A report published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) that featured more than 2,000 Americans found that almost 3 in 10 have insomnia, and more than half may be self-medicating using herbal sleeping pills . What’s more, 28% of the people in the study reported that insomnia worsened their lives and daily routines.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine defines insomnia as difficulty falling or staying asleep with related daytime impairments. Insomnia is divided into three categories by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine: chronic insomnia disorder, short-term insomnia disorder, and other insomnia disorders.” (Insomnia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments | Sleep Foundation, 2018)
“Insomnia does not have a single, well-established cause. However, research indicates that in many cases, insomnia is caused by specific physiological arousals that happen at unfavourable times and disturb regular sleep patterns. Such arousal can manifest as elevated heart rate, elevated body temperature, and elevated levels of particular hormones, such as cortisol.” (Insomnia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments | Sleep Foundation, 2018)
Nearly one-third of Americans reported new or worsening sleep problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chronic insomnia may do more damage than bad sleep, commonly making anxiety, depression, and pain worse. 64% of Americans said they used sleep aids or medications to help ease their insomnia..” (Nearly 3 in 10 Americans Have Insomnia: Survey, n.d.)
Even melatonin should not be used for chronic insomnia, according to the AASM clinical guidelines. Dietary sleep aids, including valerian, kava-kava, and skullcap, are unregulated and require more evidence to prove that they work. “Sleep aids like melatonin can work well with the right guidance,” a study found.” (Nearly 3 in 10 Americans Have Insomnia: Survey, n.d.)
A lot of people have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Even while there are medications for sleep aid, some people might want to try more natural options. The two herbal sleeping pills are popular.
According to a 2013 review by Trusted Source, Valerian root is the most popular herb used to treat insomnia. Researchers have isolated the active plant compounds, but they are still unaware of the mechanism at play. Given the various valerian formulations and dosages, comparing research can be difficult. The study’s findings suggest it may be a secure and efficient alternative treatment for sleep disturbances.
Lavender is a well-known herb for promoting rest and sleep. The majority of studies examining the impact of lavender on sleep have concentrated on silexan, an active component produced from lavender. This may account for why using lavender oil has no sedative side effects. Results of studies looking into the effects of drinking lavender point to the safety of the doses examined.