Best Kratom for Calm, Sleep and Relaxation

By  //  September 29, 2021

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More and more Americans are experiencing prolonged periods of high stress levels—33% of Americans live with extreme stress, and 48% of Americans say that their stress has increased over the last five years.

These statistics have prompted the American Psychological Association (APA) to declare “a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.”

As important as it is to reduce stress, getting more sleep, meditating, and exercising are difficult with severe stress and anxiety. Prescription medications can help, but many people are discovering that kratom—an herbal remedy that for millennia has been used in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia—helps them manage stress, anxiety, and depression.

For many people, taking kratom promotes relaxation and focus—giving them more motivation to start making healthy lifestyle changes. There are many different strains of kratom—we’ve provided a list of the best kratom strains for anxiety, depression, stress, and sleep problems.

Red Borneo Kratom


Red Borneo is a strain of red vein kratom, so it falls under the category of relaxing kratom strains. Red Borneo is often considered one of the strongest strains of kratom and is known for its analgesic qualities.

While all kratom is harvested from Mitragyna speciosa trees, they differ based on their drying processes, which can affect the kratom’s alkaloid profile. Red Borneo kratom differs from other strains in its fermentation process. Making Red Borneo kratom involves sunlight and water, which enhances the concentration of the alkaloids Mitragynine Pseudoindoxyl and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which contribute to the strength of this strain.

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Benefits of Red Borneo Kratom 

Red Borneo kratom is one of the best kratom strains for sleep and relaxation. Consumers have said that Red Borneo can supply the following benefits for calm, sleep, and relaxation:

  • Reliably relaxing red strain
  • Can help promote physical calmness
  • Helps calm racing thoughts
  • Promotes better rest/falling asleep 

If you struggle to fall asleep due to anxiety or racing thoughts, taking Red Borneo kratom before bed can help you get better rest. Red Borneo is also one of the best kratom strains for pain relief, as well as promoting physical calmness. 

Although Red Bali kratom remains the most popular kratom strain for sleep and relaxation, many people find that Red Borneo lasts longer and has a quicker onset. Because the unique fermentation process of Red Borneo gives it a high alkaloid content of Mitragynine Pseudoindoxyl, its relaxation properties are higher than in other strains. 

Because alcohol can reduce sleep quality, many people find that taking Red Borneo kratom instead of having alcohol is a more effective way to unwind and not only feel ready for bed but achieve quality sleep.

Is Red Borneo Right for Me?

If you’re looking for a strain to help you unwind after a stressful day or get better rest, many people report that Red Borneo is a kratom strain that helps calm the nervous system, making it easier to relax.

If you’re looking for kratom to help with anxiety during the day, Green Borneo kratom may be a better choice. Green vein Borneo kratom is known to relieve stress and provide an energy boost. White Borneo will be more energizing and less relaxing, although users report that it can also reduce the anxiety that can make it difficult to relax.

Other respondents on Reddit surveys say they prefer Red Hulu Kapuas kratom for a balanced relaxation to unwind while doing work or calming down in the daytime.

Gold Bali Kratom


Although many people are familiar with Red Bali kratom, Gold Bali is another popular kratom strain for calming the mind and body. Like other Bali kratom varieties, Gold Bali contains one of the highest percentages of the alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine, which is known for its relaxing properties.

Gold Bali uses the same fermentation process that Red Borneo undergoes, but it differs in its drying process. Gold Bali leaves are dried for an extended amount of time, which turns the leaves a golden color. In comparison to Red Bali, one Reddit user said that Gold Bali is less sedating than Red Bali and provides a more significant mood boost.

Benefits of Gold Bali Kratom

Gold Bali kratom is a good kratom strain if you’re looking to relax or calm down but aren’t looking to sleep.

