Some 21 to 48 million Americans have trouble sleeping. If insomnia is making life a nightmare, try herbs instead of hard drugs.
Make an herbal sachet
Buy a handful of hops (the herb used in beer making) at the health food store. Stuff them into a cheesecloth bag to make a sachet. Put the sachet inside your pillowcase and the distinctive outdoorsy aroma will waft you right off to sleep, say folklorists. Hops also makes an interesting bedtime tea.
Have a camomile milk shake
Camomile herb tea has a “striking hypnotic action,” says researcher Lawrence Gould. “Ten out of 12 patients fall into a deep slumber shortly after drinking camomile tea.” (Other herbs to sleep on? Try hops, passionflower, catnip, basil, violets [the leaves], and lemon verbena).
Salicylate can help you sleep say researchers at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. Aspirin, which contains salicylate was found to be an effective hypnotic for chronic insomniacs, but after two weeks of use the aspirin lost much of its sleep-inducing potency, warned the research team. What’s better? Willow bark tea, a safe, natural herbal form of salicylate, is found at health food stores.
And whatever tea you take, skip the sugar. “Foods with a lot of sugar will increase your bad dreams,” says Dr. Milton Kramer, director of the Dream Research Laboratory at Cincinnati’s Veterans Administration Hospital..