Melatonin is an endogenous hormone produced by the pineal gland and released exclusively at night. Melatonin supplementation is well tolerated and has no obvious short- or long-term adverse effects. Melatonin has been shown to synchronize the circadian rhythms, and improve the onset, duration and quality of sleep. It is centrally involved in anti-oxidation, circadian rhythmicity maintenance, sleep regulation and neuronal survival.

Suhyeon Kim, Kyungae Jo, Ki-Bae Hong, Sung Hee Han & Hyung Joo Suh (2019) GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep, Pharmaceutical Biology, 57:1, 64 72, DOI: 10.1080/13880209.2018.1557698


This study investigated the potential synergistic sleep enhancement effect of GABA/l-theanine mixture. l-Theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid first discovered in green tea, is a well-known anti-anxiety supplement with proven relaxation benefits. GABA/l-theanine mixture (100/20 mg/kg) showed a decrease in sleep latency (20.7 and 14.9%) and an increase in sleep duration (87.3 and 26.8%) compared to GABA or theanine alone. GABA/l-theanine mixture led to a significant increase in rapid eye movement (REM) (99.6%) and non-REM (NREM) (20.6%) compared to controls.

Zizhen Xie, Fei Chen, William A. Li, Xiaokun Geng, Changhong Li, Xiaomei Meng, Yan Feng, Wei Liu & Fengchun Yu(2017) A review of sleep disorders and melatonin, Neurological Research, 39:6, 559 565, DOI: 10.1080/01616412.2017.1315864

Passion Flower

Passiflora incarnata is a traditional herbal sedative, anxiolytic and a popular sleep aid used for the treatment of sleep disturbance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of Passiflora incarnata herbal tea on human sleep, as measured using sleep diaries validated by polysomnography (PSG). For a number of participants, sleep quality showed a significantly better rating for passionflower compared with placebo (t(40) = 2.70, p < 0.01). These initial findings suggest that the consumption of a low dose of Passiflora incarnata, yields short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality.

A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Investigation of the Effects of Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower) Herbal Tea on Subjective Sleep Quality. First published: 03 February 2011. A. Ngan, R. Conduit.

Valerian Root

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.) is a popular herbal medicine used as a sleep aid, however the outcomes of previous clinical studies are inconsistent. PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Cochrane Library were searched to retrieve publications relevant to the effectiveness of valerian as a treatment of sleep problems and associated disorders. A total of 60 studies (n=6,894) were included in this review, and meta-analyses were performed to evaluate the effectiveness to improve subjective sleep quality (10 studies, n=1,065) and to reduce anxiety (8 studies, n=535). The study found that therapeutic benefits could be optimized when it was combined with appropriate herbal partners. There were no severe adverse events associated with valerian intake in subjects aged between 7 and 80 years. In conclusion, valerian could be a safe and effective herb to promote sleep and prevent associated disorders.

Shinjyo N, Waddell G, Green J. Valerian Root in Treating Sleep Problems and Associated Disorders—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Career Development. 2020;25:1063-1081. doi:10.1177/08948453211013375

Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) is a herbal medicine that has traditionally been attributed with memory-enhancing properties, but which is currently more widely used as a mild sedative and sleep aid. The current study involved an initial screening of samples of M. officinalis for human acetylcholinesterase inhibition and cholinergic receptor-binding properties. The most notable cognitive and mood effects were improved memory performance and increased ‘calmness’ at all post dose time points for the highest (1600 mg) dose.

Kennedy, D., Wake, G., Savelev, S. et al. Modulation of Mood and Cognitive Performance Following Acute Administration of Single Doses of Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) with Human CNS Nicotinic and Muscarinic Receptor-Binding Properties. Neuropsychopharmacol 28, 1871–1881 (2003).


Insomnia is a common problem, and herbs can be quite helpful and are much safer than most drugs for insomnia. Nutmeg is commonly known as a moderately potent herbs that primarily work by enhancing sleep architecture. In Ayurvedic medicine, nutmeg has long been used as a natural sleep aid. It has been researched that simply adding a small pinch of nutmeg to a warm glass of milk can help the body and mind to relax and prepare one for a good night's sleep.

Chamomile (Flower)

Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind. The dried flowers of chamomile contain many terpenoids and flavonoids, which contribute to its medicinal properties. Chamomile preparations are commonly used for many human ailments, including hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids. In this review, we describe the use of chamomile in traditional medicine with regard to evaluating its curative and preventive properties, and highlight recent findings that may contribute to its development as a therapeutic agent promoting human health.

Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future. Authors: Janmejai K. Srivastava, Eswar Shankar, Sanjay Gupta. Published online on: September 27, 2010. Pages: 895-901.

Kava Kava Extract

Today several extracts standardized in the biologically active constituents kavalactones are marketed both as herbal medicinal products for anxiety disorders and as dietary supplements to improve stress disorders, nervous tension and restlessness. Unlike other substances used for these purposes, kava-kava has been shown to have minimal negative effects, and possibly positive effects, on reaction time and cognitive processing. Furthermore, it decreases anxiety without the loss of mental acuity. Although kava-kava has been found to be very effective, well tolerated, and non-addictive at therapeutic dosages, potential side effects can occur when very high doses are taken for extended periods.

Anna Rita Bilia, Sandra Gallori, Franco F Vincieri, Kava-kava and anxiety: Growing knowledge about the efficacy and safety, Life Sciences, Volume 70, Issue 22, 2002, Pages 2581-2597, ISSN 0024-3205,