Our sleep takes up around 1/3 of our time, or around 20 to 25 years of our life.
When everything is going well, we don't worry because sleep is automatic. However, we are not all equal when it comes to sleep: there are morning people and late night people, “little” people and heavy “sleepers”, “good” sleepers and “bad” sleepers. Yes, sleep is a question of quality and not quantity and being in debt with it often leads to a general disruption of our health: reduced immunity , mood disorders, hormonal disruption, learning and functioning difficulties. memorization….
According to the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance, 32% of French people reported suffering from sleep disorders in 2009, a percentage which continues to grow if the number of people who come to seek advice from a naturopath is to be believed.
For millennia, man has praised the benefits of plants to remedy these disorders and plants can be very effective when used wisely. A quick overview of these good sleep fairies.
Sleep disorders with various causes
Sleep disorders can appear in many circumstances: a large meal, intense physical exertion before going to bed, drinking too much coffee, physical pain, sleep apnea, preoccupations or ruminations, stress or anxiety. anxiety or even excitement on the eve of a joyful event.
The search for the cause of these disorders as well as details on the frequency, duration, moment or even the way in which they manifest themselves – when falling asleep, through nocturnal awakenings or difficult awakening – will make it possible to target the plant precisely. the most appropriate.
Phytotherapy is in fact the most natural way to have a restful and deep sleep, thanks to it you will be able to forget the restless nights and be in full health.
The most effective plants for restful sleep
Passionflower is a climbing plant that can reach 9m high, native to Peru and Brazil. Its Latin name passionlora incarnata , “passion flower” was given to it by the Jesuits because its floral organs recall the instruments of Christ's passion.
Neurosedative and antispasmodic, the aerial parts of passionflower are traditionally used against anxiety with lower digestive functional signs (spasmodic colitis) or respiratory (chest tightness due to stress), anxiety, stress , melancholy and disorders of the sleep.
It is a powerful sedative herb, which is used in pharmaceutical sleeping pills. Many food supplements offer it to be consumed in capsule form, at a rate of 3 capsules per day. It is also possible to consume it as an infusion, in this case you must let the plant infuse for 30 minutes in boiling water and drink the solution 1 hour before going to bed.
Valerian, also called “heal-all” or “catnip”, has been used since Antiquity because it has many health benefits, including its sedative, calming and muscle-relaxing properties. The Greeks already recommended it to treat insomnia while the Romans used it to combat palpitations and arrhythmia. Thanks to the interaction of its components, it is used to help you fall asleep but also in cases of nervousness as a complement to smoking cessation, for example.
Precautions for use: not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under 12 years old and people allergic to plants of the Valerianaceae family.
It can be consumed in the form of supplements but also in the form of a root decoction or maceration. For this, you only need 2 tablespoons of valerian or 10g of root.
Griffonia has been used in traditional medicine for many years. Originally from West Africa, it grows naturally in forests in the form of a liana or shrub.
Thanks to its richness in 5HTP, a precursor of serotonin, griffonia plays an essential role in the regulation of mood , appetite (end-of-day sugary compulsions, snacking) and sleep (trouble falling asleep and night waking).
Precautions for use: Interactions are possible with any medication that modulates the level of serotonin. It is essential to consult a doctor if you are taking, for example, antidepressants.
Hawthorn is a thorny shrub native to Europe. Its traditional use indicates it to prepare for sleep thanks to its sedative and anxiolytic action.
Antispasmodic, it calms the nervous and anxious and also helps reduce hot flashes linked to menopause.
Finally, its regulatory action on the cardiovascular system indicates it in cases of cardiac erethism due to stress : palpitations and tachycardia.
Precautions for use: be careful in the event of heart problems, it is essential to consult a doctor. Its use can have a potentiating effect on certain medications.
It is a plant used against minor sleep disorders, it has soothing properties for the human body, it also helps fight small digestive infections and bronchitis.
It is consumed in the form of herbal teas, you need a teaspoon of fresh leaves for 15cl of water, it has a slightly lemony taste.
Chamomile is a plant that promotes sleep, it will in fact have an action on the central nervous system, promoting sleep. It is even recognized by the WHO as a plant that promotes sleep. It can be used as a means of withdrawal from sleeping pills. To consume it, all you need is a tablespoon of dried flowers in approximately 200 ml of boiling water.
It is only recently, the end of the 20th century, that we have known that hops are a plant with a strong sedative capacity.
Unlike other plants, it not only promotes falling asleep but the quality of sleep. To use it as a sedative agent, you must dry the hop leaves, the more they dry, the more concentrated they are as a sedative agent. A small hops herbal tea before bed to promote deep and restorative sleep.
It has been known for its medicinal virtues for centuries, it has fortifying, anti-neuralgic and digestive properties.
It also helps promote sleep by reducing anxiety. This plant, widely used in herbal medicine, is consumed in the form of herbal tea or infusion.
It is a magical tree, responding to many problems. In fact, in addition to allowing rapid falling asleep and restful sleep, it can have other positive effects on health, such as a draining effect for the entire body.
In linden leaves it is farnesol which allows you to fall asleep more quickly. By attaching to receptors present in the brain, it activates the area associated with sleep and produces faster sleep.
A few grams of linden food supplements can have an immediate effect on falling asleep, even if it is generally consumed in the form of an infusion.
This plant is native to California, it is very pretty in orange tones, it is used as much for decorative purposes in gardens as in herbal tea to promote the quality of sleep.
The alkaloids naturally present in the plant help reduce stress.
Is one of the most important plants in herbal medicine for sleep. It can be used in the form of drops of oil placed on the pillow, in the bath, in the form of spray, sachets, patch, capsules, etc.
Its atypical smell allows your brain to sense that it is time to go to bed; having the same smell every evening when going to bed will become part of a weekday ritual.