Modern living and the current stresses within a recession can leave us frazzled and yearning for a good night's sleep. Popular commercial preparations containing valerian have brought herbal sedatives to public attention but medical herbalists have long since prescribed a host of other equally useful and effective remedies. One of these is Californian poppy. It helps with sleeplessness, anxiety, nervous tension, nerve pain and headache. It is also a valuable remedy in treating physical and psychological problems in children, often considered in the treatment of bedwetting, over-excitability or where the child is experiencing difficulty in sleeping. Although it is not considered the herb of choice in depression, it is very useful in addressing insomnia, anxiety and restlessness that can accompany depressive states. The herb is best taken at bedtime, usually as a soothing tea or a tincture, often in combination with other sedating and relaxing herbs such as valerian, hops, passion flower, lemon balm or chamomile.
Contact the NIMH (http://www.nimh.org.uk/) for advice on taking herbs for insomnia or for any other condition. Never self-medicate without professional advice from a fully qualified and registered practitioner and always consult your GP if prescription drugs are already being taken for an existing condition.