An inability to fall asleep at night can lead to serious health issues. Improving ones sleep can be as simple as blocking out a bright street light, avoiding caffeine or eliminating the afternoon nap. For most people though, sleep issues go much deeper. Luckily, nature has provided us with a variety of herbal sedatives and herbal stress aids that have helped many people get the restful sleep they have been dreaming of. The herbal sleep aids available go far beyond a cup of chamomile tea.
Over the past several months, Dr. Oz (Weekday mornings at 9 on ABC50) has put a spotlight on the sleep promoting effects of valerian root. Valerian was once the unknown heavy-hitter in herbal sleep aids. Thanks to the mainstream media attention it has recently received, it now has a home in everyone’s medicine cabinet. Valerian is traditionally used as a sedative by those suffering from insomnia. According to The Prescription for Nutritional Healing, valerian has been shown to promote better sleep quality, longer sleep periods and reduce the number of times people wake up at night. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Valerian has been used to ease insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness since the second century A.D. Some scientists believe that it increases the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA helps regulate nerve cells and has a calming effect on anxiety. Dr. Oz prefers valerian root tea. Due to the “dirty sock” and “wet dog” smell of valerian root, many people find that they prefer valerian in capsule form. At The Mustard Seed Natural and Organic Food Store, we carry valerian root in tea, capsule and tincture form.
Valerian is often combined with other calming herbs like passionflower and hops. Passionflower is a much milder sedative than valerian root and is more commonly used to help relieve stress. Stress and anxiety often result in a racing mind that completely compromises the ability to fall asleep. Hops is well-known for its use in the brewing of beer. Aside from its beer brewing benefits, it has also been shown to promote sleep. According to The Prescription for Nutritional Healing, hops can help relieve anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, shock and stress.
Two herbal sleep support products that contain valerian, hops and passionflower are New Chapter Tranquilnite Plus and Irwin Naturals Power to Sleep PM. New Chapter’s Tranquilnite Plus is described as an “herbal lullaby.” Tranquilnite Plus is designed to help melt away the stresses and tensions of the day and quickly promote a deep and satisfying sleep. Power to Sleep PM contains herbal extracts as well as GABA, L-Theanine and melatonin. GABA and melatonin are added to help promote a regular sleep cycle.
New Chapter Tranquilnite Plus and Irwin Naturals Power to Sleep PM can be found at The Mustard Seed Natural and Organic Food Store. The Mustard Seed is located at 969 Arsenal Street in Watertown, NY. The Mustard Seed has been proudly serving the North Country for over 20 years and is the North Country’s #1 source for natural & organic food and dietary supplements.
Click here for a New Chapter Tranquilnite Plus and Irwin Naturals Power to Sleep PM coupon! Both supplements are also offered at an additional 20% off during the month of March!
Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
The Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason, N.D
This article is for educational purposes only. The products mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your doctor for health advice, recommendations and before taking any dietary supplements.