16 Simple Herbs For Insomnia You Need To Know.

herbs for insomnia
Written by 'Wande

Are you finding it difficult to fall asleep every night?

Do you wake up feeling stressed out?

Or do you depend on drugs to just be able to close your eyes throughout out the night?

In this post, you will learn about different herbs for insomnia.

According to a study,

Various studies worldwide have shown the prevalence of insomnia in 10%–30% of the population, some even as high as 50%–60%. It is common in older adults, females, and people with medical and mental ill health

Bhaskar, S., Hemavathy, D., & Prasad, S. (2016). Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its correlation with medical comorbidities. Journal of family medicine and primary care5(4), 780–784.

A lot of people are now tired of using drugs for insomnia and are seriously considering using herbs for insomnia.

Falling asleep easily when you drop on your bed should not be a problem, but that is not the case for many people. More people now find it difficult to sleep within the first 5 minutes of staying in bed.

If you are suffering from insomnia and you do not want to get addicted to drugs, here are herbs that can put you to sleep without the fear of getting addicted.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, waking up early, or a disturbance in sleep quality that makes sleep seem inadequate or unrefreshing. Another word for insomnia is lack of sleep.

What are the effects of insomnia on the body?

The consequences of insomnia are significant, such as

  1. Depression,
  2. impaired work performance,
  3. Accidents at work
  4. Vehicle accidents,
  5. Lack of concentration,
  6. Poor quality of life.

What causes insomnia (Lack of Sleep)?

Let us look at some common causes of insomnia

Insomnia is most often caused by

  • Poor sleep habits, such as drinking a caffeinated beverage in the late afternoon or evening, exercising late at night, or having an irregular sleep-wake schedule
  • Mental health disorders, particularly depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.
  • Health challenges like lung disorders, disorders that affect muscles or bones, or chronic pain.
  • Stress which could be due to anything like hospitalization or loss of a job (called adjustment insomnia)
  • Excessive worrying about sleeplessness and another day of fatigue (called psychophysiological insomnia)
  • Poor living conditions such as crowded rooms.
  • Grief due to death of a loved one
  • Change of environment because of relocation, jet lag, etc

Sleeping late or napping to make up for lost sleep may make sleeping during the next night even harder.

Types of insomnia

Difficulty falling asleep (sleep-onset insomnia):

People frequently experience difficulty falling asleep when they cannot relax their minds and continue to think and worry. Sometimes, the body is not ready for sleep at what is considered a normal sleep time. The body’s internal clock is out of sync with the earth’s cycle of light and dark, as this can happen with many types of circadian rhythm sleep disorders, including delayed sleep phase disorder, shift work disorder, and jet lag. 

Sleep maintenance insomnia (difficulty staying asleep and waking up earlier than desired):

This type of insomnia causes people to fall asleep normally, but then wake up hours later and find it difficult to fall asleep again. They go in and out of a restless, unsatisfactory sleep at times. Sleep maintenance insomnia is more common in older people, who are more likely than younger people to have trouble sleeping. It can happen to people who use certain substances (like caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco) or take certain drugs, as well as those who have sleep disorders.

How can I overcome insomnia?

To overcome insomnia, you need to know what is keeping you awake every night.

  1. Wake up at the same time each day. But you will need to set your alarm so that you do not oversleep, especially when you are tired. 
  2. Stop taking alcohol and stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. 
  3. If possible, limit or avoid naps. Napping can affect the quality of nighttime sleep.
  4. Exercise regularly and be consistent.
  5. Avoid activities in bed except for sleeping and sex. 
  6. Do not eat or drink right before going to bed. It is advisable if you can eat or drink at least one to two hours before going to bed.
  7. Make your sleeping environment comfortable as much as possible.
  8. Your bed is not the place to put on your worrying cap.
  9. Reduce stress. 

What herbs are good for insomnia?

There are different herbs for insomnia depending on which part of the world you live and some of these herbs can make you sleep well instantly.

Herbs For Insomnia

  1. Black Seed – Nigella sativa
Black Seed - herbs for insomnia

Black seed is an effective herb for insomnia. It does not have any hangover which is common with drugs. This spice has a wide variety of medicinal properties.