Consumers have said that Red Borneo can supply the following benefits for calm, sleep, and relaxation:

  • Helps soothe social anxiety
  • Feel more at ease when stressed
  • Provides calmness for a longer time frame
  • Helps unwind to get ready for sleep

Because exercising and committing to healthy lifestyle habits can be challenging to begin if you’re stressed, taking Gold Bali kratom can help motivate them to start making healthy lifestyle changes. Many kratom supporters find a subtle kratom strain such as Gold Bali helps them to feel naturally relaxed and peaceful.

Some people report that while Red Bali and Red Borneo are their favorite kratom strains for relaxation, they find that switching things up and taking Gold Bali kratom in place of a Red Strain helps them with mood and motivation.

Is Gold Bali Kratom Right for Me?

Gold Bali kratom is not as potent as red vein kratom varieties, so if you’re looking for more subtle kratom strains, Gold Bali may be a good choice for you. On Reddit, some people report that they enjoy mixing a little Gold Bali kratom with red strains for well-rounded relaxation.

Gold Bali is a good kratoms strain for anxiety and restlessness. It’s an excellent choice to start with for reducing anxious thoughts and feelings. Some people find that Green Maeng Da helps alleviate social anxiety better through increased calmness and more comfortable socialization.  

White Horn Kratom


If you’re familiar with kratom strains, it might surprise you to see a white vein kratom strain on this list for calming kratom strains. White vein kratom varieties are typically known as energizing kratom strains. That being said, some people tend to have an opposite effect from caffeine and other stimulating compounds—for example, while coffee makes some people jittery, it calms others down.

White Horn kratom undergoes a drying process that is shorter than Red and Gold kratom strains—after drying, it is crushed into a powder. This results in a higher concentration of mitragynine and a lower percentage of 7-hydroxymitragynine, which contribute to the energy boost associated with white kratom strains.

Benefits of White Horn Kratom

We’ve included White Horn kratom after reading online feedback on Reddit and other forums.

Many people who struggle to focus find that some white strains help them with the following:

  • More balanced relaxation than Red or White kratom (which they find too sedating)
  • Improved mental focus and physical energy
  • Reduces stress when tackling projects
  • Helpful in making healthy lifestyle changes (i.e., exercise)

One blog post author stated that White Horn kratom helps him manage his ADHD symptoms by helping him regain focus and manage anxiety. He said that White Horn “is all about elevating focus and sharpening mental clarity while keeping anxiety to a minimum.” He further adds that its mood boost may help those with depression.

One user on Reddit said, “White horn is one of the few whites that acts more like a red… it’s very relaxing and laid back,” and that its properties are unlike other whites, such as White Maeng Da kratom.

Although White Horn kratom can be hard to find, it offers a unique balance of energizing properties and calming ones that you may not find in other strains.

Is White Horn Kratom Right for Me?

If you struggle to relax due to the stress of not being able to start projects or maintain focus, White Horn kratom may be able to help you overcome the anxiety of getting started. While some Reddit users find that White Horn and other white kratom strains help them feel physically relaxed, others say that it worsens their hyperactivity—they prefer green kratom strains, such as Green Maeng Da kratom or Green Malay kratom, for a balance of energy and calmness.

Some users find that taking White vein kratom strains in capsule form helps to smooth out the energizing qualities compared to powders, which tend to digest faster.

Many people find that having a smaller serving of White Horn kratom helps them focus better without making them feel too energized. If you’re looking to reduce social anxiety and you find that you’re not fond of more sedating strains, it may be worth it to try White Horn kratom.

Red Hulu Kapuas Kratom


Red Hulu Kapuas kratom is one of the most in-demand kratom strains. As a more rare kratom strain, it can be hard to find. Still, many consider a high-quality Red Hulu Kapuas kratom one of the best kratom strains for relaxation, improving mood, and balancing energy levels. 

Many stores don’t offer Red Hulu Kapuas kratom, and many newbies aren’t familiar with it. That said, it has massive popularity and support from kratom advocates online, who often cite it as one of their favorite kratom strains. 

