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Two of the most commonly used herbs for sleep issues in Ayurvedic medicine are ashwaghanda and nutmeg.  While ashwaghanda promotes greater resiliency, a strengthened nervous system and is calmative, nutmeg can be quite sedative even at very small doses.  It is key to beware of using too much nutmeg as it can be too stimulating, cause excessive blood pressure and a rapid heart rate.  The dose I usually recommend is about 1/8th to 1/4 of a teaspoon.  While doses at this level can be sedating, doses of even a teaspoon can have the reverse effect of being stimulating.  This recipe has the added benefit of having milk in it, which is naturally calmative as well



1/4 tsp nutmeg powder

Ashwaghanda powder. 1 tsp

1/2 cup of milk

Honey to taste

Add the powdered herbs to a pot and add the milk and gently warm (don’t boil) while stirring in the herbs and honey to taste.  Take this 1 hour before bed as the nutmeg can be most effective between 2-6 hours after taking this dose.




While not an herb I often suggest the use of magnesium as one of the best supplements to take for improving sleep.  Magnesium is found in green leafy veggies, almonds, pumpkin seeds, seaweed and wheat germ.  My favorite product is Magnaleuveres, packets that contain 150 mg of magnesium along with other ingredients.  You can see more about this product here. 




A number of different fragrant herbs are noted for their ability to help improve sleep.  Some of them include









Some of these are very earthy and rooting (sandalwood, cedar) and others more floral and uplifting (lavender, jasmine).  You may want to experiment to find one that works the best for you.  Then try adding one of the oils to a diffuser or work with the nice anxiety reducing recipes found here.