vine that’s also been associated with managing the symptoms of anxiety or stress. One systematic review stated that the passion flower has a sedative effect. This effect could be helpful in supporting the neurotransmitters that help induce sleep without adverse side effects.

  • Skullcap


    Skullcap is well known for its use as a cure-all by Native Americans, as the herb is native to North America. While research is ongoing, skullcap has given researchers some evidence that it, in addition to passion flower, may offer some forms of antidepressant effects and anxiolytic activity. This research does bolster the herb’s reputation for offering soothing, relaxing effects.

    After reviewing our herbal all-stars for sleep, let’s go over the best ways to prepare.


Making Herbal Tea for Sleep

Passion flower and skullcap have a mild flavor, so they work well as teas rather than Valerian which tastes better in extract form. Use the following steps to prepare an herbal tea for sleep:

  • Steep a heaping teaspoon of the herb (or a combination of both) in eight oz of water for 10 minutes.
  • You can add other herbs for flavor, like chamomile, spearmint, lemon balm, etc.
  • Drink 30 minutes before bedtime.

Looking to create a special sleep tea blend of your own? Try the following recipe:

Boil water and remove from heat. Add one tablespoon herb per cup of water to the pot, tea pot, or coffee press. Let steep 15 minutes. Strain. Sip two to three cups throughout the day.

It’s critical to drink your herbal tea at least 30 minutes before bedtime to avoid unwanted trips to the bathroom. If your routine allows, you may want to have your tea as early as an hour or an hour and a half before. If you are worried about going to bed with a full bladder, it may be best to stick with the tincture.

How to Make the Banish Insomnia Tincture for Sleep

How to Make the Banish Insomnia Tincture for Sleep

A tincture is the perfect way to quickly get useful nutrients from an herb into your body. The “Banish Insomnia” tincture is an excellent blend of herbs to aid in the sleeping process.

  • Use a clean, dry quart jar.
  • Add the following dried, finely chopped herbs: One part valerian root, one part skullcap leaves, one part passionflower leaves and flowers ¼ part hops strobiles
  • Cover herbs in alcohol (vodka and brandy work best) in a jar for 10-14 days and agitate daily
  • Then strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth and squeeze to get out all the liquid

Dosage will vary depending on the individual. It’s a great idea to discuss dosage, interactions with other medicines and potential side effects with a healthcare professional.

If you need a better herb supplier to achieve your sweet dreams, check out our Sleep Support page to browse more herbs to relax and get a good night’s rest.

Disclaimer: Information and statements about the products on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.