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Video: Plants For Good Sleep: A Natural Solution To Sleep Disorders
Difficult to fall asleep despite fatigue? Frequent awakenings during the night? You wake up still exhausted. No, this is not normal! Sleeping seems easy when you don't suffer from insomnia. Studies show that one in three French people suffer from sleep disorders, including 10% of severe insomnia. The sleep disorder can have physiological, environmental or behavioral causes. Whatever it is, short-term insomnia can affect our day, and the long-term - bad repercussions on our health. To help you, our editorial team turned to herbal medicine to develop a list of plants to sleep well and improve the quality of sleep.
Plants for good sleep: a natural alternative to medication
On a daily basis, the consequences of insomnia can result in difficulty concentrating, irritability, disorientation, etc. The long-term consequences can be more serious: a risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, weakened immunity, learning difficulties, depression etc. In short, the lack of restful sleep can have a negative impact on our life. This is why it is particularly important to take the necessary steps to regain quality sleep.
It is undeniable that some conventional medicine drugs for the treatment of insomnia have many contraindications and side effects, such as daytime sleepiness and memory impairment. For this reason, medical advice is mandatory before resorting to it!
And that's why our editorial staff called on herbal medicine for help. To help you fight insomnia, we've put together a list of plants for good sleep and their health benefits for you.
Used for thousands of years, thanks to its anti-inflammatory, calming and digestive properties, today, chamomile has become a great classic in herbal medicine. It can relieve nervous agitation and has been shown to be effective as a means of relaxation that prepares the body to fall asleep. For this purpose, we use its flowers. From its dried flowers, we prepare infusions for internal use.
To prepare an infusion, add 1 tablespoon of flowers to 150ml of boiling water, and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes. In the form of herbal tea, chamomile can be taken 2 to 3 times (cups) per day, preferably after meals or before bedtime. In the form of a tincture, 30 drops 3 times a day (adult dosage).
This purple flower, with a delicate and intoxicating aroma, has been used for centuries in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to cure ailments and promote relaxation. Scientific research has proven the power of lavender as a plant for good sleep and a natural remedy that promotes sleep. This explains its frequent use in beauty products to use in the evening and room fragrances. Lavender helps reduce stress levels, thus promoting peaceful sleep.
One of the main components of lavender oil, linalool, produces a sedative effect by acting on one of the main inhibitory neurotransmitters in the nervous system - GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Therefore, it prevents prolonged excitation of neurons. This neurotransmitter plays an important role for the internal functioning of the human brain in general, and for sleep in particular. How to use lavender to help you fall asleep?
• Inhalation. To combat insomnia, at bedtime, pour 2 to 4 drops of lavender essential oil into a diffuser. If there is no diffuser, pour the essential oil into a large bowl of boiling water and suck in the vapors, head over the bowl and covered with a large towel.
• Infusion. Infuse 0.8 g to 1.5 g of dried flowers (1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons) in 150 ml of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Take at bedtime to combat insomnia.
• Tincture (1: 5 in 60% ethanol). Take 2 ml to 4 ml, 3 times a day.
Valerian is still a plant for sleeping well, used and recognized since Antiquity for its relaxing and sedative properties. Clinical studies carried out during the twentieth century show the reduction in symptoms of anxiety following treatment with valerian. It promotes sleep without creating an addictive effect. In addition, it lowers blood pressure due to stress and relieves muscle pain and neuralgia. In the form of a tincture, valerian is also used in the treatment of anxiety: we take 20 drops diluted in hot water up to 5 times a day.
You can make herbal teas based on valerian at home: for a cup of herbal tea, use 3 g of valerian roots, or one teaspoon, in 200 ml of boiling water. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, in order to obtain a high content of active substances from this plant for good sleep. This herbal tea is drunk at bedtime. Observe the therapeutic doses, especially during the day, because valerian can cause drowsiness.
This plant is used by the American Indians for its calming and sedative properties, and discovered by Spanish missionaries in the 16th century. Passionflower reduces angst and anxiety, and for this reason it is recommended specifically for anxious insomniacs. Due to the presence of alkaloids, however, this plant is not recommended for children under 12 and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Preparation of passionflower herbal tea:
For a cup of passionflower herbal tea, use:
- 2.5 gr (approx. 2 teaspoons) of the aerial parts (flowers, leaves, stems) of passionflower
- About 200 ml of water
Heat the boiling water then add this boiling water to the aerial parts of passionflower
- Let infuse for ten minutes (in order to obtain an effective dose of active substances)
- Filter the herbal tea. For a calming effect and to facilitate sleep, drink the herbal tea just before going to bed.
Recommended to be a real "antidote" to stress because of its sedative and anti-neuralgic substances, officinal verbena (to be distinguished from fragrant verbena) ranks among the plants recommended to fight against sleep disorders linked to stress.
Verbena herbal tea:
In a cup pour boiling water over a tablespoon of dried or fresh verbena leaves. Leave to infuse for ten minutes and filter.
Drink 1 or 2 cups a day after meals, one cup at night, before bedtime in case of sleep disorder.
Rich in flavonoids, this plant promotes appeasement and facilitates falling asleep. This is because the farnesol contained in lime tree binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, the same receptors targeted by drugs used for the treatment of sleep disorders and anxiety, but with fewer side effects.
Take an infusion of linden flowers 30 minutes before bedtime. To prepare, put a large pinch, or 5 to 6 flowers, in a large bowl of simmering water. Let infuse for about fifteen minutes, container closed so as not to let volatile essential oils escape, and filter.
A plant native to Western Asia, and used for over two thousand years. Avicenna (980 - 1037), a famous Persian physician, believed that lemon balm strengthened the heart. In France, for example, the monks prepared fortifying drinks made from lemon balm. Nowadays, many scientific studies confirm that lemon balm improves the quality of sleep and helps to maintain a good mood and good cognitive functions.
To make the lemon balm herbal tea, you need about ten lemon balm leaves.
• Heat the water in a saucepan.
• Remove the lemon balm leaves from the heat.
• Let steep for 10 minutes. To drink before going to bed
Hops, on the other hand, have several therapeutic indications. It improves sleep (sedative and relaxing effect), reduces the development of breast cancer (action of phytoestrogens), treats menopausal disorders (role of phytoestrogens) etc. To treat insomnia, soak 10g of dry hop cones in 500ml of very hot water. The infusion is to be drunk in the evening, after meals.
Finally, to conclude, we hope that our article will help you find calm and restful sleep, and that you will no longer have to count sheep to fall asleep. In any case, if the sleep disorders persist, do not hesitate to contact your doctor in order to find a solution to this problem which is not trivial.