5 Best Herbs for Sleep to Help You Rest Well and Wake Up Feeling Refreshed

Published on December 29, 2020

A good night’s sleep helps you feel refreshed, calm, and ready to take on the day. But it does far more than that. Sound sleep is essential for overall health. With good reason, many people turn to herbs for sleep support night after night.*

Below, you’ll find five herbs that are commonly used to help you relax, to quiet your mind, and to support a healthy stress response so that you can rest well.*

Herbs for Sleep

There are many reasons you might be turning to herbs for sleep support, including a particularly stressful phase of life or the hormonal struggles of menopause. Herbs can help in a gentle, natural way.*

Let’s take a look at some herbs that promote healthy sleep and how they can support your body.* (Remember: if you have a medical condition or take medications, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before adding herbs to your daily routine.)

Valerian Root 

Traditional Uses

Valeriana officinalis, or Valerian root, is native to Europe, where it is still grown and used for medicinal purposes. However, it also grows on other continents and is cultivated in North America, too.

When it comes to its history of use, the following has been noted:

“The herb has been used not only in European medicine but also in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Indian Ayurvedic for centuries. Galen (131-201 A.D.) first prescribed the herb as a treatment for insomnia.”*1

Valerian root went on to be used in modern medicine in England as a sedative or nerve tonic and later was popularly prescribed for conditions like “sleeplessness, restlessness, gastrointestinal disorders, hysteria, anxiety, and many more.”*1

In fact, in the United States, it was listed in the National Formulary, an official publication that offers descriptions and dosages for drugs, from 1888 until as recently as 1946.

While more research is needed to know exactly how this herb works, many clinical trials have shown support for a deep, restful night of sleep for people dealing with occasional sleeplessness.* Here’s how you can take advantage of this powerful plant.

How to Take It

 Valerian herbs for sleep in liquid form

Gaia Herbs Valerian Root comes in a liquid extract that’s easily digestible, promoting a sense of relaxation and supporting a natural transition to sleep.*

Our Certified USDA Organic formula contains a single herb extract, so you can rest assured that you’re getting Valerian root and nothing else.

Within an hour of turning in for the night, take 30-40 drops in a glass of water. If necessary, this can be repeated right before hopping into bed.


Traditional Uses

Passionflower, known by scientists as passiflora incarnata, is a climbing shrub native to the tropical regions of America. It is an unusual and beautiful flower that develops into a fruit called passionfruit.

At Gaia Herbs, we use the flowering vine of this plant to make herbal supplements, as this is the part of the plant which typically has the highest amount of chemical activity.* As a supplement, Passionflower is used to support sleep and is believed to be especially helpful for people who deal with restlessness and have issues staying asleep throughout the night.*

While there have not been many clinical trials done on humans, one study done on rats concluded that Passionflower shortened sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep) and increased the amount of slow-wave sleep, suggesting that “this plant possesses adequate properties to be considered as a sleep inducer.”*2

Despite few human trials, Passionflower is still a go-to for its calming and relaxing effect, especially during times of occasional stress.*

How to Take It

With Gaia Herbs Passionflower, this herb is available to you in a Certified USDA Organic liquid extract. If you’re stressed out and over-thinking, this supplement is ideal for helping quiet your mind at the end of a long day.*

We also include Passionflower in our Sound Sleep® herbal supplement, which helps support a natural transition to sleep for occasional sleepless nights. This formula is helpful if falling asleep is sometimes a struggle.*

To reap the benefits of Passionflower along with other sleep-supporting herbs such as Lavender, Valerian, Lemon Balm, California Poppy, and Marjoram, you can also try our Sleep & Relax™. This formula helps you relax at night so you can wake up feeling refreshed.*

 Sleep & Relax herbs for sleep

Sleep & Relax comes in easy-to-take Certified USDA Organic Liquid Phyto-Caps® and promotes a sense of calm while helping prepare your body for a good night of rest.* Adults can take two capsules one hour before bed.*

Here at Gaia Herbs, we think you deserve to know exactly what’s in the supplements you take, as well as where they’re produced and where the ingredients come from. Sleep & Relax™ is manufactured for Gaia Herbs in Italy by Aboca, the herbal supplement leader in Europe since 1978.

