Sweet Dreams Sleep Tincture Recipe

homemade tincture to help kids sleep better

This sleep tincture recipe is another of my favorite homemade tinctures, made from some of my favorite herbs. We don’t have to use it often, but when one of the kids is sick, or we are traveling and their schedules are crazy, this natural tincture helps them sleep peacefully.

This recipe is good for adults too, if you struggle with insomnia or anxiety. It is a mildly and naturally relaxing and calming tincture that is great for sleep disturbances. All of the ingredients are available here and the minimum quantity available to order will make quarts of this tincture!

Sleep Tincture Ingredients

Sleep Tincture Instructions

  1. Put all herbs in glass jar
  2. Pour boiling water to just cover the herbs and mix well
  3. Fill the jar the rest of the way with vodka or rum alcohol (don’t use rubbing alcohol!)
  4. Cap with airtight lid and leave in cool, dark place for at least 2 and up to 8 weeks, shaking daily.
  5. After several weeks, strain the herbs out and store in small tincture bottles for use as needed.
  6. Normal dose is 2-3 droppers full for adults and 1 dropper full for kids over two.


Always ask a doctor before using any herbs, especially on children, if pregnant or if you have a medical condition

Where to Get Ingredients

I order all the ingredients that I don’t grow in my garden from Mountain Rose Herbs, which is the best source I’ve found, but you may be able to find some of these locally. Start with a very small dose, especially in children, as it typically works very well, even at low-doses.

Ever have trouble sleeping? What’s your remedy?

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Reader Interactions

Reader Comments

  1. i don’t remember if i have asked you before, but i’m guessing that using the alcohol is a must for the tincture…. does the alcohol remain in the product or is it considered “alcoholic”? i want to try this so bad!!!

    • It does contain the alcohol while it is in containers, though if
      alcohol is an issue, just put the amount of the tincture you are
      planning to take in water and leave on the counter for an hour or
      so… the alcohol will evaporate first, and it will just be a strong,
      water based tincture at that point.

        • Glycerin can be used in place of alcohol in any recipe, but it will have a much shorter shelf life (Ive been told within a few months at best). Using vodka, it is said – will have an indefinite shelf life.

  2. I would love to try this for my 8 year old daughter who is very restless & has a lot of trouble falling asleep…but she is also very picky, so I am wondering how this would taste?  Does it have an alcohol taste to it? I was also thinking of chamomile tincture.

    • most tinctures, after you drop them into a little water, wont really taste like anything. just be siure to put it in something or it will be rough!

  3. For those who don’t want to use alcohol you can use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (apple cider is my preference) instead of the vodka. When I give tinctures to my son I usually mix it in a little juice or in water so that it dilutes the strong taste.

  4. #3. Fill the jar the rest of the way with alcohol (don’t use rubbing or grain alcohol!) Okay, most of today’s hooch is ethanol, or grain alcohol. So for clarity, are you saying not to use whiskey and isopropol alcohol? 

  5. I read (on Wikipedia to be transparent) that yarrow is a stimulant. Do you think it is a good idea to put that in a sleep tincture?

    • Maybe you should ask the REAL author of the recipe………..

      -link removed for spam-

      Yarrow is similar to chamomile and aids in restful sleep.

      • Wow- You just accused me of stealing my own content (from a site that actually did steal my content). I removed the link because that site is just pulling other authors work and using it for click bait to make money from ads. The date on that post was a year after this original post. This post was photographed (poorly, I might add, since I was new to blogging) on my wedding dishes so I find it really humorous that you accused me of copying the content. In reply to Marisa’s original question though- a very small number of people will react strangely to yarrow and it will keep them awake (just as a small percentage of people will not do well with magnesium or other substances), but I’ve found it helpful in this recipe.

  6. Hi, I made this and noticed a kind of…different looking layer of my tincture.  It’s not my first tincture, but it is my first with raw ginger….so is this normal?  Thanks!

      • Wow, I never saw this reply. I’m so encouraged! 🙂 So the layer was between some of the herbs, when it settled that is. Also, I was wondering, what size dropper to you use? Now that I’ve made a few different tinctures and I see a “dropper full” I’m wondering what size the bottle is that its going in b/c the bottle size makes a difference in the dropper size. THanks!!!

