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Discover how to grow your own sleep-promoting herbs and veggies this summer.
*grow your own* sleep-sational herbs and veggies

Have you ever thought about how the food you eat can impact your sleep quality?

With so much weigh being placed on the importance of avoiding caffeine and heavy meals ahead of the bedtime wind-down, we bet you didn’t realise that working some sleep-sational herbs and vegetables into your day-to-day diet can also help you sleep better. And the best bit? You can grow them yourself. So long as you’ve got a bit of outdoor space or room for a window box or two!

Oh, you also need to be a-okay with getting your hands dirty too. Worth a mention!

In this guide, we'll walk you through some herbs and veggies that are known for their sleep-promoting capabilities. Plus, we’ll give you some great tips on how to grow them at home. And all of this is so you that you can enjoy a restful night's sleep on your lovely eve mattress. After nourishing your body with some seriously lovely goodness, might we add! Scroll on to learn more.

the link between diet and sleep

Research indicates that there are certain foods and nutrients available that have some sway on our sleep patterns (1). And just by working some sleep-supporting ingredients into your daily meals and snacks, you may be able to improve your sleep.

Herbs and veggies are a diet staple. They help to give us our necessary daily dose of vitamins, minerals, and compounds that are needed to promote better health all-round.

But what are they? And can we really grow our own supply? Let’s find out! 

herbs and vegetables to grow at home

1. chamomile

Chamomile is one of the most well-known herbs (yes – it is classed as a herb!) when it comes to promoting relaxation and sleep (1). Chamomile contains the antioxidant apigenin. And it is this antioxidant that binds to specific receptors in the brain that helps with reducing feelings of anxiety.

And chamomile can be grown right here in the UK! Two varieties of chamomile do particularly well in the Great British garden. Those being the common chamomile (or the Chamaemelum nobile) and the German chamomile (or Matricaria recutita). And they’ll grow happily whether you plant them in the ground, in raised beds, or even in plant pots! Providing you have a sunny spot in your garden or a sunny window for the chamomile to thrive on or in, it should be pretty fuss-free to care for (2).

Treat yourself to a chamomile tea before bedtime or try adding some fresh chamomile leaves into salads or desserts for a tasty treat that might help you sleep.

2. lavender

Lavender is also quite widely used to promote a good night’s sleep. Its scent has been proven have the ability to lower heart rate and blood pressure, thus it’s great for helping us to relax before diving under the duvet.

And lavender can make a striking and fragrant addition to UK gardens or window boxes too. Providing your soil is free draining – and if it’s not, mix in some gravel to make it so – it should grow pretty well with minimal tending to needed (3).

What’s more, lavender can be used in several different ways to give your diet a sleep-sational boost. Add dried lavender flowers to baked goods, infuse them into syrups and sauces, or steep them in hot water to make yourself a calming herbal tea to sip at bedtime.

3. valerian

Valerian – more specifically the roots of Valerian – has been used as a natural remedy for insomnia and sleep complaints for a long, long time (4). Valerian root contains compounds that can increase the levels of the neuro transmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which helps to promote relaxation leading to sleepiness.

And – every gardener’s dream – Valerian is hardy! This herbaceous perennial produces sweet-scented pinky-white flowers and is completely happy in well-drained soil. Experts suggest that you should dig the roots up to use for sleep in either spring or autumn. You’ll then want to dry them out full though some warn that it’s best to dry these outside as they smell pretty strongly of wet socks (5). Yuck!

Once dried, you can grind the valerian root into a powder for use in smoothies or DIY capsules. Or you can brew it into a tea for a warm bedtime drink.

4. spinach

Spinach is one of those nutritional powerhouse foods. And given that it’s rich in magnesium, it can help to support healthier sleep. Magnesium is key for regulating the neurotransmitters involved in sleep (including GABA and melatonin).

Plus, it’s super easy to grow here in the UK! Plant seeds in your raised beds or plant pots and quite soon, you’ll have your very own crop. If you’re planning on creating a crop of spinach this summer, it can be sown outside from early spring to the middle of June (6).

And you probably don’t need any tips for adding spinach to your diet from us. But in case you do, you can add some fresh spinach leaves to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Or, why not sauté them (with some garlic if you’re a fan) and serve them as a nutritious and delicious side dish with your evening meal.

how to cultivate your sleep-sational herb and veggie patch

Now that you’re aware of what sleep-promoting herbs and vegetables can be grown in your own back yard, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in!

Whether it’s a backyard garden, a sunny balcony, or just a few pots on a windowsill, growing your own sleep-supporting ingredients is possible. But here are a few quick tips to get you started:

  • Choose the right spot. First of all, find a sunny spot in your home or garden. As a general rule, you’ll want to make sure that your sleep-promoting plants get a good 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.
  • Prep the soil. Free-draining, nutrient-rich soil is ideal for giving your plants the foundation they need to not only survive, but thrive. You can use either compost or organic matter to help to improve the soil structure and fertility.
  • Plant with care. Whether you’re starting your garden from seed, or buying a young or mature plant, it’s always best to follow the guidelines outlined. Spacing guidelines and planting depths vary from one herb or vegetable to the next and should be adhered to it you want to optimise both growth and yield.
  • Look after them. Remember to water your plants on a regular basis. Ideally, you want to keep the soil moist but be careful not to overwater the plants.
  • Harvest thoughtfully. When your herbs and veggies are ready to harvest, you can grab some on an as and when needed basis. Do this using sharp scissors or pruning shears to minimise the risk of damaging your plant. And be sure to clean them between plants to avoid transferring any disease or pest during the harvesting process.
  • Dine for sleep. Add your homegrown fresh herbs and vegetables to your daytime or evening meals to take advantage of their sleep-promoting properties. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen either. Try new recipes and flavour combos to curate your own personal sleep -promoting recipe list.


can I grow sleep-promoting herbs and vegetables indoors?
Absolutely. There are lots of herbs and veggies that can be grown indoors as long as they get enough sunshine and water. If you want to grow any of the plants listed above indoors, find a sunny windowsill, or invest in a UV light bulb to get them off to a great start.

how long does it take for herbs and vegetables to grow from seed to harvest?
In short, it can vary. Ultimately, how long it will take depends on the plant species and the growing conditions. Some herbs – e.g. basil and coriander – can be harvested within a few weeks or so of planting. And vegetables – like spinach or lettuce - may take several weeks more to be ready for harvesting.

do herbs and vegetables for sleep need any special care or maintenance?
While herbs and vegetables that help to promote sleep do have specific growing requirements, generally speaking they don’t have any special care or maintenance needs. Give them enough sunlight and water; ensure the soil is free-draining, and keep an eye out for pests or diseases on a regular basis.

sleep-sational herbs and veggies: our conclusion

It isn’t too difficult to start growing your own herbs and vegetables. And if you start now, pretty soon you’ll be able to eat delicious homegrown produce and support healthy sleep habits at the same time.

Whether you stew them into a calming mug of herbal tea, add them in their raw form to a salad, or cook them into your dinner, these plant-based ingredients could help you to relax ahead of a restful night's sleep.

And something else that’s essential for getting a good night’s kip is your bed and mattress. Perhaps it’s time you invested in a new one? Especially if yours is nearing 8 years old+. So while you’re here, why not take a peek at our collection of bedroom bundles.