Natural Insomnia Treatment

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Natural Insomnia Treatment

Are you having difficulty falling asleep? Natural Insomnia treatment is an effective way to assist a deep sleep without the need for prescribed medication.
Chamomile, Passionflower, and Valerian are natural cures for insomnia being clinically proven herbal supplements. Overcome your Sleep deprivation with these 3 Herbs.


Chamomile, also known as Chamomilla recutitta has long been used medicinally for its sedative action in the treatment of sleep disorders and for anxiety [2]. Research has shown that the use of chamomile will cause anti-anxiety and mild sedative effects. The active ingredient responsible for this effect is apigenin which binds to the same receptors as benzodiazepines (eg. Valium) [1]. An animal study has shown that 300mg/kg of Chamomile extract was able to significantly reduce the time it takes to go from full wakefulness to asleep [3].

Chamomile is generally considered fairly safe but there is the potential risk of interaction when using therapeutic doses in conjunction with ant-coagulant, anti-platelet and benzodiazepine medication [4]. Despite minimal side effects associated with this herb, Chamomile does have the potential to cause allergic reactions in those that have an asteraceae sensitivity [5].

Passion flower

Passionflower which is also referred to as Passionflower incanarta has been shown to have sedative and hypnotic propertiesthat have been likened to the action of Benzodiazepines as they act on opiod and GABA receptors [6]. Rat studies have shown evidence of prolonged sleep time with the use of Passionflower. The active ingredient that exerts the anxiolytic effect has been associated with a compound in the herb know as benzoflavone [6].  In a study comparing the benzodiazepine, oxazepam and Passionflower for the treatment of anxiety there was an equivalent decrease in anxiety for both treatments [6]. There is limited human studies on Passionflower illustrating its sedative effect, although studies on mice have shown this herb to have a dose-dependent sedative effect [7].


Valerian, also known as Valeriana officinalis is described as a powerful sedative and it will dull pain and promote sleep. It’s also considered to be a nervine tonic that has long been prescribed for nervous overactivity [8].

Valerian is described as having a benzodiazepine like action which results from the active ingredients of V. officinalis, valepotriates and valeric acid [1]. The main site of action for these active ingredients is at the GABA receptor where they bind to the A(1) adenosine receptor and to the 5-HT-5a receptor which newer research has discovered [9]. It also acts to inhibit the action of enzymes that cause the breakdown of GABA which controls neuronal excitability in the nervous system [6]. Unlike some sedative herbs that act as a muscle relaxant to promote sleep, Valerian acts as a nervous system depressant. This is why it is indicated when there is sleep disturbances predominantly caused by stress and anxiety. Several studies have shown Valerian to improve the time it takes to get to sleep when compared to placebo [6]. When comparing Valerian with the benzodiazepine, oxazepam it proved to be equally as effective in improving sleep [9]. A small proportion of patients that use Valerian can experience the opposite effect as it may cause stimulatory effects such as restlessness and palpitations, however this is less common [1]. The greatest results in sleep improvement were seen after a minimum of two weeks using when Valerian [9].


  1. Hulisz, D. and C. Duff, Assisting Seniors with Insomnia: A Comprehensive Approach. U.S Pharmacist, 2009.
  2. Ulbricht, C., ed. Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Reference: Evidence-Based Clinical Reviews. 2005, Elsevier Mosby: USA.
  3. Shinomiya, K., et al., Hypnotic Activities of Chamolmile and Passiflora Extracts in Sleep-Disturbed Rats. Biological Pharmacology Bulletin, 2005. 28(5): p. 808-810.
  4. Sanchez, M., et al., The use of natural products for sleep: A common practise?Sleep Medicine, 2008.
  5. Gyllenhaal, C., et al., Efficacy and safety of herbal stimulants and sedatives in sleep disorders. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 2000. 4(3).
  6. Head, K. and G. Kelly, Nutrients and Botanicals for the treatment of stress: Adrenal fatigue, Neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety and restless sleep. Alternative Medicine Review, 2009.
  7. Meoli, A., et al., Oral Nonprescription treatment for insomnia: An Evaluation of products with limited evidence. Journal of Clinical sleep Medicine, 2005. 1(2).
  8. Leyel, C., ed. A Modern Herbal. 1994, A Cresset Press Book: United Kingdom.
  9. Gooneratne, N., Complimentary and Alternative Medicine for Sleep Disturbances in Older Adults. Clinical Geriatric Medicine, 2008. 24(1).

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