Natural Herbal Cures for Insomnia

Insomnia plagues everyone at one time or another. Not receiving enough unbroken sleep is miserable and it can be unhealthy too.

涼茶店 | Herbal remedy

Yet many times we can achieve restful sleep by making a few simple adjustments to our daily routines. Following are easy strategies that will go a long way towards helping you get a good night’s sleep.

  • Get plenty of sunshine and exercise during the day.
  • Reduce or eliminate your intake of caffeine, stimulants and alcohol.
  • Avoid large meals late in the evening.
  • Establish a consistent bedtime routine. (i.e. Eat supper, Take a walk, Shower, Read, Pray, Go to bed)
  • Try to go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Learn and practice a relaxation technique like meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises – especially in the evening.
  • Don’t obsess about not sleeping. Often getting up from bed and doing a little bit of light reading will bring on sleepiness.

If, however, none of these hints for getting a good night’s sleep are helpful enough, you might try one of the several herbal remedies for insomnia, below.

A Natural Herbal Sleep Formula

Mix together the following dried herbs:

  • 1 part Hops
  • 1 part Passion Flower
  • 1 part Valarian
  • 1 part Spearmint


  1. Measure one ounce of the herbal mixture into one pint of boiled water.
  2. Cover and allow herbs to steep for 20 minutes.

Herbalist Michael Tierra writes that this tea is taken to induce natural restful sleep at the rate of ¼ cup, three times per day after meals, plus ¼ cup right before bedtime.

A Mild Herbal Sedative Using Catnip

  1. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried catnip.
  2. Cover and steep until the tea has cooled.
  3. Strain and sweeten the tea to your taste.
  4. Take 2 tablespoons before bed, for adults – or 1 tablespoon for children.

A Calming Herbal Sedative Using Lettuce

It may be a well-kept secret, but cooked lettuce is a wonderful relaxant. My mom used to make a wilted lettuce salad that she would pair with some of our heavier meals to calm the stomach and aid digestion, and a lettuce tea to make a fast-acting sedative for bringing on sleep or relaxing after a stressful day.

  1. Wash and shred 1 cup of lettuce (any kind).
  2. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the lettuce and steep for ½ hour.
  3. Strain the tea and drink the whole cup before bedtime.

According to herbalist Jude Todd, this tea is also, “great to use while a patient is recovering from any illness. It keeps them from getting restless and helps them get the rest they need in order for the body to finish the healing process.”

A Juice Recipe for Relieving Insomnia

If you have a home juicer, you can make a calming juice by simply juicing equal amounts of organic celery, apple and lettuce. This juice relaxes the entire body, is cleansing to the blood, and provides a wonderfully balanced array of vitamins and minerals.

Herbal Teas for Insomnia

Several sleep inducing teas can be found in almost any supermarket. – among them are the ever-popular Chamomile and Peppermint, as well as many of the Celestial Seasonings brand teas, such as Sleepy Time and Tension Tamer.

A Natural Sleep Aid for Children

Children are a special case when it comes to insomnia. Many times they have become overly tired and agitated before bedtime, or their tummies are rumbling and they simply cannot calm themselves enough to fall into a restful sleep. Oats can be an especially effective sleep aid for children.

  1. Make a small batch of oatmeal as you normally would.
  2. Stir in enough milk to make a very thin gruel.
  3. Sweeten as desired with sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Drink before bedtime as an aid for getting children to sleep.

Jude Todd says oats are, “a very relaxing way to get children to sleep. It seems to soothe them and make their tummies feel warm and full. It is also good to use during bouts of illness, as it does soothe the stomach and settle upsets while being nutritious.”

Other Natural Sleep Remedies

Besides every Grandma’s two favorite sleep aids, warm milk and buttermilk, you might even try yawning yourself to sleep. It’s true – by practicing yawning your brain receives a signal that it’s time to bed-down. So, if you’re still an insomniac and you’ve tried all the strategies listed at the beginning of this article, why not give one of these three old-fashioned natural cures a try for a restful night of sweet dreams.


  • Tierra, M. (1998). The Way of Herbs. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020: Pocket Books.
  • Todd, J. (2005), Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125: Llwellyn Publications.


The information in this article is given for informational purposes only. No diagnosis should be made nor treatment undertaken without first consulting a Physician or other qualified health professional, as neither Suite101 nor the author will be responsible for readers’ actions. Images are provided for illustrative purposes only.