In addition to those discussed above, the following herbs are well-known soporifics. Herbal sleep preparations are often sold as blended formulations. I agree with sleep scientists that, generally, lovely though they are, these rarely do the job, especially for serious insomnia. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them, particularly if your insomnia is recent, temporary, or not that severe.
There are countless testimonials from people who swear by them, and for whom they have really helped. As with the herbal anti-stress remedies above, it is extremely rare to experience any negative side-effects. They may not cure your insomnia, but they will not harm you. Use certified organic herbs if you can.
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita): So mild and lovely, it is often suggested for children. Add a few drops of the oil to your bath to relieve fraught nerves.
Hops (Humulus lupus): Used for centuries and probably the best known herbal sleeping pill, its sedative effect works directly on the central nervous system. The suggested dose is 200 mg per day; and is said to be most effective taken in combination with valerian, kava or passionflower
Lavender (Lavandula): Who doesn’t drown their pillows with it, religiously add it to every bath, or dab the insides of their wrists or soles of their feet with lavender when we go to bed? Aromatherapists swear by its ability to relax you and promote sleep. That includes adding a few drops of lavender oil to children’s baths, too.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata): This has a proven nonaddictive mild sedative effect, and is an ancient remedy in its native South America to combat insomnia. It encourages deep, restful sleep. The suggested dose is 100-200 mg per day, best used in combination with other relaxant herbs.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora): American skullcap.Used to alleviate anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia.