We have all felt it before. That amazing feeling of waking up well-rested, energized, and ready to conquer the day after a night of deep sleep.
For many of us, that feeling seems like a distant memory of a long-forgotten era. An unobtainable pipe dream from a past life. How could we possibly get a good night’s sleep with the responsibilities and stresses of modern life?
What we should really be asking is how we can afford not to. The complexities of the modern world require us to be on our game 24/7. Without a great night’s sleep, we perform sub-optimally in every aspect of our lives. When we wake, we are forced to down cups of coffee or energy drinks. Later in the day, the fog of lethargy rolls in and we struggle to complete our tasks. With no energy for exercise or working out, we head straight for the couch at home. Cooking a fresh meal requires too much effort, so we call for delivery. When our heads hit the pillow, we suddenly feel alert again, unable to fall asleep.
To cope, some of us reach for a Benadryl, Ambien, or Nyquil. We soon realize that while these products get us to sleep quickly, our actual sleep quality is poor, and we feel even worse in the morning than we did without them. Many of us reach for melatonin because our body produces it naturally. But recent studies have shown the possibility that supplementing melatonin can actually prevent our bodies from producing it naturally, creating a dependence that erodes sleep quality long term.
Fortunately, there is a better way.
Naturally occurring chemicals found in plants and herbs have been used for thousands of years to help people achieve more restful sleep. Navigating the available information about these plants and herbs can be arduous. To save you time, PurePower has compiled a list of the top 7 super herbs for better sleep.
7 – Jujube
Jujube fruit, also known as red or Chinese date, is native to Southern Asia but has become popular around the world.
These small round fruits with a seed-containing pit grow on large flowering shrubs or trees (Ziziphus jujuba). When ripe, they’re dark red or purple and may appear slightly wrinkled.
Jujubes are widely used in functional medicine to improve sleep quality and brain function. Emerging research suggests their unique antioxidants may be responsible for these effects.
[Primary Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/jujube#benefits]
6 – Passionflower
Passionflower grows throughout South America and some parts of the southern United States. It is part of the Passiflora family, which also includes passion fruit. People have used one variety of passionflower, Passiflora incarnata (P. incarnata), since the 16th century for medicinal purposes.
Some researchers believe that passionflower supplements may help treat anxiety, insomnia, and certain forms of pain because it may increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical the brain makes to help regulate mood.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter — it counters neurotransmitters that cause excitement, and so it may have a calming effect.
Some evidence indicates that passionflower helps people sleep. Research from 2017 in mice suggests that P. incarnata can have a positive effect on sleep patterns.
5 – Skullcap
The name skullcap refers to any plant in the Scutellaria family, though American and Chinese varieties are most commonly used in natural medicine.
American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a perennial herb native to North America. In bloom, the plant is covered in tiny, tubular blue flowers, although color can vary.
The leaves of American skullcap have been used in traditional herbal medicine as a sedative and treatment for conditions like insomnia and anxiety. The plant was prized by Native Americans for its powerful medicinal properties.
American skullcap has been shown to boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety. It’s thought that American skullcap positively impacts mood and reduces anxiety by stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps calm nerves.
[Primary Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/skullcap#benefits]
4 – L-Theanine
L-theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in green tea, black tea, and certain types of mushrooms.
L-theanine may affect the levels of certain chemicals in the brain. These include serotonin and dopamine, which influence mood, sleep, and emotion, and cortisol, which helps the body deal with stress. A change in the balance of these chemicals can change a person’s mood or stress levels.
Several studies have suggested that L-theanine could help people relax before bedtime, get to sleep more easily, and sleep more deeply.
These benefits may result from the specific effects that the amino acid has on brain chemicals that play a role in sleep. A 2018 study found that people reported having greater sleep satisfaction after taking L-theanine daily for 8 weeks.
3 – Magnolia Bark extract
Magnolia is a flowering tree (Latin name: magnolia officinalis) that is native to China. The magnolia plant has an ancient history as a therapeutic compound in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean medicine used to promote sleep and relaxation, to ease anxiety, and to treat allergies and asthma, among other conditions. Both the bark of the magnolia tree and its flowers are used therapeutically. Magnolia bark extract is found in supplements, tea, toothpaste, and topical oils and cream.
The bark of the magnolia tree contains several natural, bioactive compounds that function as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-allergic agents. Among the most well-known and well-studied of these compounds are honokiol and magnolol. Magnolia bark works as an anxiolytic, helping to lower anxiety and depression and reduce stress. Magnolia bark can also act as a sedative, directly helping to facilitate sleep. That’s thanks to its ability to relax the mind and body, and to ease anxiety. It’s also thanks to magnolia bark’s power to increase GABA activity
[Primary Source: https://thesleepdoctor.com/2018/02/27/magnolia-bark-affects-sleep-health/]
2 – Chamomile
Chamomile is an herb that comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. It has been consumed for centuries as a natural remedy for several health conditions.
Chamomile has some unique properties that may benefit the quality of your sleep.
It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia, or the chronic inability to sleep. In one study, postpartum women who drank chamomile tea for two weeks reported better sleep quality compared to a group that did not drink chamomile tea. They also had fewer symptoms of depression, which is often linked with sleeping problems.
Another study found that people who consumed chamomile extract twice daily for 28 days had 1/3 less night time awakening and fell asleep 15 minutes faster than those who did not consume the extract.
1 – Hemp
Known as the world’s ‘Master Adaptogen’ hemp contains nutrient-dense phytocompounds that feed the endocannabinoid system and restore balance in mind and body.
Chemicals found in the hemp plant help your body maintain a state of balance and stability or homeostasis. Hemp has a range of health applications.
Research published in 2019 looked at whether compounds in hemp could improve sleep and or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25 milligrams (mg) of hemp compounds in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 percent of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 percent reported better sleep.
Other research tells us that hemp affects the sleep cycle. Research from 2014 looked at four patients and found that hemp improved the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a disorder in which a person acts out their dreams. RBD is associated with poor sleep and nightmares.
A 2017 review also noted that hemp may be helpful in treating RBD and that it shows the potential for treating excessive daytime sleepiness.
Grogginess, another symptom of insomnia, might also be affected by hemp. A 2014 review found that hemp could have the potential to promote wakefulness, based on both human and animal research. The authors noted they weren’t sure exactly how or why hemp promoted wakefulness in some instances.
Recent studies indicate that naturally occurring herbs contain compounds that help your body achieve higher quality sleep. These herbs can provide a natural alternative to melatonin and over-the-counter sleep aids that can cause long-term side effects.
Finding these herbs and optimizing the ratios of the herbs is a daunting task.
At PurePower we make it easy to do so.
Our proprietary sleep solution, Power Down, not only contains the perfect ratio of the powerful sleep-inducing herbs above, but also contains a synergistic blend of complementary herbs and minerals that the body needs to perform optimally like Magnesium for immune system support and relaxation, White Willow Bark for pain relief, Milk Thistle for liver support, and Ashwagandha to reduce anxiety. Taking Power Down 60 minutes before bed allows you to drift away into a deep and recovery-inducing sleep. That long-forgotten feeling of waking up energized and ready to conquer the day can be yours again.