Joyous Blog

Herbs and Supplements For Better Sleep

Just like my morning routine is sacred to me, so is my sleep routine. I'm very familiar with the effects of sleep deprivation from having a baby. Fortunately, we are several months past the phase of sleep training (knock on wood!!) but I've definitely got some natural solutions up my sleeve when needed. Every once in a while I don't have a great sleep but I can usually figure out what the trigger was. 

I make sleep a priority because it is one of the greatest contributing factors to our overall well-being.

If you've gone through my 10 Natural Solutions for Better Sleep and you're still finding you're not sleeping well, then the information in this post should help. Plus be sure to enter my contest below to win a prize package from New Chapter. 

Let's start with one of my favourite foods, turmeric!

Have you tried my Iced Turmeric Ginger Latte or Super Easy Turmeric Ginger Tea yet? If you have then you already know how delicious turmeric is, but also the number of health benefits that come along with it! Most people know turmeric for its anti-inflammatory benefits, its ability to lower blood sugar levels, stimulate phase 2 liver detox pathwaysand even treat various depressive disorders.

But did you know that consuming turmeric daily can also support a restful sleep?

A study performed on sleep-deprived mice actually showed that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) prevented the mice from experiencing symptoms of sleep deprivation. Researchers found that treatment with curcumin for five days significantly prevented impairment in locomotor activity, anxiety-like effects and oxidative damage.

Turmeric has also been recognized for its digestive relief effects, especially when combined with ginger, which you can also find in New Chapter's Turmeric Force Nighttime. I'm sure you're probably wondering what digestion and sleep have to do together? As long as your brain detects that there's food in the stomach, melatonin production (which helps us sleep) will be delayed. But by having a natural aid like turmeric, it can help promote digestion so we aren't going to bed with a belly full of food. This is also why I recommend for people to fast for 12 hours overnight (i.e. 8pm-8am)to give your digestive system a break and to ensure we are setting our bodies up to produce the most melatonin as possible.

If you're one to suffer from joint pain that keeps you up at night, you'll want to consider getting turmeric into your diet on a daily basis as well to reap its anti-inflammatory benefits. Painsomia is a real problem that many people suffer from. Pain + insomnia = painsomnia. 

The following herbs are wonderful sleep aids on their own but herbs are more powerful together and they are all found in New Chapter's brand new product Turmeric Force Nighttime

Before you begin taking supplements, make sure you speak with your natural health care practitioner to ensure all these herbs and supplements are safe for you. 

Valerian

If you're one to struggle to fall asleep at night because you're monkey brain is on full force, this ones for you! Valerian root is most widely known as a natural sleep aid and has been shown to calm anxiety. It can actually reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep – win/win! This might sound rather similar to how sleeping pills work but this is far from it. I actually advise against sleeping pills due to all of the negative side effects including: constipation, dizziness, headaches, feeling of impairment the next day, drowsiness and overall weakness. 

Valerian supports a restful sleep naturally by increasing your brain's GABA level which can encourage a sedative effect in larger quantities. It's sleep-promoting and insomnia-relieving properties are said to perform on a similar level as melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone in our body that dictates our circadian rhythm (i.e. when we fall asleep and when we wake up). Although it's said not to take them together as it can result in too strong of a sedative effect. Valerian on its own or accompanied by other calming herbs is helpful to instill gentle relaxation encourage the natural sleep process to take over.

Skullcap

You may not be too familiar with this super healing and sleep-supportive herb that was previously referred to as "Mad Dog", "Helmet Flower" and "Quaker Bonnet", but skullcap comes with an array of health benefits. It reduces inflammation, encourages menstruation and has been shown to treat conditions including epilepsy, hysteria, anxiet, and insomnia. 

Skullcap's role in supporting sleep comes from its healing property of being a nerve tonic. Nerve tonics work by calming the nervous system which is where your spinal cord receives information from the skin, joints and muscles of your body. From my experience working with clients 1:1, one of the biggest reasons why people struggled to fall asleep and remain in a deep sleep was due to stress, anxietyor the not-so-lovely "monkey brain!" To support someone in this state, I would typically recommend an herb like skullcap to provide relief from stress, anxiety and that restless mind that always seems to strike right when we're trying to fall asleep!

