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8 Effective Herbs for Insomnia

Quality of sleep is as important as physical exercise and healthy diet normally most of the adults need seven to eight hours of sleep at night, but due to stress, lack of physical activity,health disorders and when the mind is active with too many thoughts most people find it difficult to sleep at night. Insomnia can affect your health both physically and mentally. Lower productivity level, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are the key results of the insomnia. Some people may even develop the nightmares and restlessness in sleep. It causes irritation and negativity in the mood. The article discusses about the insomnia, its causes and the 8 effective herbs gifted and offered by ancient ayurveda to treat insomnia.

8 Effective Herbs for Insomnia


Insomnia is a sleep disorder due to which a person finds it difficult to fall asleep, or causes to wake up early and not get back to sleep. Insomnia results in a feeling of tiredness when a person wakes up. This disorder can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). The acute disorder happens for a few weeks when a person is in stress whereas chronic disorder happens when it lasts for 4 weeks and more. Due to insomnia, a person feels sleepy the whole day, low in terms of energy, irritable mood, difficulty in concentration, and stays in a depressed mood. The main causes of insomnia include stress about work, finances, family, or friends which keeps you awake at night and makes it difficult to fall asleep. In some cases, due to stressful traumas like illness, job loss or the stressful situations of the loved ones may also lead to insomnia.

Causes of Insomnia

Many factors lead to loss of proper sleep at night which are as follows:

  • Stress: The foremost causes of not being able to sleep is the feeling of stress when a person is constantly having the thoughts about the problem like job, family, finances or health situations, he finds it hard to fall asleep.
  • Longer working hours: People who work for longer hours especially those who work on screen late at night have the most disturbing sleep patterns. It keeps them away from maintaining the proper work-life balance; get them into an irregular bedtime schedule which causes harm to their health by affecting their quality of sleep.
  • Mental health problems: Mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or any trauma may lead to sleep disorders. People who usually suffer from mental health issues find it difficult to sleep once they get awake early.
  • Consumption of Caffeine: Consumption of caffeine late at night causes one to develop sleep disorders. Caffeinated drinks make our system feel active and ready to work which keeps the person awake at night and hence causes insomnia.
  • Lack of physical activity: Lack of physical activity may result in feeling fatigued the whole day and results in taking day time nap which interferes with the quality of sleep at night.
  • Health disorders: Chronic pain from health problems or other issues related to frequent urination, back pain, stomach pain, restless legs syndrome is the reason that one finds difficult to fall asleep.

8 Effective Herbs For Insomnia

Here are some stress-relieving and sleep-inducing herbs introduced by ancient Ayurveda:

1. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

It is also called brain tonic, which helps in maintaining the emotional balance and hence support in improving concentration and provides restful sleep. The disturbed functioning of the nervous system and brain is a major cause of insomnia Brahmi increases the serotonin levels in the brain which helps to keep the mind calm and provide relief to the mind and thus an effective herb for treatment of insomnia.

2. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha contains an ingredient called triethylene glycol which works wonders to get a good quality of sleep. It is also helpful in a calming effect on anxiety symptoms. In ayurveda, ashwagandha is called as Rasayana; it is a herb which helps to maintain good mental and physical health. Ashwagandha is an ancient herb popularly known to reduce stress, anxiety and nervous breakdowns by maintaining the cholesterol level {also known as stress hormone} in the body. Its biological name Withania somniferia, and in latin, somniferia means sleep inducing, hence is an effective herb for treatment of insomnia.

3. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

This herb is known for thousands of years in Ayurveda to enhance cognitive function and due to its ability to restore functioning and maintaining emotional balance, Gotu kola is an effective herb which helps in inducing good quality of sleep.

4. Jyotishmati Oil (Malkangani)

Jyotishmati oil is also known as Celastrus oil. It has healing properties that act as a Nervine Stimulant and also acts as an antidepressant. In Ayurveda, Jyotishmati is called Malkangani, which helps to provide anti-stress and calming effects, hence helps in inducing good quality of sleep.

5. Shankpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis)

Shankhpushpi contains flavonoids, glycosides, and alkaloids which help to soothe the nervous system by bringing relief to mental fatigue and stress. It acts as a natural treatment for anxiety which further helps in sleeping better.

6. Sarapgandha (Rauwolfia serpentia)

Sarpagandha contains alkaloids. Alkaloids help reduce the problems of anxiety, hypertension, and high blood pressure which are the causes of insomnia. By reducing the stress level in the body, sarpagandha helps in inducing good sleep and helps in treatment of insomnia.

7. Curcumin (Curcuma longa)

It is an active compound found in turmeric which prevents and fights against a variety of conditions ranging from sleep deprivation to stress & anxiety, which allows you to unwind and relax naturally. From ancient times, curcumin milk is considered good for overall health and good sleep, known for its anti inflammatory properties which increase the sleep activating hormones in the body and hence fight insomnia.

8. Vacha (Acorus calamus)

Vacha has calming effects on your brain, which helps to treat tension and insomnia. It acts as a cool therapeutic herb that relaxes the nerves thereby inducing sleep. Also scientifically known as Acorus Calamus, this herb is a tonic for the nervous system which will ward off stress and various other sleep issues.


Insomnia has become a common disorder that can be seen in all the age groups, mostly found in adults due to increasing stress level and their less tolerance power to cope up with the daily stress. Ayurveda has blessed us with some wonderful herbs that provide relief in stress and helps to induce good quality of sleep. These ayurvedic herbs can be used to boost central nervous system. Some positive lifestyle changes which you can adopt in addition to these herbs can do wonders if properly followed like fix your sleep timings, do not work or stay awake for longer hours, reduce your salt intake in the diet it helps to reduce the stress level, physical exercises help to relieve stress, maintain a journal, limit the usage of electronic screens like television, mobile phones and computer at night, maintain a fix sleeping schedule. All these things help to induce better sleep and makes you ready to face the other day challenges in a better way.

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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