Alternative Medicine for Sleep, Part 3

If you have no trouble staying asleep, but find yourself lying awake for hours before finally drifting off, you may have onset insomnia. Here are two herbs that can help:

  • Hops – the herb that beer is made from. It can help induce sleep, but is not as good at maintaining sleep throughout the night. Many people find that hops have a sedating effect. A dosage of 300 to 600 mg is one option to try an hour or two before bed.
  • Valerian – perhaps the best-known sleep-inducing herb. I find that about half of users like it, while the rest don’t feel that it does much for them. Try 300 mg one to three hours before bed to see if it works for you.

When trying natural sleep aids, remember that dosage and timing can vary from person to person. Since you can develop a dependence on these supplements, refrain from taking any sleep aids more than three times per week.

[Ed. Note: Ray Sahelian, MD, the author of Mind Boosters, is internationally recognized as a moderate voice in the evaluation of natural supplements. Visit Dr. Sahelian’s website at, and read more of his articles about the supplements you should and shouldn’t be taking at ETR’s free natural health e-letter.]
  • Simin Tirgari

    I would like to recieve your news letter. thanks

  • Suzanne Richardson

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  • I am a having a lot of problems going to sleep at night it has been 2mths it has made my blood pressure go up help please!