Lemon Balm

This calming herb which is a member of the mint family has been used as far back as the Middle Ages to provide relief from both stress and anxiety and when these are kept in check, you will sleep better. When combined with other calming herbs such as valerian, hops and chamomile (which can be found in New Chapter's Turmeric Force NightTime), it has been shown to instill a restful calming sleep. It has also been shown to be beneficial for providing relief for headaches, cramps and toothaches – all of which have more than likely be culprits for a lack of sleep in your life at one point or another. 

Going through menopause? Lemon balm is also about to become your best friend! In this study, 100 women aged 50-60 years who complained of sleep disorders were randomly given a combination of valerian and lemon balm. The results showed a significant difference with a reduced level of sleep disorders amongst the experimental group when compared to the placebo group.

The lovely folks at New Chapter are offering one lucky person an opportunity to win the following. Good luck!

New Chapter R&R Giveaway

This post was created in partnership with New Chapter, however, all opinions are always my own. Read more about my partnership ethos here.

74 Comments
Chantal   •   June 20, 2017

I need this so much in my life! I just moved and have started commuting an hour and a half each way to get to work. I've been so drained and zombie like. I can't wait to sleep well! I'm in my 20's but I always feel like going to sleep at like 5pm from being so tired.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 21, 2017

Hey Chantal! Oh, the pains of moving and commuting! It will get better in time as you finesse your routine a bit more but in the meantime, emphasizing these herbs and supplements will be very helpful! Hope you're feeling your energetic self again soon! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Carolyn   •   June 21, 2017

This is so helpful! I've been taking natural calm (I saw It in one of your videos). It works amazing! I feel like I'm being drugged.... is it habit forming? Don't think I can live without it!!!!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Carolyn, That's great! Natural Calm is really great. I mean, if you feel like you can't fall asleep without it, it might be helpful to reduce the amount you're using it. We want to make sure we're not relying on anything too much to the point where we can't live without it. Does that make sense? :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Stewart   •   June 21, 2017

Thanks for the info Joy!! Seemingly gone are my days of a full restful sleep! I've made my bedroom as "Spa-like" as possible from new mattress, new calming paint colours, new bedding, new pillows etc. Also, no electronics, TV, etc. I go to bed and fall asleep fast but then I wake hours later and toss from then onward until I finally give up and get up to start my day around 5:30. I'm hopeful that some of your strategies may help me out. Have a great day!!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Stewart! It sounds like you are well on your way to have relaxing restful sleeps :) It sounds like there might be something else going on (perhaps adrenal health or low blood sugar) if you're tossing and turning in the night and not able to stay asleep. Have you met with a natural health care practitioner to discuss this already? That might be helpful for you! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Kerry   •   June 21, 2017

I love your warm turmeric ginger tea. I need to try the cold version this summer. Do you also take the supplement or is that overkill of turmeric?

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Kerry, Thanks so much - we're so glad to hear you love Joy's Turmeric Ginger Tea. The iced version is definitely a goodie too :) Joy still takes the supplement as well. There's almost no such thing as overkill when it comes to turmeric ;) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Dora   •   June 21, 2017

Thanks Joy for the tips! You're completely right about keeping a regular sleep schedule, it works for me. And the turmeric has been a life-changer. I usually add some fresh turmeric to my daily smoothies. I'd really love to try the Turmeric Force Nighttime!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Dora, That's awesome! You're already well on your way to deep relaxing sleeps :) If you already love turmeric in your smoothies, you're going to love the benefits that come along with having it in a supplement next to the other calming herbs. Rachel - Joyous Health Team


ELizabeth   •   June 21, 2017

I have been wanting to try the New Chapters Tumeric force in particular. I try to make sure I am not on the computer etc after 9:00 p.m.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Elizabeth, You should! It's amazing! That's also a very helpful tip to instill a restful sleep :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Sarah   •   June 21, 2017

I hadn't thought about the connection between turmeric and sleep. Thanks for the info, Joy :)

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Sarah! For sure - the turmeric aids in sleep more so from a pain reduction standpoint but when used alongside these calming herbs, they work synergistically to instill a restful sleep :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Brianne   •   June 21, 2017

