Herbs to Boost Melatonin - How to help get a better night's sleep the natural way

Herbs to Boost Melatonin - How to help get a better night's sleep the natural way

If you're experiencing sleep difficulties, you've probably come across the terms serotonin and melatonin quite often. Before delving into the herbs that can enhance melatonin production, let's take a moment to grasp the significance of serotonin and melatonin in regulating sleep.

Understanding the roles of serotonin and melatonin can help improve sleep issues in several ways. 

Serotonin simply is a neurotransmitter that the body uses to make its own melatonin. This hormone with other hormones is responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle, it helps decide when you sleep, how much, and the quality of sleep. By understanding the role of serotonin, one can focus on activities and habits that promote its production, such as regular exercise, exposure to natural light, and maintaining a balanced diet. This can help improve overall mood and sleep quality.

Melatonin is also a hormone that is involved in your ability to sleep, it plays a significant role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. By understanding how melatonin production is influenced by factors such as light exposure, one can make adjustments to their environment to promote healthy sleep patterns. This includes minimising exposure to bright lights, especially blue light emitted by electronic devices, close to bedtime. It can also involve creating a sleep-friendly environment by ensuring the bedroom is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.

Understanding the roles of serotonin and melatonin can also help you make informed decisions regarding the use of supplements or natural remedies that can boost melatonin levels. This could include herbs like St John's Wort, Black Pepper, Valerian root, chamomile, or Passionflower, which have been found to have calming effects and promote sleep. By incorporating these herbs into your routine, in my experience you will have improved sleep quality and better overall sleep health.

While herbs that are used to increase serotonin production are well known, the role this hormone plays in sleep is not as common. Why? Serotonin is also known to enhance mood or reduce depression while at the same time aiding in helping one sleep.

Thankfully, many medicinal herbs help boost melatonin levels in the body offering us safe and effective solutions for sleep problems..

Herbs to Boost Melatonin:

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Now, when it comes to St. John’s Wort, it tends to work in a few ways. It is used as a treatment for depression but it also contains melatonin. While it primarily affects serotonin levels in the brain, it may indirectly influence melatonin production as well. Since serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, it is possible that the increase in serotonin levels caused by St. John's Wort could indirectly affect melatonin production. Higher serotonin levels may promote the synthesis of melatonin, which could potentially improve sleep quality. 
Rather than buy St John's wort in supplement form I prefer to drink it as a tea. It simple to make. Take your tea infuser and add 2 teaspoons of dried St. John’s Wort flowers and leaves in the infuser. Put the infuser in the cup, add hot water, and allow it to steep for 10 minutes

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis)

Valerian root has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for sleep disorders. It can help increase the production of melatonin, leading to improved sleep quality. 

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Hops isn’t only for brewing beer, it is also a potent sedative that is an outstanding remedy for sleep issues and anxiety. Hops boosts the production of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a calming brain chemicalWhat’s more, hops lowers body temperature, thereby encouraging relaxation and increased sleep time. Hops combines beautifully with Valerian offering a potent duo for deep restorative sleep.

German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chamomile is a popular herb known for gently calming the nervous system and easing stress. It can help relax the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Chamomile also contains apigenin, a compound that can stimulate the production of melatonin.


Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Passionflower helps with a variety of health concerns. It is commonly used for insomnia, ADHD, and anxiety. It helps increase the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and sleep. This, in turn, can boost melatonin levels in the body.


Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm is a herb that has a calming effect on the nervous system. It can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, leading to better sleep. Lemon balm also contains compounds that can increase the production of melatonin.



Lavender is widely known for its relaxing and soothing properties. It can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm, making it easier to fall asleep. Lavender can also increase the production of melatonin in the body.


Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Another herb that you may be surprised contains melatonin is black pepper. A recent study tested the leaves of the black pepper plant (Piper nigrum) and found that it contains melatonin. Now, black pepper leaves are not something that is easily found but you can find culinary black pepper everywhere. While adding this spice to your food is a great start, another approach is to make golden milk. 
Golden milk is simple to make and combines the benefit of tryptophan with black pepper to help you sleep. To begin this recipe, heat up 1 cup of dairy milk. Once warm but not scolding, add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ½-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger, and a pinch of black pepper (to taste) At this point, keep the heat low under the simmering milk and steep for several minutes. After the milk has been steeped, remove it from the heat, take out the ginger root, and add honey to taste. Whisk so that all the ingredients are incorporated into the milk. Serve hot or cold.
While the herbs and recipes mentioned above can help with sleep, there are other things that can be done to complement the production of melatonin and improve sleep.
Here are a few suggestions
  1.  Get sunlight exposure during the day: Exposing yourself to natural light in the morning can help regulate your body's internal clock and promote melatonin production later in the day. Try to spend some time outdoors or near a window in the morning.
  2. Limit technology use in the evening: The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with melatonin production and disrupt sleep. It's beneficial to take a break from screens at least an hour before bedtime to allow your body to naturally wind down.
  3. Create a sleep-friendly environment: Dim the lights in the evening to signal to your body that it's time to relax. Additionally, keeping your bedroom cool can mimic the natural coolness of the evening, which can promote better sleep. Consider adjusting the temperature or using a fan or air conditioner to create a comfortable sleep environment.
  4. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can support the natural production of melatonin and enhance your sleep quality.
  5. Remember, everyone's sleep needs are different, so it's important to find what works best for you.It's important to note that while these herbs can be beneficial for promoting better sleep, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into your routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medication.
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