Been a bit of an insomniac my whole life. I’m not sure why that is, and it’s not a constant thing although the bouts of sleeplessness seem to be closer together the older I get. I’ve tried numerous remedies, some with great success and some – well, not so much. Lately I’ve been “test driving” some catmint tincture I made from the herb that grows in my garden. The original plant came from my mother’s herb garden, and I took it home and put it in my raised vegetable bed, the only place in my yard with decent soil.
When I first got the plant this spring, I chewed a few leaves every now and then, and I did notice it’s pretty good at taking the edge off a bout of stress. After a busy, overworked day when I couldn’t seem to unplug, I found it pretty useful. A little potent for chewing, bitter and an overall strange mint taste I can’t quite describe, I liked it enough to try tincturing some.
As a tincture, the minty weirdness is even more evident, but with a few dropperfuls in a little demitasse cup with some water is actually quite good; minty, a little sweet, like a mild iced tea. That first night I slept like I haven’t in a long time. I woke in the morning certain it was the first time I’d opened my eyes all night. Wow, that felt great! I’ve been using catmint every night for the last few weeks, and I still have pretty good results. I do wake up occasionally to roll over most nights, and the tincture was no match for two nights of rough thunderstorms this past weekend, complete with terrified toddler, but what is?
One nice thing about catmint and most other herbs with sedative effects is that you don’t wake up feeling groggy. They’re not drug-like. Valerian, if taken as a tea before bed, may just knock you flat and make you feel “out of it”. But I haven’t experienced that with catmint. I tried taking it about an hour before bed and never felt funny or dizzy, but once asleep I stay asleep. I’ve used catmint tea off and on for a few years now, but in my experience the effects of the tincture are superior to tea.
And yes, catmint is actually catnip. Just don’t tell kitty you’re dipping into her stash for a little sleepy time help. I really don’t think she’d understand.