Sleepless nights? Herbs to help you get a better night’s sleep

Having occasional changes to ones sleeping patterns is normal and not a cause for concern however, if you are noticing this is becoming a regular occurrence and impacting your energy throughout the day, it may be a sign there is a more severe issue happening. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, 1 in 3 people experience sleep problems such as sleeplessness where they find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep on a regular basis.

Insights into a recent study highlighted that nearly 40% of New Zealanders struggle with sleep-related problems [1]. With nearly half the population presenting with sleep problems, let’s look at the key indicators that may suggest you are having sleep-related issues.

What are the signs and indicators of sleeplessness?

Sleeplessness can present in everyone differently. The common signs and indicators to look out for are:

  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Waking throughout the night without being able to fall back to sleep
  • Excessive tiredness and fatigue throughout the day
  • Waking in the early hours of the morning
  • Poor concentration throughout the day

Contributing factors

Sleeplessness can be triggered by various factors in your life. Some include:

  • Stress in your personal and work life
  • Low mood
  • Worry
  • Chronic pain
  • Some medications
  • Dietary triggers such as caffeine, alcohol & smoking

If you are having ongoing trouble sleeping, make sure you seek advice from your healthcare professional.

How to support sleeplessness

Some of the issues contributing to poor sleep can be difficult to change and may require professional help however, there are many factors within your control that you can begin to focus on.

  • Improve dietary choices – ensure you are limiting your caffeine consumption in the PM hours of the day. Caffeine has an excitatory effect on our nervous system and can contribute to difficulty falling asleep.
  • Check your sleep environment – having a comfortable bed and pillow can ensure your body is comfortable for sleep. It is also important to check the temperature of your room and ensure your room is as cool, dark and quiet as possible.
  • Prioritise routine & consistency – we are creatures of habit and like any other routine, having a bedtime routine can help your brain recognise when it’s time to sleep.  Simple things you can incorporate into your bedtime routine are a set bedtime, reading a book, having a bath, meditation, write down a to-do list and dimming your lights.
  • Limit screen time before bed – technology emits blue light, a spectrum of light waves that tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime. Blue light interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Kick your body into night-time mode by opting for a book or journal instead of the usual TV, phone or tablet.

Thompson’s Herbal Favourites for Sleeplessness:

In traditional Western herbal practice, Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is used to support a restful sleep and relaxation. Passionflower also helps to calm the nerves to settle excess nervous energy commonly linked with sleep issues.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), whilst looking pretty in your garden, is also used in traditional Western herbal practice to support healthy sleeping patterns.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia is used to help support a restful sleep according to traditional Western herbal practice. Additionally, Valerian can be useful in providing support during times of stress and worry.

Discover Thompsons Sleep range mastered to support healthy sleep patterns.

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Integria, Auckland


[1] Sleep duration and psychological well-being among New Zealanders - ScienceDirect