  7. I’m sorry, when I saw “2 cups of vodka” I had to laugh! That would put anyone out cold. -I know, it’s not served that way- just struck me is all. This looks good, I will give it a go. I’m also a fan of 40WinksTea.com . it’s kind of like this and my daughter can make it herself before bed.

  8. I buy a California Poppy tincture for insomnia that works very well. Do you have any idea how one would go about making a tincture safely for California Poppy?

    • Tinctures are very easy to make. Just chop finely and get as much of the fresh herb (or flower) as you can into a clean jar and fill with 40% vodka (40% will extract medicinal benefits from most herbs). Obviously get the best quality herbs you can – pick well away from rail lines and roads, and not where parks are sprayed with weedkiller. Then I put in a cupboard for 6-8 weeks and shake/turn upside down as often as I can (every day if possible – I do my shakes while waiting for the kettle to boil for tea). Then strain through clean muslin, into a glass jar and label with as much info as you can. There you go! Take 2/3 x 5ml (a teaspoon) per day or if very severe double that until you see an improvement!

      I’m not a qualified herbalist so of course you could/should check what you are doing with other sources. But I’ve done a few herbal courses about making these things for friends and family and have used on myself and my family and really you can’t go far wrong with making your own tinctures I think.

      Of course if you can’t get access to the fresh herb or flower then you might want to buy a ready made one – don’t be tempted to use dried herbs – doesn’t work half as well.

  9. Question: Is there anything in this tincture that would pose a problem with high blood pressure. My doctor doesn’t know much about herbs.

  10. could we use powdered stevia (the real stuff…like the leaf, but just already ground up. I’m not referring to the white commercial stuff.)? If so, how much? Thanks.

  11. This sounds great, but I guess I’m a little confused about the catnip. 1. I thought it was just for cats, and 2. Catnip is supposed to make cats more hyper, so how is it calming?

  12. I’m curious if you used peppermint or spearmint leaves for this recipe or if they are interchangable in this case? Thanks!

  13. I have a 14 month old son who has very bad gerds and troubles sleeping though the night, I have just started the natural path way, and I was wondering if this was a safe tincture for him?

  14. Hi
    I picked several mullein plants this summer out in Montana. They are dry now so I can make a tincture. I have flowers and leaves. Should I make them separately or just put them all together? Are there any types of mullein that are not good for you? These were about to blossom with yellow flowers.

  15. I have heard that valerian root is also good for insomnia. Could I add that to your recipe as well? If so, how much might you recommend?

    PS I love all your stuff! Thank you for helping us all on our “crunchy” journey :o)

  16. I just ordered all the necessary items for this. Fingers crossed for my husband with insomnia and my kiddo with autism!

  17. Is this ok to use for 5 mo externally? like rub on the soles of the feet and would it work if done so?

  18. Hello I have a few questions. should the drops be taken by them self or drooped in water or a choice of beverage? When you say droppserful you do mean filling up the drop correct? Last but most importantly when will I be doing this, will I be taking in the drops right before bed or will it be 2-3 drops thought the day several times?

  19. Are the hops and stevia necessary for this tincture to be effective as a sleep remedy? Frontier doesn’t have hops, and my family is not big on stevia. Is the stevia just for sweetening? Thanks!

  20. What size glass jar should be used? This would seem to make a big difference with the amount of water and vodka used. Thank you!

  21. I’m sorry I was just wondering I out the liquid in with another drink when using it correct?? Also, can I not use it until the two weeks are up and after eight weeks foes it need to be disposed?

  22. Hi Katie, I just used the herbs to make a loose leaf tea (using the same ratio and then just putting the mixed herbs into a strainer ball). I would like to give try this out on my daughter as she has a terrible cold right now. If I wanted to warm some up with honey and put it in a bottle do I need to dilute it? How much would I give her if it’s a tea and not a tincture? Thanks!

  23. the comment that oat straw helps with bedwetting is intriguing. would you give a bed wetter (who doesn’t have trouble sleeping, and therefore wouldn’t need the sleep tincture) oat straw tea before bed, or make an all oat straw tincture?

