The Healing Properties of Plants for Sleep
by Bill Reneau
In last month’s issue, I shared with you some of the plants you could use to help with anxiety. Our hope is that this information can be used as a reference as you find your own way to a healthier you. This month, we’ll share with you some plants that you can use to help with sleeping. But first, I’d like to honor my mom who passed in July; thank you for sharing your love and light with me and everyone around you, and thank you for sharing the wisdom of plants. I’ll truly miss you, mom!
Sleep is a vital part of a healthier you; without it, we increase the risk of developing serious medical conditions, and when we sleep, our bodies are given the opportunity to heal and regenerate. Getting enough sleep, eating and exercising in a way that’s right for you will all add to your overall quality of life.
Before we share what plants could help you get to dream time, let’s go over some things that could adversely affect your sleep. Interacting with visual devices such as tablets, smart phones and the TV is not recommended one hour or less before bedtime. Your last meal and liquids should be at least two hours before bedtime and your last meal should be the lightest one of the day. Other things that can affect your sleep are caffeine, stress, worry, life situations, noise, lights, the quality of pillows and mattresses, and sleeping position just to name a few.
Here are some ideas to consider that could help you prepare for a good night sleep. Taking a walk and/or being in nature after dinner is an amazing way to quiet your mind―just you and the birds. Taking a yoga or meditation class can also help in calming the mind and body. As the sun goes down, so should the stimulation around you; some light reading can work wonders in calming you down. For some, journaling can also help in letting the day go and further quiet the noise in your head. In other words, as you prepare for bed, make it a loving ritual and practice of things that’ll work specifically to calm you.
There are also some natural plant remedies that can help with sleep. As we stated before, not all remedies will work for everyone, so it’s up to you to do your own research and see what works best. The following teas, herbs and extracts are all products carried by EarthShack and have been found to help with sleep: (teas) chamomile tea is probably the most well-known sleepy-time tea and near the top of any bedtime list. Next are passionflower, lemon balm, peppermint, lavender, valerian root, lemongrass, decaf green tea, magnolia bark, banana peel, kava kava root and skull cap to name a few. Additional herbs and extracts include hemp CBD extract, valerian root, kava kava, California poppy, St. John’s wort and skull cap.
For more ideas on how to get a good night sleep plus more remedies and best practices, visit EarthShack.org/herbiary. In next month’s issue, we’ll share on Plants: Eating as the Seasons Change.
EarthShack is located in both the Amish Market and Crescent Moon Coffee & Tea, in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. Call 856-210-7662, email [email protected] or visit EarthShack.org or Earthshacknj on both Facebook and Instagram.