Thanks for these tips, Joy! I really struggle to have a good night's sleep, so I will try some of these things.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Brianne! Glad you enjoyed it It sounds like this is just what you need then! :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Lana   •   June 21, 2017

Thank You!!! I bought a Bella Beat Leaf and if it is only semi accurate OMG my sleep is soooo off. Crawl into bed after a warm bath at 9 and my leaf says I didn't fall asleep til 12:15 Ahhhhh! No wonder ever dang hormone that the Adrenals have anything to do with is messed up! Time to order up some Tumeric ... in the mean time its Golden Milk at 8

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Oh no! Do you struggle with monkey brain at night? It might be helpful to do a brain dump where you keep a journal by your bed and write out everything that's on your mind. That way, you can get the thoughts on the page and out of your head :) It would also be helpful to avoid technology after 8/9pm as the blue light disrupts your circadian rhythm and will keep you awake. But I think this supplement will help you a lot as well to get you into a more restful relaxed state :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Kate   •   June 21, 2017

This is the answer to all my problems! :) Thank you!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

So happy to hear that Kate! :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Stephanie   •   June 21, 2017

I live with a lot of night owls and rarely sleep through the night. Would something like this help me to be less of a light sleeper?

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Stephanie, Definitely! If it's a matter of them keeping you up at night, we'd also recommend investing in a good eye mask and ear plugs on top of New Chapter's Turmeric Force NightTime :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Kristi   •   June 21, 2017

I love to use lemon balm tea before I sleep, I even started growing it this year. I also like to take melatonin and magnesium glycinate before bed, and wear an eye mask. All seem to help me.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Kristi! All of those things sound great for instilling a restful sleep! Thanks for sharing :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


sara   •   June 21, 2017

Is turmeric OK to have cold? Recently heard that unless it's heated, it can cause stomach aches. I (regrettably) stopped putting it in my cold smoothies.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Sara, Nope - it's okay either way! If, of course, anything is causing you digestive upset in anyway, we would recommend finding other ways to consume it or eliminate it altogether. But we haven't heard of turmeric having that effect :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Jody   •   June 21, 2017

I drink chamomile tea!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Jody! Ooh, we love chamomile tea around here too! It's a no-fail natural solution for relaxing before bed :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Tabitha   •   June 22, 2017

I have an awesome tea with lemon balm and valerian root in it and I definitely sleep better when I drink it! I'm excited to try adding more turmeric into my diet too. Thanks for this article, Joy!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Tabitha! That sounds amazing! Definitely helpful for instilling a restful sleep :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Beachgal   •   June 22, 2017

Thanks, as always so informative.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

So glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks for reading! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Deborah   •   June 22, 2017

Love to workout daily, but sometimes, joint pain makes it a tough experience. 'Monkey brain' LOL. Happens especially when I have to be up early for work or travel. Would love to try a natural sleep aid that wouldn't leaving me dragging through the next day.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Deborah! I think New Chapter's Turmeric Force NightTime would be super helpful for you then, especially because it contains turmeric which is most well known for being an anti-inflammatory which reduces joint point :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Tracy   •   June 22, 2017

I like to take a detox bath before bed.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

That sounds magical, Tracy! :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Nathanael   •   June 22, 2017

I take Melatonin before bed and do breathing. These are great tips above that will help even further. Thanks!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Nathanael, That sounds great! :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Danielle   •   June 22, 2017

I take the New Chapter's Turmeric force and love it!! Would love to try more of their products. I love my sleep time :)

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

That's awesome Danielle! Then you will love the Turmeric Force NightTime :) Reduced inflammation and better sleep. Woo hoo! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Leanne   •   June 22, 2017

Hi I have been slowly weaning off 25mg of Trazadone, taking a quarter of one the last few nights. I am not sleeping well at all, I have tried melatonin, didn't help me, as well as natural calm which gave me the runs....I would love to try what you are suggesting. thanks for the article.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 22, 2017

Hey Leanne, Hopefully the recommendations in the article will help you out. Otherwise I would suggest working with a natural health care practitioner! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Ron   •   June 23, 2017

I like to take a magnesium supplement to help me relax before bed and sleep more soundly.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 26, 2017

Hey Ron! Magnesium works wonders. We keep that in our sleep tool kit too :) Thanks for sharing! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Scopa   •   June 25, 2017

