News - Passionflower found to improve sleep quality
Passionflower is a popular herbal remedy, traditionally used for relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as mild anxiety. However, a recent trial carried out in Australia suggests that this beautiful herb’s mild sedative effect may also be helpful for improving sleep quality.
To carry out the trial, the researcher recruited 41 healthy volunteers aged 18-35 without extreme sleep problems. The participants were then divided into two groups with one group receiving a daily dose of passionflower one hour before bed and the other group receiving a dummy treatment.
Participants were asked to keep a sleep diary for the seven-day treatment period and were also asked to complete a Spielberger's state-trait anxiety inventory on the seventh morning. Ten participants also underwent overnight polysomnography - a comprehensive recording of the physical and biological changes that occur during sleep,on the last night of each treatment period. After a one-week wash out period, the active and dummy treatment groups were swapped over to check the results could be replicated.
Of the six sleep diary measures analysed, sleep quality showed a significantly better rating for passionflower compared with the dummy treatment. Commenting on their results the researchers wrote: “These initial findings suggest that the consumption of a low dose of Passiflora incarnata… yields short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality.”
Ngan A, Conduit R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytother Res. 2011. 25(8):1153-9.