Learn even more about the origin of your herbs, how they were grown and harvested, and be assured of your product’s purity, integrity, and potency at, the world’s first herb traceability platform. Try it by simply typing in the herb ID number, which can easily be found on the back of any Gaia Herbs product.

Lemon Balm

Traditional Uses

While Lemon balm smells and tastes a bit like lemon, it’s actually a member of the mint family. Native to Southern Europe, this plant has historically been used as a medicinal herb and for cosmetic and culinary purposes.*

In addition to supporting immune and digestive health and providing a sense of balance for the nervous system, several studies indicate that Lemon Balm may promote a sense of calm in the body.*

In fact, we love this plant so much that we grow it ourselves on our 350-acre Certified Organic Gaia Farm, which is nestled in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

How to Take It

To wind down and treat your body to herbs for sleep, we recommend Gaia Herbs Sleep & Relax Herbal Tea.* A warm cup of tea at the end of your day is a good way to help your body recognize that it’s time to slow down and transition into getting ready for bed.

Plus, the Passionflower, Lemon balm, Licorice, and Chamomile in this tea promote a sense of calm to help prepare your body for a good night of sleep.*

Enjoy your cup of tea one hour before bed. Simply pour one cup of freshly boiled water over a teabag, cover, and let it steep for 10 minutes.


Traditional Uses

While Mimosa, the common name for Albizia julibrissin, sounds just like a favorite morning beverage, this plant has nothing to do with the drink.

With lovely pink flowers, Mimosa has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for mood support and healthy stress response.*

Mimosa bark is an adaptogen (learn more about adaptogens here), supports the adrenal glands, offers antioxidant support, and helps maintain a calm and normal mood.* That’s why we’re featuring Mimosa as an herb for sleep.

In addition, it helps sustain emotional and mental calm and aids your body in switching between the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for keeping your body running every day, and the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for fight or flight.*

The bark is most commonly used (and it’s what we use at Gaia Herbs), but the flowers can be used, too.

How to Take It Gaia Herbs Nighttime Comfort Vegan liquid herbal supplement

Mimosa may be especially beneficial to menopausal women.* Due to the changes your body goes through during menopause, a solid night of sleep may be hard to come by.

In Gaia Herbs Nighttime Comfort, we’ve combined Mimosa with Black Cohosh, Passionflower, and St. John’s Wort to help maintain healthy hormonal balance and support a restful night of sleep.*

These Liquid Phyto-Caps are made right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains and are purity-tested and free of corn, dairy, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, sugar, tree nuts, and yeast.

Adult women can take two capsules one hour before bed and should plan for this supplement to be a part of their long-term daily routine, as best results are obtained after a month of taking Nighttime Comfort.


Traditional Uses

During stressful times, it can be a challenge to get quality shut-eye. Ashwagandha, Withania somnifera, is a do-it-all adaptogenic herb that has traditionally been used for everything from brain and cognitive support and energy support to stress and sleep support.*

In short, adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha can support the adrenal glands, helping you and your body better cope with stress and promoting balance in the body.* That, in turn, allows you to rest more easily.* 

How to Take It

 Gaia Herbs Sleep support SleepThru®

Ashwagandha is in several of our products, including Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore, Ashwagandha Root, and Golden Milk, and SleepThru®.

SleepThru contains a blend of Ashwagandha, Magnolia, Passionflower, and Jujube to promote restful sleep for occasional sleeplessness.* And taking it is as simple as swallowing two capsules one hour before bed. Keep in mind that you’ll see the best results after one month of use.

Turn to Herbs for Sound Sleep*

No matter what is going on in your life, from menopause to stressful situations, you can turn to herbs for sleep support.*

Through herbal supplements, you’ll experience the benefits of plants like Valerian root, Passionflower, Lemon Balm, Mimosa, and Ashwagandha. They may help promote relaxation, quiet your mind, slow you down, and help you deal with stress so that you can rest well.*

Start today with Gaia Herbs sleep support products such as Sleep & Relax™, Sleep & Relax Herbal Tea, Nighttime Comfort, Sound Sleep®, or SleepThru®. We’re confident you’ll find something that will work with your body and help you get the rest that you need. Sweet dreams!

1 Valerian Root Extract. Euromed.

2 Effect of a medicinal plant (Passiflora incarnata L) on sleep. Sleep Science.