My sleep/bedtime routine is terrible 😕. I know it's time to do something to change it so I appreciate the info Joy. Looking forward to some sleep-filled night's (hopefully) in the near future 😪

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 26, 2017

Hey Scopa, Well it can only go up from here now, right? :) Hope you found this article useful and good luck with the contest! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Saskia   •   June 26, 2017

Camomile tea before bed always helps me too! Maybe next time I'll try your turmeric ginger tea recipe!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

Hey Saskia! Yes! I think you'd love it :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Annie Collin   •   June 26, 2017

Wow thank you for the opportunity. Very interesting blog post. I am very interested in the turmeric nighttime product 😊

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

Thanks so much for sharing Annie! :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


carla   •   June 26, 2017

usually by drinking tea and putting on magnesium cream.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

That sounds perfect, Carla! :) Thanks for sharing! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Maria   •   June 26, 2017

I need all of these. Thank you for helping out with these suggestions.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

Glad you enjoyed it Maria! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Tara L.   •   June 26, 2017

I desperately need help with sleep. I already had trouble sleeping but now am getting hot flashes which are also keeping me up. Recently got a new natural supplement that includes turmeric. Have you heard anything about weighted blankets for sleep? A friend shared several articles with me.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

Hey Tara, We're sorry to hear you've been struggling with sleep for quite some time :( That must be frustrating. Hopefully the new supplement you got helps to support your sleep, however I do want to clarify that it is the calming herbs we highlighted that are in New Chapter's Turmeric Force NightTime supplement that will induce a calm and relaxed state and the turmeric that will act as an anti-inflammatory and reduce pain. A weighted blanket can be a great natural remedy to support sleep. I would just recommend looking for one that is as non-toxic as possible :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Safia   •   June 27, 2017

peppermint tea

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

Ooh, we love Peppermint Tea around here :) Thanks for sharing Safia! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


stephanie   •   June 27, 2017

good read, thank you again =)

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

Glad you enjoyed it Stephanie! Thanks for reading :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Amanda   •   June 27, 2017

I also make a turmeric tea as part of my evening wind-down routine! Just the smell instantly relaxes me.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 27, 2017

Hey Amanda! That sounds magical. It does come with a super beautiful aroma! :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Roza   •   June 27, 2017

Thank you for another great article! I have the toughest time having a peaceful sleep. Although I wouldn't call it insomnia for me personally, I toss and turn all night. I don't really actually wake up either. But my mind is on full tilt. I might try the tumeric and valerian root. Melatonin gives me terrible dreams for some reason. I would love to wake up feeling refreshed!!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 28, 2017

Hey Roza, Yes, melatonin can have that effect but these herbs typically have more of a gentle calming effect. I think you'll get along with them quite nicely :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Caroline Singh   •   June 27, 2017

I usually wind down by relaxing on the couch or, in the summer, having a nice cook drink on the balcony. I love a nice bath too or a calming yoga practice.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 28, 2017

Hey Caroline, All of those sound like amazing relaxing rituals! Thanks for sharing :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Julie   •   June 27, 2017

Reading a little or a bath : )

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 28, 2017

Ah, that sounds magical Julie! :) Thanks for sharing. Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Anita   •   June 27, 2017

I love that you've been sharing so many awesome tumeric recipes! I have no idea New chapter had a tumeric option!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 28, 2017

Hey Anita! Of course, we're turmeric lovers around here :) They sure do! They have a regular Turmeric Force and then the Turmeric Force NightTime to help support sleep! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Sharon   •   June 27, 2017

Great prize!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 28, 2017

Totally! Good luck Sharon :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Rebecca   •   September 17, 2017

Hello, I'm a big fan of the Joyous team it's probably the blog I visit the most. I thought you had done a video/ post of the supplements you take/ recommend. I re watched your series on what you have in the kitchen/ pantry/ freezer/ bathroom etc. But I could not find that information. Hoping you can tell me where to find it or provide the link. Thank You Becca

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   September 18, 2017

Hi there Rebecca! You are correct, I am still nursing my little one, but most of these I would be taking regardless of nursing or not. Here's the post: https://www.joyoushealth.com/26039-blog-supplements-for-nursing-what-i-am-taking You may need to copy and paste this into your browser if it's not linking.


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