Skip to content

Blog

Soothing Herbs for Restful Sleep

Published on December 18, 2015 by Dr. Myra Reed

Lavender (Lavendula species), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Oats (Avena sativa)

Three herbs well known for calming effects are Lavender, Chamomile and Oats. Perhaps, not quite as well known as the first two herbs, Avena sativa (Oats Milky Seed or Oatstraw) is the grain* source of oatmeal. The entire plant is abundant in minerals and trace nutrients, in particular the B-vitamins, calcium, and magnesium, which help soothe and strengthen the nervous system. As an herbal remedy, oats can ease the effects of stress, anxiety or exhaustion and resolve sleeplessness. Oats contain the amino acid tryptophan, which research shows promotes sleep. In fact, Scottish folks suggest a bowl of oatmeal before bedtime to ensure restful sleep!

Of its many medicinal uses, lavender is known worldwide as an herbal “rescue-remedy” for reducing stress, anxiety and tension. Its strong, relaxation-inducing scent is used in massage therapy lotions, candles, bath salts, tinctures and essential oils. As one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin, a dab of lavender on the inside of your wrist can help soothe a stressful moment. Lavender is also used in teas, often paired with chamomile. If you aren’t a tea-drinker, dried lavender can be added to a sachet and placed beneath your pillow to help induce sleep.

Chamomile has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for easing stress and insomnia. Today, these uses continue and we also have good clinical evidence for the safe use of chamomile preparations to help reduce inflammation, promote more restful sleep, ease colic and digestive upset, and facilitate wound healing when used in a cream. While chamomile seems to reduce the effects of anxiety, which can contribute to sleeplessness, more research is necessary to demonstrate the specific properties of chamomile that contribute to its effects.

Since there are many different ways to prepare these herbs, and some people can be allergic to certain herbs, do check with your wellness practitioner for the best approach to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.

*If you have sensitivity to gluten, be sure to use an oat product produced using gluten-free manufacturing practices.

May 16, 2022

Bioidentical Hormones: What Are They & Are They Right for You?

So, what are hormones? Hormones are chemical messengers in our body that communicate between our brain and organs, such as from our brain to our ...

December 10, 2021

Plant-Based Diet: How Do I Start?

The What, Why & How of Plant-based Nutrition, for Everyone Here’s something that might surprise you: not all plant-based diets require elimination of meat. From ...

August 4, 2021

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know for Your Health

Worldwide interest in the health protective benefits of Vitamin D has increased exponentially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now know that low Vitamin ...

April 13, 2020

Stop the Spread, Wear a Mask.

We now have KN95 Masks available for purchase! KN95 masks are arriving this weekend. Starting Monday, April 13th, 2020 we will be selling them at ...

April 14, 2019

FODMAP Diet for IBS

Digestive Distress Diet Digestive complaints are among the most common health concerns. If you’re experiencing distress, Dr. Myra Reed will evaluate the foods and substances you are eating to identify where a reaction exists. There are many ways to conduct a dietary analysis, including food diary, food allergy testing, muscle testing, and elimination diets. The ...

April 13, 2019

Fermented Foods

You can support your gut health with fermented, nutrient-potent foods. Ranging from tangy to bitterly sweet in flavor, these foods originated decades ago in the cultures of Japan, China, India, and Germany.Fermenting imbues foods with the health-enhancing properties of live bacteria, providing an ample source of probiotics, which are essential to a strong digestive tract. ...

close