  24. hi, what would you say would be the maximum dose for this recipe per day? and how many drops are in a dropper full? im making a stress relief gummy and was going to use this tincture with a couple of extras and no hops. But i wasnt sure about the max dose when combined together like this. (also will make it with glycerin)

  25. I’ve been on my own mission for the last three years — intense, self-directed study of all things herbal, primarily form widely read books, less from other media. I recall only once or twice (aside from your newer tinctures) seeing the boiling water technique. While I’ve come to the conclusion that tincturing is nearly as much art as science, it would seem impossible to maintain consistent results from batch to batch, as more water in one batch would dilute the solvent, making the extraction less effective. I am assuming the use of dried herbs, which could have quite a range of retained moisture.
    Now for my questions: What is the purpose of the boiling water? Could that step be omitted? If not, would you also use it if using fresh herbs? And finally, from one of the 2012 posts, it appears that this tincture had contained fresh ginger at some point, and if so, would it hurt to add a bit?

  26. What a wonderful discovery this site has been! Thank you Katie.

    I would like to make the recipe above, but don’t know what amount of the dried herbs would make a tbsp. I’m assuming they, and any other bulky herb, would need to be crushed before measuring.

  27. Hi I was wondering if this would be safe to use while pregnant. I am in my second trimester about 19 weeks. I am having a hard time falling back to sleep after getting up to use the bathroom. I want to try something natural not benadryl like was recommended to me. Please help need sleep.

  28. HI there.. I would l ike to know more about this recipe but i have a question.. CAN you make it with JUST water.. I have meliatoxicity and i am allergic to alcohol.

  29. If one leaves the herbs in the alcohol for longer than three weeks, does, the tincture become stronger? And if so, how long can you let the herbs soak in the alcohol for them to continue to become more potent? Is it possible to leave the herbs in the alcohol too long for any reason?

  30. WORKS! ?
    I have Adrenal Fatigue with sky rocketed Cortisol levels. I’m exhausted to the point of losing my mind. I made this tincture as soon as I could get the ingredients. I left out the Oatstraw & mint and did put it in Vodka even though I’m on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet. My stomach just cannot tolerate Apple Cider Vinegar. I put the tincture in water in the evening and by bedtime there is no smell or taste of alcohol.
    I started using my tincture after just two weeks because I was so desperate! It worked the very first night and is still working now 4 weeks later. (hasnt even been the recommended 6 yet)
    I’m taking supplements like 5HTP, GABA, and all sorts of things to get my glands, gut, cortisol, etc. back in order, but this tincture is what is allowing me to sleep finally. I went from maybe sleeping three restless very light sleeping hours to getting a full six hours of deep sleep. I dream again. Oh sweet sweet dreams!
    PS I also highly recommend diffusing Essential Oils. And not just Lavender. There’s some evidence too many drops of lavender can actually stimulate you. Also, mint is a stimulator, so don’t brush your teeth before bed with minty stuff! Good Luck & Sweet Dreams!

  31. Wellness Mama!
    I have just joined the wonderful world of studying herbalism online. I am taking classes from HERBAL ACADEMY OF NEW ENGLAND…
    Anyway..this is the first tincture recipe that I have seen with alcohol AND water.
    Can you explain to me why the water is used so I have a better understanding?

    • Hey Martha, I’ve used Wild Turkey 101 successfully for many tinctures! The higher proof means that it extracts more effectively, and personally, I enjoy taking a “shot” before bedtime ; )

  32. Wellness Mama,
    Is there any way to buy a sample of this tincture from you? My son has severe Autism and to say we are desperate is an understatement. Many nights he does not sleep more than 30 minutes at a time. On rare occasions he may sleep an entire 3 hours before waking on and off the rest of the night. We’ve tried almost everything and nothing seems to phase him.
    If we could try it and know that it works, we will make it by the gallons.
    Thank you!

    • Constance, we often buy tinctures from Heaven Help Me, a store on Facebook, and have been very happy with them. The calm down tincture has worked very well for our family.
      I also was just reading today actually about zinc being helpful for people with autism.
      I hope you are able to find something that works for your family and helps your son sleep through the night!

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