Is herbal medicine effective in improving sleep quality?
According to a recent review published in 2019^ concluded that Chinese medicine herbs were more effective than placebo treatments in improving sleep quality and insomnia. This is good news! In combination with acupuncture, it may be even more effective!
Herbal medicine has been used traditionally for thousands of years and we need to keep in mind that not one size shoe fits all, herbs are prescribed according to the individual person's signs and symptoms meaning that one patient with insomnia will most likely get different herbs to another patient with insomnia. There are herbs that traditionally are more effective for maintenance insomnia (find it hard to stay asleep) as opposed to onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) as well.
It may prove difficult to conduct evidence based research and to adopt modern research methods such as randomised clinical trials to prove just how effective herbal medicine is for the general population on the basis of each individual is given different herbs. A consultation with a qualified and experienced herbalist or Chinese medicine practitioner would be highly recommended for this reason.
So, if you're looking for an alternative to conventional medicine for improving your sleep quality, you might want to consider trying herbal medicine (and acupuncture)!
For more information, please look at sleephealthfoundation.org.au
^Zhang, H., Liu, P., Wu, X., Zhang, Y., & Cong, D. (2019). Effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine for patients with primary insomnia: A PRISMA-compliant meta-analysis. Medicine, 98(24),e15967.