Boswellia for Sleep – The Solution to Catch Some Extra Z’s? 

Many of you have never heard of Boswellia. And to be honest, I was not very familiar with this supplement until one of my clients started using it recently.

Boswellia is a natural extract derived from the Boswellia tree, known as the “Frankincense tree.”

It has been famous for anti‐inflammatory and soothing properties that have a positive effect on night’s sleep.

Let’s take a look at boswellia for sleep and whether it can calm your mind when racing like a Formula 1 car instead of sleeping.

Does Boswellia Help with Sleep?

Boswellia can help with sleep.

When you start looking for information about this natural extract, you will notice that sleep is not mentioned among the main benefits. It is mostly about inflammatory joint and bowel diseases, cancer, asthma, stork, and many other ailments.

Yet, it can be a great ally in improving sleep too. Its calming properties promote restful slumber by eliminating the stress you feel. (1)

There is even more. One respectable study from 2013 proved that Boswellia can reduce nocturnal pain in those suffering from chronic cluster headaches. Thus, it indirectly improves sleep and that effect is usually long-lasting. (2)

Does Boswellia Have Sedative Properties?

You probably expect the sleep supplement to act as a kind of sedative.

Well, Boswellia doesn’t have direct sedative properties like prescription sleep medications do.

Wait, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Although it’s not zolpidem or zaleplon, it has a soothing effect on the body while not putting you in a potential danger.

Rather than inducing sleep forcefully, Boswellia complements your natural sleep processes by promoting tranquility. It’s like having a trusty sidekick that supports your body’s sleep mechanisms.

Does Boswellia Help Reduce Anxiety?

Anxiety can wreak havoc on our sleep, but Boswellia can help.

Anxiety is one of the most common contributing factors to poor sleep, as racing thoughts and a restless mind can interfere with falling and staying asleep.

Once you address anxiety, thanks to Boswellia, you will see how your sleep quality is improving.

If you are experiencing chronic or severe anxiety, Boswellia certainly cannot be the sole solution to this complex issue. If you are suffering from anxiety or other similar conditions for a long time, consult a doctor who can provide comprehensive guidance and support.

How Does Boswellia Affect the Brain When Taken?

When you take Boswellia, active compounds interact with various receptors and pathways in the brain.

One important action is its impact on inflammation. (3) (4)

Boswellia contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the brain, which often contributes to sleep issues. Through its ability to calm inflammation, Boswellia consequentially supports better sleep.

Additionally, Boswellia may potentially influence neurotransmitters like serotonin, which regulate mood and sleep-wake cycles.

Researchers are still studying the exact mechanisms of Boswellia’s effects on the brain, so more studies are needed for a complete understanding.

What Would Be the Optimal Dosage of Boswellia for Sleep?

Typical dosages range from 300-500 mg, taken one to three times daily.

When specifically using Boswellia for sleep support, I would stick to a general recommendation and take a single dose of around 400 mg. There are no clear guidelines for Boswellia as a sleep supplement.

When taking it as arthritis supplement, The Arthritis Foundation has its own recommendations. (5)

Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis usually require higher doses, but it is dangerous to increase the dose yourself without the consent of a gastroenterologist.

How Long Before Bed to Take Boswellia for Sleep?

Opinions are divided regarding how long before bed to take Boswellia for sleep.

Many believe that timing is key, and I agree that timing is not irrelevant.

To maximize effectiveness, take Boswellia approximately 1-2 hours before bedtime. This allows enough time for the supplement to be absorbed and start exerting its calming effects.

Are There Any Potential Side Effects of Taking Boswellia for Sleep?

Boswellia is well-tolerated and is considered one of the safest supplements even when consumed in high doses, close to 1000 mg.

Still, you need to be aware of potential side effects.

Commonly reported side effects are mild and include gastrointestinal issues like stomach upset, diarrhea, or nausea.

Boswellia may interact with certain medications, so be careful if you have any pre-existing conditions or are taking other medications. It may alter the effects of immunosuppressants, which is potentially very dangerous.

Is it Worth Taking Boswellia Supplements for Sleep?

Boswellia is worth taking as a sleep supplement since it complements your existing sleep routine, helping you create an environment conducive to unwinding and relaxation.

But before we move on, I have to emphasize that it is very important to approach any sleep aid with a realistic mindset.

Yes, I know Boswellia can’t really solve all your sleep problems since it’s not a magical cure-all. However, you won’t find any natural supplement that is equally efficient as a sleeping pill. 

On the other hand, natural sleep aids such as Boswellia can be highly beneficial without the countless side effects usual for prescription drugs.

So, the bottom line is that you should try Boswellia if you have sleep problems. Remember, each of us is unique, so it’s always a good idea to experiment and find what works best for you.

How We Rate Boswellia as a Sleep Supplement: 3.5/5

Taking into account numerous factors, we rate Boswellia as a solid sleep supplement – 3.5 out of 5.

Boswellia isn’t the ultimate sleep solution on its own, so we can’t give it an even higher rating.

Still, Boswellia earns top marks for safety and overall efficiency in reducing inflammation and stress.

While it may not be the perfect fit for everyone, it offers a natural and holistic approach to achieving better sleep.


After delving into the world of Boswellia, it’s clear that this herbal extract has some serious sleep-inducing potential. Its calming properties can help quiet the mind and relax the body, paving the way for a restful night’s sleep.

Let’s not forget that Boswellia brings more to the table than just improved sleep. Those with osteoarthritis, asthma, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease know what I’m talking about.


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