Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia: A Comprehensive Guide

Thyme Essential Oil

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Brad (Ontario) on 01/23/2023

Thyme is great for stress and anxiety, which contribute to insomnia. Can be taken internally and externally, do research first before taking internally or if your on medications. Mix some thyme oil with a carrier because its a HOT oil and a mucous membrane irritant, mix with almond or jojoba or a good quality carrier oil and rub on chest and neck and shoulders before going to bed. Can be brewed into a tea with the dried herb and used in cooking.

Replied by mr black

Thyme tea for insomnia

Thyme can be consumed in tea form to help with sleep issues.

Turmeric and Milk Thistle

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Isabelle (Weirton, WV) on 01/13/2008

I just happened upon a site praising the benefits of turmeric and milk thistle; bought both and started taking them at the same time, so I don't know which of them (maybe both) is having this effect, but I feel like I'm twenty again (I'm 70). I sleep better and just generally have a better feeling of well-being. No better skin tone, or even anything noticeable, other than sleeping better.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Betty (Florida) on 03/07/2019

Valerian helps me sleep at night, deeper+ longer.

Occasionally I also take tryptophan along with valerian once or twice a month if I am stressed out. I take a valerian capsule around 8pm, about 2 hours after dinner. Not too early and not too late.

Valerian Root

8 User Reviews
5 star (5) 
1 star (3) 

Posted by Ray (Cleveland, North Carolina) on 07/02/2015

I started using valerian root capsules when I couldn't fall asleep several years back. A 500mg capsule worked ok for me. Usually takes me about half an hour after ingestion. Recently, I've found that drinking 1 teaspoon valerian root powder an hour or 2 before I asleep works really well. I'm able to fall asleep quick and sleep through the night.

In general, I've found that ingesting powdered herbs works faster and better than taking capsules. Not sure exactly why. Maybe it's being slowly absorbed by my body as I sip drinks instead of all the dosage at once. Make sure you mix it with some kind of fruit or sweetener. It smells like feet but doesn't taste bad.

Valerian Root
Posted by Jennywren (Perth, Western Australia, Australia) on 06/01/2013

YAY. I'm not sure about Valerian Root, but I swallow one Valerian capsule (from the chemist) if I have trouble getting to sleep and it works great for me.

Valerian Root
Posted by Saskia (TKPK, MD, USA) on 10/15/2008

I just started taking Valerian Capsules (500 mg) right before going to bed for my insomnia, and it works GREAT!! I used to not be able to fall asleep until 4 am, and was always sleepy and groggy when I woke up no matter how many hours of sleep I got. The first night I took one capsule at 11:30, and although I did fall asleep, I woke up around 2:30, and was unable to fall back asleep until I took another capsule an hour later. However, last night I took two capsules before going to sleep, at around midnight, and I fell asleep, slept through the night, and woke up at 7:30 (my alarm was set for 8:30!!) feeling awake and refreshed. I wasn't groggy and when I woke up I was ready to get out of bed- which is usually never the case!

So from now on I will be taking 1000 mg of Valerian Root every night for about a month, and then I'll see if I can sleep on a regular schedule without it. Now I'm not sleepy in my morning classes anymore! I highly recommend it- and I'm so happy I found a natural remedy for insomnia, I love this website! (I found Vegetarian Valerian Root capsules in the GNC section of my RiteAid, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find for anyone else) Good luck!

Replied by Susanp
(Melbourne, Vic)

In my experience, nothing works like NOW food's melatonin. But other brands are good too. To anybody that's on the fence, definitely go and buy melatonin. At least give it a try.

Valerian Root
Posted by Erynn (New Haven, Connecticut) on 03/11/2008


Valerian Root as a sleep aid. WARNING: this does not work for everyone...and DO NOT MIX WITH ANTI-AXIETY OR ANTIDEPRESSANTS... I found this out the hardway. I frequently get insomnia and a friend suggest the valerian root. I called my mother and she agreed I should try it. I was up all night, and not only that, I went into a psychotic rage, cried hysterically and drove off to my job in this state. Luckily my husband found me! I later looked up interactions online and found that when mixed with anti-depreess-or anxiety medicines, this can happen. I was taking Xanax at thet ime, although I had not taken any that day, it must have still be in my system (I take on an as need basis).

Also, 1/3 of people using valerian root tend to feel suicidal. This works great for some people, just be careful!! and please, don't take it alone.

Replied by Alex
(Birmingham, Michigan)

First of all, I love Earthclinic! Thank you so much Deidre, Ted and anyone else who puts effort in making this site the wonder that it is.

I have a bit of feedback on Valerian Root (tea and liquid capsules). It did not work for me. I have had trouble sleeping due to anxiety. I have tried many other things (warm milk, magnesiun, bentonite clay, etc.), unfortunately, none of them seem to work for me. I believe that my level of anxiety is too high, (I have a big exam coming up and worry about not doing well) therefore I just cannot sleep. I can usually cope well with the anxiety during the day (I usually do oil pulling, take Ted's pH drink (baking soda/sea salt, etc.)). Also for the anxiety, L-Theanine (about 600 mg 3X/day) has been very helpful. Does anyone have any suggestions for the insomnia?

Thanks in advance!

Replied by rsyoon
(Guirae, Korea)

Any valerian preps didn't work for me, even after several months' use, not only that it induced almost constant irregular heart rhythm, like trigeminy and palpitation. Didn't realize what caused this crazy rhythm until I ran out of valerian for a more than a month when that uncomfortable rhythm problem disappeared. This hard lesson could have been learned had I google-searched before venturing out for herbs.

Replied by Tina
(Salinas, California)

this is very good to know...i am taking valerian in a menopause formula for my premenopause symptoms.. i am taking magnesium and more natural sleep aids like 5htp. very hard to stay asleep..i've been taking right before bed..i really don't know how much to take of each!

