Insomnia Anxiety, caffeine, and stress are prime contributors to insomnia. Overexposure to electronics, especially during the hour before bedtime, is another major culprit. Be sure to address these factors while using herbal remedies that promote sleep. Valerian Tea with Hops and Passionflower Makes 1 cup Valerian, hops, and passionflower combine to create a soothing blend that eases tension and anxiety while promoting deep, restful sleep. 1 cup boiling water 1 teaspoon chopped dried valerian root ½ teaspoon crushed dried hops ½ teaspoon dried passionflower Pour the boiling water into a large mug. Add the dried herbs, cover the mug, and allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes. Relax and drink the tea slowly. Repeat each night before bedtime, during periods of time when insomnia is an issue. Precautions Do not give hops to prepubescent children of either gender. Do not use passionflower if you have prostate problems or baldness. Do not use during pregnancy. Chamomile-Catnip Syrup Makes 2 cups 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. While chamomile and catnip are both deeply relaxing herbs, this recipe is mild enough for children to take when occasional sleeplessness keeps them wide awake. This syrup stays fresh for up to 6 months when stored in the refrigerator. 1 ounce dried chamomile 1 ounce dried catnip 2 cups water 1 cup honey In a saucepan, combine the chamomile, catnip, and water. Bring the liquid to a simmer over low heat, cover partially with a lid, and reduce the liquid by half. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a glass measuring cup, then pour the mixture through a dampened piece of cheesecloth back into the saucepan, wringing the cheesecloth until no more liquid comes out. Add the honey and warm the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly and stopping when the temperature reaches 105°F to 110°F. Pour the syrup into a sterilized jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator. Take 1 tablespoon orally 30 minutes before bed. Children under age 12 should take 1 teaspoon 30 minutes before bedtime. Precautions Do not use catnip during pregnancy. Do not use chamomile if you are allergic to plants in the ragweed family or if you take prescription blood thinners.