9 Herbs to Enhance Your Sleep

9 Herbs to Enhance Your Sleep

After years of struggling with insomnia on our own, we turned to the internet to search for the best herbs that help with sleep. You see, the last thing we wanted to do was slam our stomach full of questionable pharmaceuticals. For this reason, we did all the heavy lifting to find the best herbs for sleep and anxiety - from red Maeng Da to valerian root! 

Ready to sleep well? Let’s dive in!

Can Natural Herbs Really Enhance Your Sleep? 

When people are confronted with sleep issues, the gut instinct might be to go and buy some sleep pills. However, this can lead to further problems. When you buy natural herbs for insomnia, the risks associated with pharmaceutical drugs drop. 

1. Valerian Root

  • Deep history as a sedative
  • Many other potential health benefits
  • Widely used for sleep assistance

Valerian root has a long history of being used as one of the top herbs for sleep. Dating back to at least the time of the ancient Greek & Roman civilizations, we find that people have seen this as one of the top herbs for sleep for quite some time now.

Studies have also confirmed that this is a great potential means to help with insomnia[1]. Essentially, it works by stimulating the brain’s GABA receptor, which is a gateway for various chemicals that help you fall asleep at night. 

2. Kava Kava

  • Helps with relaxation & stress
  • May help with muscle pain
  • Many report it helps with sleep

Kava kava (or simply “kava”) is another one of the top herbs for sleep for those who are looking for more than just a potential solution for sleep, but also a potential solution for stress. Many people have stated that kava helps them fall asleep faster.

In fact, a study once tested this claim and gave kava kava to a group of rats, and then a placebo to another. The rats that took the kava kava fell asleep faster. However, it’s important to note that mixed evidence also comes up regarding kava, and it is difficult to confirm any theories here yet. 

3. Saffron

  • Often referred to as “red gold”
  • Very distinct flavor & smell
  • May help with both sleep & relaxation

Saffron is another one of the top sleep herbs due to its distinct flavor, clear value throughout history for helping with sleep issues, and good data to help us back up our points here. This is also one of the top herbs throughout history - giving it the nickname “red gold” by many.

Indeed, it has a great smell and flavor to it which outperforms most other herbs that help with sleep on this page. You can also use this herb in the kitchen as a spice for various dishes - giving it a high level of versatility outside of your medicine cabinet. 

4. Red Vein Kratom

  • Helps you unwind and relax
  • Deep history of use for centuries in Asia
  • Many different strains to choose from

If you want one of the heavy-hitting herbs for good sleep, we recommend making some good old-fashioned kratom tea. When consumed in higher doses, many people have found that kratom is a wonderful means to help you fall asleep. 

In fact, this herb has been used for centuries in Asia for this purpose. Some also say it can help with pain, stress, and more.

Red vein kratom in high doses of at least three grams has been found by many people to help them get great sleep. There are also many strains & variants to check out. We recommend starting by checking out red Borneo capsules, red Bali, and red Thai

5. Lavender

  • Great taste & smell
  • Can help stabilize your mood
  • Can help increase time spent sleeping

Lavender is another one of the top herbs for sleep to consider if your problem is not necessarily falling asleep - but staying asleep. For starters, this is a great-smelling and tasting herb that is used in many products that you likely already consume. 

In addition to having qualities that can help calm you down, reduce anxiety, and more, before going to sleep at night, aromatherapy is another option to consider here. When you do lavender aromatherapy, many say that they have longer, more restful sleep cycles. 

6. Chamomile

  • Use dates back to ancient Egypt
  • Helps relax & fall asleep
  • Studies confirm its usefulness

Dating back to the time of ancient Egypt, this is another one of the best sleep herbs. It works by stimulating your brain’s GABA receptors, which is why many claim it helps with sleep. Since it has been used since the dawn of civilization for this reason, it might be a good indicator that it really does work as well as people say. 

Like most other herbs on this page, there have been mixed results on the effectiveness of chamomile for sleep. Therefore, this should just be seen as an option, and not necessarily the best herb for insomnia on the market. 

7. Ashwagandha

  • Ancient Ayurvedic herb
  • Various compounds that may help with sleep
  • Many other potential benefits

This is one of the most ancient herbs for sleep - dating back to at least 6000 BCE in India. This is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used by many communities throughout the history of India to help with sleep. 

In addition, many have found that this herb can help with stress, anxiety, sperm count, and even helping with inflammation. 

8. Holy Basil

  • May help you fall asleep
  • May also help manage stress
  • Deep history dating over 5000 years

If want to check out another one of the top sleep herbs with one of the deepest histories, this is another great option to consider. With a history of use for sleep dating back over 5000 years, all these people throughout history can’t be wrong - right? 

This herb isn’t quite fully understood yet, but it may stimulate the GABA pathways in your brain, similar to some of the other herbs on this page. In addition, it may help with cholesterol, blood health, and may even assist weight management. 

9. California Poppy

  • Natural sedative properties
  • Has many alkaloids that help with sleep
  • Can be used alongside other forms of sleep management.

Finally, the California Poppy is another one of the best herbs for sleep that we simply couldn’t pass up on bringing up. This is a herb that has been long recognized for its natural sedative properties - directly helping you sleep.

These alkaloids go to work by stimulating your GABA receptors, which is what helps you fall asleep. This is a natural product that is often used alongside other forms of sleep management too! 

Factors to Consider

Thinking of buying one of the top herbs for sleep listed above? Here are some additional factors to consider first: 

  • History of Use: The history of a herb will usually tell you right away if you are dealing with one of the best herbs for sleep, or one that is new and potentially not as well-known. Or, a phony herb that doesn’t help with sleep at all!
  • Other Effects: In addition to having effects similar to that of a sedative, you should also check the other reported effects of each of the herbs for sleep above to ensure that there are no unwanted potential effects. 
  • Scientific Studies: Finally, before deciding which of the sleep herbs above will be best for your needs, be sure to check to see if there are scientific studies to confirm that they have qualities to help your sleep. 

Other Great Herbs for Sleep: Honorable Mention

Here are some other herbs for sleep that may help you out - but didn’t quite the cut for our top picks: 

  • Hops
  • Passion Flower
  • Black Cohosh
  • Hibiscus
  • Elderberry

What Herbs Are Good for Sleep & Anxiety? 

If you want to get the best herbs for sleep, we recommend you start off with traditional choices like Valerian Root & Kava Kava. However, many say that kratom is the most reliable option on this list. We recommend checking out the best kratom strains for sleep and relaxation if you want to learn more.  

Kratom can be consumed in a variety of different ways, has other effects that many claim help various aspects of their life[2], and is very affordable. If you want to buy from the best source of kratom available, check out our lineup here at Kratom Country


  1. Bent, S., Padula, A., Moore, D., Patterson, M., & Mehling, W. (2006). Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American journal of medicine, 119(12), 1005–1012. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.02.026
  2. Striley, C. W., Hoeflich, C. C., Viegas, A. T., Berkowitz, L. A., Matthews, E. G., Akin, L. P., Iheanyi-Okeahialam, C., Mansoor, U., & McCurdy, C. R. (2022). Health Effects Associated With Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and Polysubstance Use: A Narrative Review. Substance abuse: research and treatment, 16, 11782218221095873. https://doi.org/10.1177/11782218221095873


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