A human being with good sleep can work effectively. The normal adult should sleep for 6-8 hours per day.
Sleep plays a key role in daily life. Healthy food, hygienic water intake, and good sleep are the essential factors to stay fit and survive healthily in this world. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot perform well.
It may reduce your concentration power and focus which may lead to depression. Quality sleep will refresh your brain function and make you more active, it is also important for communication between neurons.
Studies also demonstrated that sleep plays a significant role in eliminating toxins from your brain which produced during your awakening period.
Lack of sleep may damage every cell and tissue in the body, besides, it will also affect the brain, kidney, heart, lungs, immune function, and mood.
Sleeplessness may lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Lack of sleep is the main symptom of insomnia, it may be short term or long term.
Parts of the Brain Involved in the Sleeping Process
- Hypothalamus – It’s a peanut-sized structure located inside the brain which contains groups of nerve cells that control the sleep. Within the hypothalamus, there are a lot of cells that receive information about light exposure directly from the eyes.
- Brain Stem – The base of the brain communicates with the hypothalamus to control the shift between wake and sleep.
- Thalamus – Thalamus is the main switch for information transfer from the senses to the cerebral cortex.
- Pineal Gland – It is located between two hemispheres of the brain that increases the production of the hormone melatonin, which stimulates sleep when the light gets off.
- Basal Forebrain – This is found near the front and bottom of the brain, it also provides quality sleep.
- Amygdala – This system has an almond-shaped structure that is active during REM sleep.
Melatonin: Natural sleep hormone secreted in our bodyMelatonin is a hormone that gets secreted naturally when the body gets exposed to darkness and it will make a path to good sleep. The pineal gland secretes melatonin. It is a natural switch which controls the sleep-wakeup cycle (Circadian Rhythm). When your biological clock gets sync, it will improve your mood, daytime performance, boosts up energy levels, and enhance health conditions such as immune function, digestion, and appetite.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Quality Sleep
Natural herbs have sleep-improving properties that calm your nerves in the brain, relax your mind, and provide quality sleep. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, poor sleep quantity can be cured by balancing Kapha, Pitta, and Vata.
- Tarpaka Kapha: Dosha of Kapha and its work is to nourish the cells of the brain. Unbalanced dosha may unnourished cells in the brain and cause insomnia.
- Prana Vayu: Vata dosha creates a sensitive nervous system. This sensitive nervous system with aggravated Prana Vayu causes insomnia. It is also related to depression and anxiety.
- Sadhaka Pitta: The most important Pitta dosha is found in the heart and it controls our emotions, spirituality, feelings, and desires. Lack or excessive secretion of pitta dosha may lead to insomnia conditions.
Do Natural Herbs Improve Sleep?
Insomnia may lead to a lack of concentration and makes you tired in the daytime. In some bad cases, it will give you suicidal thoughts and depression. To avoid the risk of insomnia, treat the sleeping problem using natural herbal products.
Herbs are a natural medicine without any side effects which improves sleep by treating sleep deprivation issues caused by modern lifestyle, anxiety, and stress. Stress increases the secretion of the neurotransmitter serotonin which directly affects sleep.
The function of serotonin allows nerve impulses to communicate from one cell to another. Increased serotonin level leads to insomnia. Serotonin secretion can be minimized by tryptophan content in herbs. This relaxes muscles and slows down heart rate which improves sleep.
10 Best Herbs For Better Sleep
The following herbs help you unwind, relax, and de-stress, promoting a night of restful sleep. In this section, we discuss how each of these 12 herbs can improve your sleep quality.
Ashwagandha is one of the best ayurvedic medicinal herbs which treats insomnia and provides a quality of rest. The leaves of the ashwagandha plant have sleep-enhancing chemical substances triethylene glycol which eliminates stress, anxiety, calm your mind, and helps you to fall asleep quickly.
Ashwagandha Root also acts as a sedative agent, so it’s a great alternative to anxiety medications because it works with your body and naturally gives you good sleeping behavior. Ashwagandha improves vitality and maintains a balance between body and mind.
Mix half a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder with warm milk and sugar and ghee and consume it before going to sleep to cure insomnia.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
2] HOLY BASIL
Holy Basil has been used for thousands of years for their medicinal and spiritual values. It improves a lot of problems including fever, cold, nausea, indigestion, bug bites, and skin irritations. It also reduces stress and provides better sleep. Sleeping problem is caused by the release of cortisol (stress hormone) from the adrenal gland.
Adding holy basil to your regular diet will help to decrease the stress hormones. It contains adaptogens that adapt our body to stress and balancing the mental state. Holy Basil can be consumed by preparing as a tea. Make basil herbal tea by adding 10 to 15 leaves or 1 tsp of Basil Leaf Powder to a cup of water. Let it boil for 15 – 20 mins, then filter and drink it. You can drink this herbal tea twice a day.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Holy Basil
Lavender is the best herb that provides you an excellent sleep with its pleasant fragrance. Lavender has anti-depressive, sedative, and calming properties which will relax your nerves, decrease stress and improve your moods; thus providing better sleep. Inhaling lavender oil will help you to overcome sleeping disorders and it also treats migraines pain.