2. Garlic – Allium sativum

Photo by Artem Beliaikin

Garlic contains zinc and some sulfurous compounds that can make your body relaxed. It is a very good herb for insomnia

3. Bitter leaves – Vernonia amygdalina

Bitter leaves
Bitter leaves

This herb is very popular in Nigeria and an effective herb for insomnia and herb that can make you sleep quickly.

When you take the juice before bedtime, it has a calming effect on the nerves and helps to induce sleep very well.

Take 1 – 2 glasses of bitter leaf juice every night. Also, you can chew 3 – 4 leaves at night.

4. Mistletoe – Viscum album

Mistletoe plant on a tree

Mistletoe relaxes the muscles, calms the nerves, and help to relieve migraine, and insomnia. Take as tea twice a day.

5. Onions –

Photo by Ylanite Koppe

Chew 1 bulb every night. Onion is a herb that can make you sleep quickly and a very good herb for insomnia.

6. Swizzle stick – Rawulfia serpentina

Swizzle stick has a wide range of use. The root bark as tea twice daily is effective for Hypertension, impotence, insomnia, and nervous disorder. The actions of this herb are because of a chemical called. Reserpine.

Reserpine lowers blood pressure by slowing down your nervous system. This allows your blood vessels to relax and dilate (widen), which helps your heartbeat more slowly and improves blood flow. 

7. Umbrella Tree – Terminalia catappa

Umbrella Tree _Terminalia catappa

Boil fresh leaves and drink 2 blissful every night.

8. Soursop leaves

Soursop leaves are commonly used as a sedative. The leaves of the soursop plant are well-known anti-inflammatory agents. They also have antipyretic, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, and anti-parasitic properties.

9. Lemon leaves

Lelmon leaves
Picture from

Lemon leaf is a sedative and anti-spasmodic. Take it as tea as night.

10. Kolanut leaves

Kolanut leaves

Squeeze fresh leaves in water and take a glass every night.

11. Aridan – Tetrapleura tetraptera


Aridan has a calming effect on the nervous system. It has anticonvulsant properties.

12. Sorrel – Hibiscus sabdariffa


Sorrel leaves help to reduce the levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone and thereby attenuates stress and improves the quality, duration and provides a peaceful sleep.

13. Nutmeg –


Nutmeg releases serotonin, a hormone that helps in inducing sleep and improving brain health.

A natural chemical called trimyristin found in nutmeg induces sleep, relaxing your tired muscles and nerves and set in a sense of calm.

Word of caution

Remember, you need a minuscule amount of this spice to help you with your sleep problem and to calm your nerves. The advisable daily requirement is just about a gram for adults, which means a pinch of nutmeg will do you a lot of good. If you try to increase the dose, there can be adverse effects. Some side effects of nutmeg overdose are severe acidity, nausea, anxiety, dry mouth, and excessive thirst.

You can take it with milk, water or mixed with food

14. Fluted pumpkin – Ugu

One cup of Ugu leaf juice before you go to bed can help you fight  insomnia.

15. Turmeric – Curcuma longa

There is no scientific evidence confirming that turmeric can make people sleep at night but some people say it has a calming effect when they take it at night as tea.

16. Avocado pear leaves.

Avocado Pears leaves
Avocado pear leaves

Avocado leaves contain serotonin and limonene which help to regulate the mood and appetite of a person, thus preventing insomnia.

There are other herbs for insomnia that are not listed here. If you know of any, you can mention it in the comment section. Thank you.


The majority of natural herbs have a long history of being used to treat insomnia.

Physicians have been prescribing these plant medications as natural sleep aids since ancient times. It’s vital to remember, though, that you shouldn’t take all of these herbs at once.

Instead, start with one that appears to be suited for your sleep issues. Even though these herbs are all-natural sleep aids, consuming too many of them at once can disrupt your sleep pattern and cause additional problems.

The efficacy of using these herbs for a good night’s sleep has been confirmed by modern studies and research, so any of these selections could be a suitable fit. However, some natural herbs can cause adverse responses.

We provide the medical information provided in this article as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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