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Hops, insomnia and an experiment

A recent discussion in the insomnia help forums reminded me about a blog post from last October about hops curing insomnia.

The son of one of our members recently watched a DVD entitled Grow Your Own Drugs that featured a British man who figured out that the flower can help relieve insomnia.

His investigations began after realizing that back in the day, those who picked hops for a living would often be found asleep under a tree (otherwise known as 'hop pickers syndrome'). So, after recruiting two insomniacs he monitored their sleep. After filling their pillows with the flower clusters he found that the two insomniacs fell sound asleep.

Of course, this wasn't a scientific test, and with a sample size of two we shouldn't read into it too much. However, this piqued the curiosity of one Insomnia Land member who went out to a local homebrew shop to get herself some hops.

I'm guessing that this was the first time these employees found themselves assisting an insomniac, but they were very helpful and allowed her to smell a number of different samples. She chose the ones that smelt the strongest and went back home.

After making a little sachet filled with the pellets, our member placed it near her nose for two hours but it didn't help. Next time she tried, she crushed them but again, no joy.

Another member chimed in, suggesting she use whole hops instead of pellets. All I could do was point her in the direction of my previous blog post, but the discussion reignited my curiosity for Humulus lupulus as an insomnia cure so I did a little more digging.

I found one news article that also mentioned using hops as an insomnia cure but instead of filling your pillow with them, they recommend washing your pillowcases in beer!

Don't go overboard and fill your washing machine with Bud Lite, though. For this to 'work', you need to add just a little IPA to your washing machine (IPA is a hoppy beer).

I imagine you could also put in some raw hops, too - but I don't know if you'll ever get the stains or the aroma out of your pillows. Give this a try at your own risk. If you take the plunge, please share the results!

Source: WTOP

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Last updated: September 11, 2015

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Torra
    August 5, 2011, 6:34 pm

    FWIW, a lot of New Age or herbilist shops will sell you whole hops. I can think of at least one shop in Olympia, WA ( just off the top of my head in their bulk tea & herbs & spices section. I know there are a lot of others who do so, too. A lot of people use it for makeing teas or beauty products, rather then beer makeing, so need much smaller quantites.

    • Martin Reed
      August 6, 2011, 4:35 pm

      Good homebrew shops should also sell whole hops; otherwise, online homebrew stores will be able to ship them. I wonder if that’s a cheaper way to buy compared to herbalist/New Age stores.