Valerian Root
Posted by Ralph (Mountain City,TN)

When I'm having trouble with sleep, I take valerian root capsules.

Valerian Root
Posted by Joella (NYC)

Half a dropper of valerian root and half a dropper of lobelia in a little water 15 minutes before bed does wonders for my sleep. It also induces intense dreaming!

Vetiver Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sarah (Montreal) on 11/29/2017

Vetiver oil should be on the list for insomnia remedies! It's the main natural remedy I use for a restful sleep. It relaxes me so much and eases all those crazy thoughts that come up that prevent sleep from happening. I diffuse it at night or put some on the back of my neck. Combine it with lavender oil and its even better! :)

Vitamin B Complex

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Brad (Cobourg, Ontario) on 11/02/2022

Vitamin B complex for insomnia and stress

Take B complex vitamins to help with insomnia. Sleep disturbances can be the result of B vitamin deficiency. B vitamins are really good for stress relief, too. I take a quality brand from Genestra that has all the B vitamins and find I sleep better when I take it during the day.

When I stop taking the B vitamins the sleep problems seems to return, hope this helps.

Vitamin B-3

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rick (Sorocaba, Brazil) on 01/19/2011

I have suffered from insomnia since I was a teenager (I'm 34 now), going to bed has always been my least favorite time of the day because I would roll over for hours, it was horrible. I have tried many things such as melatonin, prescription drugs, Cannabis (illegal where I live, not good), certain teas, alcohol, etc. All were either Not effective, or created other problems in the long run. I also tried common sense approaches such as reading, warm milk, warm baths, skin brushing, etc etc etc... Nothing worked.

However for a month now I have been sleeping like a baby and the solution came in as a surprise since I'm taking it for something else other than insomnia: niacin (vitamin B3), in the form if nicotinic acid (B3 in the Niacinamide Form didn't work). Wow! Now I take it and I get that heavy feeling on my eye lids, and after a while I start yawning. Once that happens I just go to bed and voila!

Be careful though: nicotinic acid will make you flush, and if you don't know what that is it can be scary. So please do your homework and Research Doses and possible side effects so you know what to expect. Start on the low side until you get a nice flush (after awhile you will enjoy the warm feeling, and your skin won't itch as badly). As an extra bonus my skin feels and looks amazing, everybody comments on my Complexion Now! I'm also much calmer and no longer depressed (reason why I tool it in the first place). Very interesting positive side effects! I hear it will also lower bad Cholesterol and increase the good kind. Beware of side effects of you have liver issues, or is on medication. Amazing! But again, do you homework first.

Best part: this stuff is cheap, over the counter, and needed by the body anyway (without it you develop pellagra. Some bread is enriched with it, but not in orthomolecular amounts). I'm taking about 3 grams a day.

Vitamin D

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Mister (EUSSR) on 11/18/2022

High vitamin D can lead to terrible insomnia and, secondary to that, exacerbate all your symptoms.

Vitamin D
Posted by Kathi (New Brunswick, NJ) on 02/07/2009

I developed severe insomnia last winter (nov 07) and went through quite a trial for months, with none of the many things I tried helping much except some tips on how to improve sleep habits through cognitive behavioral therapy. I was doing better May-Oct 08 then all of a sudden the same severe insomnia symptom was back in full force. Last month I decided to try vitamin D3 2000 IU/day, after reading so many recent articles about the importance of this sunshine vitamin. I chose tablets with D3 source from lanolin, since I am allergic to fish. Within a week I was sleeping soundly at night, and I am continuing to sleep well. In retrospect, it is likely that I became more susceptible to vit. D deficiency after I became lactose intolerant and stopped drinking milk.

Replied by Sonja
(Veghel, Netherlands)


When do you take the Vit D, during the day/morning of right before bed? And, is it still working?

Replied by Kathi
(New Brunswick, Nj)

It has now been 3 years since I started the vitamin D. Yes I still take it, and yes it still works! In fact my winters have been much much healthier since. I take 4000 iu D3 most mornings. also vit c, krill oil, probiotic, 1-2drops of lugols. 200 mg magnesium citrate near bedtime. I make fresh green veggie juice most days too, regular walking and yoga. Sleeping soundly most nights and waking up ready for the day. Feel like I am finally living my life, not just dragging through it.

Replied by Canadian Dave
15 posts

I find that taking vitamin D prevents sleep unless taken only in the morning. B vitamin complex I have to take only in the morning too.

Vitamins D and B Complex

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by GertJr (Madison) on 03/30/2021

I have a question about vitamin D. I was reading 'Right Sleep' and the doc there says get B12 and Vit D blood tests. It's a pricy program, so I just did the blood test. My b12 was great, right in the middle of the range. My D3 was also right in the middle of the range, but my D2 was at the bottom, not even reading an exact number, simply <4. Does this matter at all? I've always read that D3 is what you want, but I'm thinking everything matters and should be in a good range. Should I do anything? and, if so, what?

I must say, since I started supplementing with D and B complex, I've been sleeping much better. How do I get all my numbers in the good range?

Replied by Tessa

Hi GertJr -

That's a really good question! I found this article very informative:

Vitamin D3 is only found in animal-sourced foods, whereas D2 mainly comes from plant sources and fortified foods (it's cheaper to produce).

Vitamin D3 appears to be better than D2 at improving vitamin D status.

You can also get Vitamin D3 through sun exposure on your bare skin. The further you are away from the equator, the harder it is to get proper D3 levels from sun exposure alone.

If your total Vitamin D levels are in the optimal range, I wouldn't worry about the breakdown between D3 and D2 (none of my tests had a Vitamin D2 category - just D3).

Hope that helps!