Long before there were antibiotics, hospitals or tranquilizers, people were turning to the curative powers found in herbs and other natural remedies. Modern researchers have studied many of these compounds, and have found solid scientific evidence for the centuries-old claims made about their ability to relieve ailments and promote health. Here’s a look at some herb-based methods that are used by those who need help sleeping. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying any of these remedies.

Valerian – Mix two teaspoons of Valerian root with a teaspoon of honey and two cups of warm water. Drink just after dinner, and then make a second batch to drink just before bed. Valerian has long been recognized in folk medicine for its relaxing and sleep-inducing properties, with some saying it’s every bit as effective as the best innerspring mattress money can buy.

Young Pine or Fir Needles – This is another highly recommended tea for inducing sleep. Add a cup of boiling water to 1 teaspoon of washed and chopped fir needles. Steep for about two minutes, then strain the mixture and add a teaspoon of honey. Drink slowly, enjoying the flavor.

Oats – They’re not just for horses, you know. They’re best when eaten as that classic breakfast food oatmeal. They come in quick serve pouches and in a variety of yummy flavors. Adding some low fat milk or reduced calorie spread will give them a richer texture, and honey or sugar will sweeten their taste. Oats are full of melatonin, a natural sleep aid.

Passion Flower – Widely used in Europe to reduce anxiety, ease back pain and induce sleep. To one tablespoon of the dried herb, including stems, add a cup of boiling water and steep for ten minutes. Drink at bedtime.

Again, be sure to check with your health care professional before trying any of the above remedies. With hundreds of years of wisdom affirming these herbs’ relaxing powers, chances are that one of them may very well help you find the sleep you crave.