You can also mix the lavender oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil and massage in the head that will strengthen the nervous system. It can be used in aromatherapy, in the treatment of fungal infections, allergies, eczema, nausea, and menstrual pain. Tea can be made with lavender which treats restlessness, and stomach burning.
Chamomile is one of the best medicinal herbs that comes under the family Asteraceae. This daisy structure flower is a natural remedy that cures various health problems. Flavonoids present in chamomile have relaxation properties that calm down your nerves, decrease anxiety, and provide you better sleep. Inhaling the aroma of chamomile will calm down your mind.
Chamomile will not affect chemical substances present in your brain to provide sleep. Instead, it relaxes the nerves and gives relief from anxiety, and decreases mental stress. This calming effect will make you sleep. Chamomile plant extract contains apigenin, which binds with Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors found in the brain to stimulate sleep. Mix 1 tsp of herbs to 150 ml water, boil it for 15 to 20 mins, then strain, and drink it.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Chamomile
Brahmi is a satvik medicinal herb that plays a major role in supporting the nervous system and brain function. It provides calming effects that make you sleep easily, calm your vulnerable emotions, and enhance concentration power by refreshing your nervous system. It is the best brain tonic that enhances the circulation of blood.
It also cures digestion troubles. Brahmi possesses neuroprotective properties that enhance memory, cognitive functions, and provide normal sleep. Prepare a tea using Brahmi and drink it regularly to cure insomnia conditions.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Brahmi
6] SWEET FLAG
The botanical name of vasambu is Acorus Calamus which generates calmative effects on your brain and nervous system. Vasambu Powder has a major role in calming the nerves, treating stress, and insomnia with its coolant properties. Vacha is an excellent nervous system tonic. It is the most beneficial medicine used by mothers to grow their babies without any diseases.
Calamus root extract has the adrenergic, serotonergic, dopaminergic, and GABAergic system which possess the antidepressant activity and provides better sleep. Make a paste of vasambu with ghee and honey or prepare a tea and consume it regularly.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Calamus
Sarpgandha is also known as Rauwolfia Serpentina ( scientifically) or Indian Snakeroot or devil’s pepper. The chemical substances present in sarpgandha works on the nervous system to decreases the pressure level in the blood and calms heart rate. It composed of more than 50 alkaloids which decrease the level of blood pressure that leads to sleeping problems.
Sarpagandha Root provides soothing and calming effects on the brain never, which helps to sleep you faster. It treats insomnia occurring due to the hyperexcitability condition of the mind. Hyperexcitability conditions may happen due to an alcoholic hangover, mental disorders, and medicines. These can be treated by consuming the mixer of 250mg of Sarpgandha powder with warm water or milk before going to sleep.
Also Read: Medicinal Uses of Sarpagandha
Peppermint has natural relaxant abilities that calm both the mind and body. It reduces the tension and stress which built-up in the body and mind which makes you sleep better. The flavor and aroma of mint are so good which refreshes your mind and environment.
Mint acts as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever which treats certain types of headaches problems. The menthol present in Mint oil has cooling, sedative, and calmative properties which enhance blood flow and relieve pain. Mint tea is a caffeine-free tea that makes you sleep easily when consumed before bed-time.
Apart from that, Mint Powder treats headaches, digestive issues, clogged airways, Menstrual cramps, and improves energy levels. Mix a few drops of Mint oil with olive or other carrier oil and massage it over a body or add a few drops of mint oil in bathing water will keep the nerves calm.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Mint
Passionflower has enriched with flavonoids that relax your nerves, reduces stress level, and improves sleep. The sedative power of passionflower treats anxiety and insomnia. The taste of these herbs is somewhat good. It has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years to help people facing insomnia and stress issues.
Passionflower treats insomnia and anxiety by increasing the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) level in the brain. This acid is responsible for lowering your brain activity which gives good sleepy nights.
10] ST. JOHN’S WORT
St. John’s wort is an ancient traditional medicine of European countries, which is widely grown in wild areas. The yellow color flowers of St. John’s wort are enriched with tryptophan, which increases the secretion of serotonin. Serotonin is an important hormone that balances your mood, and emotions.
It is also significant for communication between brain cells and other nerve cells. Serotonin also aids with sleeping, eating, and digestion process. It reduces the stress level and provides good night sleep. Don’t get exposed to sunlight after applying St. John’s wort to your skin surface.
Simple Tips to Get Good Sleep
- Avoid consuming heavy food, coffee, or caffeinated beverages after 2 PM.
- Avoid exercises 3 hours before sleeping, because the muscles need to attain a rest state which improves sleep.
- Avoid using smartphones, TVs, and tablets after 8 o’ clock. The blue rays emitted by the electronic gadgets will restrict the secretion of melatonin.
In ancient days, people used herbal medicines and led a healthy life. Nowadays, the modern lifestyle makes most of the people unhealthy. These natural herbal medicines were used by our ancestors in ancient times. Always consult your doctor before consuming natural herbal products. Sometimes overdose may cause side effects.