sleep herbal medicine: definition and explanation

What is sleep phytotherapy?

Phytotherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant preparations and their extracts to treat or cure a variety of health problems.

Phytotherapy for sleep is based on the active principles associated with the use of whole plants or plant parts (such as leaves, flowers, stems, roots, seeds and barks).

These remedies can be used in various forms, such as infusions, tinctures, ointments, essential oils, tablets, capsules or capsules.


Phytotherapy to fight against insomnia

Sleep disorders are divided into 5 categories:

  • insomnia (lack of sleep).
  • hypersomnia (excess sleep).
  • parasomnias (unusual manifestations during sleep such as apnea, nocturnal bruxism and somnambulism).
  • circadian rhythm disorders (internal clock dysfunctions).
  • dyssomnia (insomnia of psychological origin)

32% of French people report suffering from sleep disorders. The lifestyle and bad habits of our modern societies have a lot to do with it (overweight, more and more screens, stress, etc.). This failure represents a real health hazard. It causes a decrease in concentration and memory. It weakens immunity and increases the risk of obesity, stroke and diabetes. However, the best thing is not to give in to the sirens of sleeping pills. Nature is an open-air pharmacy. Phytotherapy treats the individual durably and without side effects. The advantage, in this specific case, is to combine the action of a relaxant with the effectiveness of a sedative.
Valerian, hawthorn, passionflower, linden, St. John's wort and lavender fight against nervousness and restlessness.
Lemon balm, chamomile, yellow poppy and poppy decrease the activity of the central nervous system. They allow a deep and restorative sleep.

Who says phytotherapy, does not say without risks. Matching plants is an art that must be handled with care. Especially when it comes to children or pregnant women.

Using herbal medicine for baby's sleep

A restful sleep is an essential vector for the growth of the baby. If a deficiency occurs, it will have repercussions on its development. We are talking about  insomnia when a quantitative and qualitative decrease in sleep is observed.

It may be due to:

  • physical pain.
  • a room temperature that is too high.
  • a change in the dynamics of the family unit.
  • an emotional problem.
  • an unsuitable diet.
  • noise pollution.

Once the cause has been identified, we can help a baby fall asleep using herbal medicine. To do this, it is important to first contact a specialist, such as a pediatrician. He will indicate the dosage and will warn of potential risks.
For infants, the most effective remedy is floral water of orange blossoms. This hydrosol calms and soothes tensions thanks to its delicate fragrance. It is poured directly into the bottle or into the bath water. It can also complement a suitable massage oil. And among its many benefits, orange blossom also treats colic. It is the main ingredient that makes up the gummy julep. From 6 months, if gastric pain persists, you can introduce fennel and lime blossom teas.
Chamomile and the essential oils of mandarin, rosewood, ylang-ylang, lavender and bitter orange seeds are used in diffusion and promote sleep.

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Phytotherapy for the sleep of pregnant and breastfeeding women

The apprehension linked to the arrival of a new member in the family can considerably alter the quality of sleep.

From a physiological point of view, it can be the consequence:

a frequent urge to urinate.
gastroesophageal reflux disease.
a restless baby who takes up more and more space.
back pain.< br />circulatory problems.
Passionflower, orange blossom and hawthorn taken in herbal teas have undeniable therapeutic virtues.
From the second trimester, certain sedative plants are authorized: Roman chamomile, lime blossom, verbena and lemongrass.
The nasal walls can swell during pregnancy. Pine or cypress essential oil will help to breathe better. For blood circulation, red vine works miracles.

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It is important to always seek advice from a gynecologist or midwife.

Phytotherapy to combat sleep apnea

The sleep apnea is a recurring pause in breathing for 10 to 30 seconds during the night.
It may be due to a relaxation of the tongue and throat muscles or be the result of a neurological failure.
In addition to causing headaches, intense fatigue and trouble concentrating, it can cause loud snoring.
To overcome these inconveniences, many techniques exist: CPAP (continuous positive pressure) and CPAP (mask), mandibular and nasal orthoses (Back2Sleep), or even valves Provent for mild apneas.
These expensive and restrictive methods have led patients to turn more and more to herbal medicine.
You don't always think about it, but some houseplants purify the ambient air by depolluting it from chemical fumes. Why are they effective against apnea? They maintain a good level of oxygen and allow the patient to breathe better during sleep. Among them are: gerbera, golden scindapsus, snake plant, aloe vera, English ivy, Madagascar dragon tree and chlorophytum.
Garlic and essential oil of peppermint and eucalyptus are excellent anti-inflammatories. They unclog the airways and improve the quality of sleep.

Phytotherapy in other sleep disorders

When we talk about pathologies related to sleep, we generally mention the case of insomnia. However, hypersomnia has equally harmful effects. The patient notices a loss of attention, headaches, and sometimes even dizziness and nausea. This can generate discomfort in social and professional life. To overcome this, herbal medicine is used with stimulating and invigorating plants. The most effective are: ginseng, rhodiola, licorice, ginkgo biloba, kola seeds and Chinese angelica.

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It also happens that the rhythm of sleep is impacted due to repeated trips or a night job. A decrease in the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, is then observed. It is present in many foods, such as tomatoes, cherries, nuts, rice, etc. The ideal is to favor these nutrients in the evening, and to eliminate all dishes that are too spicy, rich or sweet, as well as stimulants.

For fans of naturopathy, herbal medicine can be complemented by other alternative medicines such as: aromatherapy, reflexology, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, etc.

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