Close up on woman sleeping

Herb Health: sweet dreams

Disturbed sleep can have a detrimental impact on your day to day life. If you’re struggling to sleep, Medical herbalist Gabriella Clarke recommends several herbal remedies which may help you enjoy more restful slumber.


This popular garden plant with its daisy-like flowers is an age-old natural remedy for sleep. Try it in a soothing night-time tea; put one teabag or 5-8g of loose camomile leaves into a cup of boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for a few minutes before sipping slowly.


Extracts of valerian root contain natural compounds known as iridoids that have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help you to relax and get in the mood for sleep. Valerian is often combined with other herbs such as lemon balm and hops, both of which are renowned for their calming properties.


The vibrant blooms of this distinctive South American climber yield soporific fruits that are often used to calm nervous tension. Passionflower combines well with camomile and valerian to aid sleep. To make an infusion put one teaspoon of dried plant into a cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for a few minutes before straining and drinking.


The dried flowers of this deliciously scented plant have been used as a sedative since the 12th century. Invest in a lavender pillow; alternatively sprinkle up to four drops of lavender essential oil on your pillowcase and inhale the aroma as you drift off into the land of sweet dreams.