Benefits of Red Hulu Kapuas Kratom

Many people find that Red Hulu Kapuas kratom is their favorite go-to kratom strain for its following potential benefits:

  • Provides physical and mental relaxation 
  • Increases energy levels while promoting calmness
  • Helps improve mood and helps with depression
  • Reduces anxious feelings

Red Hulu Kapuas is a unique strain of red vein kratom with a favorably balanced alkaloid profile. Red Kapuas Hulu has a high percentage of 7-hydroxymitragynine, which is known for its benefits of relaxation and analgesia.

Red Hulu Kapuas kratom also has various anxiolytic alkaloids that are ideal for those suffering from anxiety. People report that Red Hulu Kapuas Hulu boosts their mood, relaxes them, and helps with anxiety and depression. Some people find that it helps with pain, while others prefer Red Bali for pain.

Online, many people rave about it being “top-notch.” One of the commenters said that Red Hulu Kapuas is “energizing in a relaxing way” and also improves their mood. Those who prefer to have a more significant energy increase say that smaller servings help promote drive and motivation, while larger ones are better for more robust relaxing properties.

Is Red Hulu Kapuas Kratom for Me?

Red Hulu Kapuas kratom seems to be one of the most highly recommended lesser-known kratom strains online in kratom support forums. Newbies to kratom find that although it isn’t one of the most talked-about kratoms strains, it’s a good kratoms strain for beginners for relaxation, calmness, and improved energy. 

Because Red Hulu Kapuas kratom is more of a balance between the other vein colors, it’s a great place to start if you’re not sure which kratom strain to buy for relaxation. Once you’ve tried it, you may wish to switch to a red strain that is more characteristic of red vein kratom, or you may find that a green strain helps you relax better during the day.

Why Are Some Kratom Strains More Relaxing Than Others? 

Although there is a lot of misinformation on kratom strains, there are lab-proven differences in the alkaloid content of distinct kratom strains. 

Kratom is known to have at least 37 different alkaloids, which differ in concentration between kratom strains. Its two main compounds, Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, are typically present in each kratom strain, but in different amounts.

The different methods used to process kratom leaves (such as drying method, fermentation, type of light, length of drying time, etc) all affect the outcome of the types and percentages of alkaloids present in different kratom strains. The various alkaloids act differently on the brain; some are more energizing, others more sedating.

Mitragynine is much more abundant in kratom than 7-Hydroxymitragynine, but the latter has been found to be more potent. That being said, these alkaloids are only present in small percentages (0.5 to 1.5%) in dried kratom leaves, which researchers find to be a totally safe alkaloid percentage for human consumption.

How Does Kratom Work?

Research has found that kratom’s potential for relaxation, pain-relief, anxiety-relief, increased mood, and more come from the interaction between kratom’s alkaloids and the peripheral and central nervous systems of the brain. 

Kratom’s main alkaloids, Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, bind to the brain’s mu receptors and activate them. Unlike prescription opioids, the level of interaction is much lower—kratom doesn’t interact with beta-arrestin signaling, which can produce the dangerous respiratory depression associated with prescription opioids and illegal drugs.

Mitragynine and other alkaloids also interact with Noradrenergic and Serotonergic Pathways. Although potent, medical professionals have found that the alkaloid Mitragynine pseudoindoxyl—which is partly responsible for kratom’s relaxing qualities and pain relief— shows no potential for abuse

Kratom Powder, Capsules, or Extract?

You may be wondering, which is the best for relaxation, kratom powder, kratom capsules, or kratom extract? Let’s go over the differences in each type of kratom product to help you decide which one is right for you.

Kratom Powder

The most common form of kratom is its powdered form, which consists of crushed dried kratom leaves.

  • Generally the cheapest kratom option
  • Comes in a wide variety of strains
  • Can be made into tea to reduce the taste
  • Fast-acting relaxation and calming energy

Many beginners tend to start with kratom powder or kratom capsules. Kratom powder mixes well with water, and though it can be messy, it’s easy to take. It digests more quickly than capsules, and because you can buy it in large quantities at wholesale prices, it’s a cheaper kratom option.

