What Herbs Can Help Me Rest And Sleep More?

Research shows that sleepless nights are often triggered by a life threatening event or a sudden change in your regular daily pattern, such as a new job. This was exactly what happened to Anne-Marie. At forty- three years, with her children at school, she decided to go back to work and challenge herself with one of her favorite activities, teaching.

“I’m experiencing this roller-coaster sensation daily,” she mentions, “This dichotomy of enjoying my time with the college students, sharing my past experience while learning from them is exhilarating. Yet, at the same time, adapting to waking up early, having this specific schedule to follow, lectures to prepare and exams to correct, hectic deadlines and regular college meetings have all left me breathless. And it’s at night when I feel the most stress.”

Several calming Chinese herbs with relaxing properties that have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to promote healthy sleeping patterns, includes:

Ziziphus jujube, a calming herb, rich in nutrients and vitamins, used to treat irritability, insomnia while it assists in quieting the mind. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) this herb is believed to nourish the heart, augment the liver blood and calm the spirit.

Used as a relaxing sedative, Polygala tenuifolia acts as a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress and irritation. Its root has been used for centuries in aiding sleep and Taoist monks benefitted regularly from enhanced mental and spiritual development.

This classic Chinese herbal medicine, Schisandra contains a number of compounds, including essential oils and acids found in the seeds of these tiny red berries. Laboratory studies suggest that Schisandra can improve performance at work and home, generating energy and reducing fatigue.

Uncaria rhynchophylla, commonly known as Cat’s Claw herb, is used around the world to help nutritionally support the body’s immune defense, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems through its antioxidant properties.

Another traditional herb, Bupleurum chinensis is one of the most important herbs used in China. Its constituents, known as saikosaponins, appear to account for much of its medicinal properties. This herb is an anti-inflammatory, liver protective, mild sedative, which serves a variety of harmonizing activities in the body.

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), a naturally occurring amino acid, precursor to serotonin and an intermediate to tryptophan metabolism. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, mood and anxiety.  As a dietary supplement, it is used as a mood regulator and sleep aid, playing a beneficial role in easing the anxiety of sleepless nights.

Together with a daily routine of healthy eating and scheduled sleep time, Anne Marie is on her way to a more restful life.