Passionflower for Sleep

If you’ve ever been in bed struggling to sleep, you know how stressful the entire ordeal can be. Not only are you missing out on vital rest, you get increasingly frustrated the longer it takes to fall asleep. Sleep is crucially important for overall health, and having issues falling or staying asleep can turn your entire life upside down. 

Luckily, there are many natural supplements that are non-habit forming and effective. Passionflower has become a common botanical to enhance sleep quality and promote calmness for many people who have sleep issues. Let’s learn about why and the best ways to integrate passionflower into your regimen.

Why is passionflower for sleep popular?

Passionflower grows on a vine in South America and in some parts of the United States. Known for its beautiful and vibrant colors like purple, red, and blue. 

Since the 16th century, passionflower has been used medicinally for a variety of ailments, including anxiety, insomnia, pain, spasms, and seizures.  Passionflower targets the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which is responsible for inhibiting excitation that leads to restlessness or nervous tension. Through its anti-anxiety and sedative effects, it also gently improves one’s mood and quiets the mind.

Given these actions of calming and soothing, passionflower is an ideal choice to improve your sleep quality

Passionflower sleep aid dosage

For those who use passionflower as a sleep remedy, the dosages range according to the preparation. For a medicinal tea infusion, in which passionflower is infused for a period of time to extract the active properties, 6-10 grams is recommended per dose. Passionflower tea has been used for centuries to improve sleep quality. 

By comparison, in tincture form (liquid extract) 1-3ml at a strength of 1:3 is ideal with 45% ethanol. The most common method of taking passionflower, however, is encapsulated forms with dosages ranging from 200-400mg. 

At Remrise, passionflower is dosed at 200 mg on day three and seven of your rotational sleep supplementation. It is paired with hops, another botanical that is known to relax nervous tension and promote rest. These ingredients work synergistically alongside two powerhouse amino acids, L-tryptophan and L-theanine, to optimize sleep throughout the night. 

Other passionflower benefits

Passionflower is not only used to improve sleep quality, it can alleviate a number of other conditions, including menopause and epilepsy.

Some studies have shown that participants felt relief of menopause symptoms by taking passionflower. Some of the non-sleep related symptoms were: depression, headaches, and anger.

For epilepsy, studies have shown that patients found an increase in time between seizures and shorter duration after taking passionflower. 

Passionflower side effects

As with any herbal supplement, there is a possibility of experiencing acute side effects. Passionflower is a sedating relaxant, some symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Since passionflower is used as a sleep aid, it is natural that it would make you sleepy.

If you take other sleep prescription medications, you should ask your doctor before introducing passionflower into your diet. 

Varieties of passionflower

There are over 500 types of passionflower in the world. Only certain species have medicinal properties. Passiflora incarnata is the type used to treat both insomnia and anxiety. 

Native Americans used passionflower to treat several types of conditions. Some of the most common ailments were earaches, boils, wounds, and liver problems. In Europe, there were different types of passionflower vine remedies. This flower was used to treat agitation as well as restlessness. Some of the most common varieties of passionflower are:

Maypop passionflower: 

These are called “May-pop” because if you step on their fruit, they might actually pop loudly against the ground. This is one of the hardiest varieties. This type of passionflower is native to Texas. This is the only native passionflower vine to the United States. 

Blue passionflower: 

These are similar to the Maypop, but this type of passionflower produces fruit. More sensitive to cold than the Maypop, Blue passionflower only grows in the warmer parts of the United States. 

Red passionflower: 

This large variety has striking white and purple filaments that cover the edge of red petals. This species also produces fruit that can be as large as a football. 

Scarlet passionflower: 

You can bring this type of passionflower indoors to survive the winter. This species is a favorite among hummingbirds and butterflies. 

Purple passionflower: 

A lavender color, the petals of this type of passionflower look like crimped hair. This is another species that can be found from Pennsylvania all the way down to the southern states. 

Which variety of passionflower are most common in supplements?

Since there are so many different species of passionflower, which ones are the most common to use in supplements? The answer is simple: The Maypop. Any supplement that you see is going to have Maypop as the ingredient.

Passionflower for anxiety

The passionflower dosage can vary depending on why you are using the supplement. 

Since GABA affects your mood, many individuals suffering from anxiety try passionflower. You can take a larger amount of passionflower for anxiety. Adults can take up to 90 mg each day to help lessen anxiety. 

While there is lots of anecdotal success stories for using passionflower to treat anxiety because of its anxiolytic effects, the available studies are mixed as to its benefits. 

There is some evidence that passionflower may alleviate the symptoms of anxiety disorder, which can commonly cause sleep disturbances. However, more well-designed clinical studies will have to be conducted to validate its use as a treatment for anxiety disorder. 

Can pregnant women take passionflower supplements?

No. Passionflower is known to stimulate contractions of the uterus in pregnant women. 

There isn’t substantiated information about the effects of passionflower on breastfeeding women. So, it’s best that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid this herbal remedy. 

Why should you take passionflower instead of over the counter sleep aids?

When you’re struggling with your sleep, over-the-counter (OTC) medication can seem like a good solution. However, your body can build a tolerance to these medications quickly, meaning that you might feel compelled to increase your dose to achieve its effects.

These types of medication are also very dangerous because you can become dependent on your pills. It’s also worth noting that no prescription sleep aids have shown clinical efficacy for extended periods of time. In fact the opposite has been demonstrated in some clinical trials where prescription and OTC sleep aids were found to have diminishing efficacy over time.

Is passionflower only available in a dried form?

Many people take passionflower in the form of an herbal tea. The dried flowers can be steeped in near-boiling water just like a normal loose leaf tea. However, this isn’t the only way that you can take this herbal medicine.

You can take passionflower supplements, a fluid extract, or even an alcohol-extracted  tincture. There are many options that you can choose from if you choose to introduce passionflower into your daily routine. 

Is passionflower right for me?

This is an answer you’ll have to decide on your own. There are many people that find success with passionflower, and then there are other individuals that need different supplements. 

You will find the best quality sleep with a supplement that has many different effective ingredients. Your body can adjust to any sleep remedy, so it’s normal to cycle through different options to avoid tolerance. 

You deserve a good night’s sleep

Whether you choose to take passionflower or not, you have options. Better sleep is around the corner.

You can start with a low dose of passionflower blended with like ingredients for your specific sleep needs. Take the Remrise quiz to learn what blend is best for your sleep profile.