Kratom Capsules

Kratom capsules, or “kratom pills,” can be purchased in capsule form, or you can make your own by putting kratom powder into a capsule. 

  • More expensive than kratom powder
  • No bitter taste
  • Less messy
  • Take longer to digest

Many people who take kratom capsules do so for the convenience and lack of bitter taste that the kratom leaves naturally possess. It’s also less messy than the powder.

Consumers often report that it takes a bit longer for kratom capsules to digest than powder, so if you’re looking for a more subtle relaxation onset, kratom capsules may be a good choice. Some people find that they find white kratom strains less overwhelming when they caboose kratom capsules.

Kratom Extract

Kratom extracts are more potent than kratom powder due to their different processes, which produce a more concentrated profile of alkaloids. Kratom extract comes in a liquid form—in kratom shots or as a kratom tincture—as well as a powdered form. 

  • More potent form of kratom
  • Smaller servings
  • More expensive
  • Full-spectrum alkaloids (red, green, and white alkaloids combined)
  • More bio-available

Powdered kratom extract isn’t exactly the standard form of kratom extract, but it does have a stronger full-spectrum alkaloid profile. Whether in powder form or liquid kratom shots, it takes a far smaller serving size of kratom extract than powder. 

For most beginners, either kratom powder or kratom capsules are going to be a better choice than kratom extract, which can produce side effects if you accidentally take too much. If you do decide to try kratom extract, always choose from a reputable kratom vendor who offers lab certificates on their products to confirm their quality. Low-quality kratom extract might not be much more powerful than a high-quality kratom powder.

How to Take Kratom for Sleep and Calmness

It will take some time to figure out what the best time to take kratom for sleep is for your individual preferences. It’s a good idea to experiment and adjust according to how you feel—it’s a good exercise in mindfulness to listen to your body. You can also talk to your doctor about kratom to determine if it’s a good choice for you, or if there are other ways to help you manage stress and relax.

While with all kratom strains, its properties are typically more sedating with higher servings and more energizing with smaller servings—you’ll want to start slow when determining what serving works to relax you. You can’t always rely on serving size advice from others; they may be more or less sensitive to its effects than your body.

If you find that a strain doesn’t seem to fit one of the above descriptions, you may want to adjust your serving size. Not everyone responds the same way—some people find red vein kratom strains far more relaxing, while others prefer green vein kratom strains.

The Importance of Managing Stress

Failing to get adequate rest, downtime, and sleep can lead to chronic stress, which if left unchecked can have negative consequences on your mental and physical health, leading to fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Unfortunately, an APA survey revealed that adults who were advised by their doctor to reduce stress through lifestyle changes (i.e. exercise, quitting smoking, getting more sleep, eating healthier) were the least likely to succeed at making lifestyle changes.

Discovering kratom for calm, sleep, and relaxation can be a start to implementing healthier lifestyle changes. Although eating healthy foods and getting exercise regularly can help lower stress levels, it’s hard to do either if you’re not able to fall asleep or physically relax. If you find the right kratom strain, you may be able to catch up on sleep or manage your anxiety to levels that aren’t so debilitating.

In addition to kratom, taking herbal adaptogen herbs (such as ashwagandha and ginger) can help improve sleep and stress levels. Adaptogens are botanicals that are known to improve the body’s resistance to stress, which helps hormone levels (such as cortisol) in check. The journey to recovering from chronic stress isn’t always fast, but every little bit helps in the long run.

Where to Learn More About Kratom and Relaxation

We’ve based the list we’ve provided above of kratom strains for calm, sleep, and relaxation on scientific studies and consumer reviews, responses, and discussions. Getting involved with the kratom community can be a valuable source of information—just be aware that kratom still lacks research, and there is misinformation on it even within kratom advocacy forums and vendor websites.