A third of us will experience insomnia at some point in our lives. It’s important then to prioritise relaxation and unwinding before bed. Practising good sleep hygiene is one way of doing this, but you can also incorporate bedtime tea into the mix. In this article we look at the best bedtime teas we have found.

 

For centuries herbal teas have been used as a natural sleep aid, but which ones are still popular today?

Chamomile

This tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which may help you drift off to sleep.  Regarded as a natural relaxant chamomile works as a mild tranquilizer, relaxing the nerves and muscles.

A recent study involving postpartum women who had poor sleep quality found that those who drank chamomile tea for a two-week period reported overall better sleep quality than those who didn’t1.

Valerian Root

One of the most popular herbal sleep aids in Europe and the US, valerian root may increase sleepiness by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Small studies suggest that valerian root may improve overall sleep quality by shortening the time it takes for you to fall asleep 2.

Lavender

Best known for its relaxing scent, we wouldn’t often associate lavender with tea. Drinking lavender tea may improve sleep quality, especially for those who are suffering from insomnia or anxiety-related disorders.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm isn’t often associated with tea, it is from the mint family and is most often used in aromatherapy. This citrus-scented herb has been used for reducing stress and improving sleep since the Middle Ages.

Drinking lemon balm tea may decrease insomnia-related symptoms. A recent study showed people experienced a 42% reduction in insomnia symptoms after receiving 600 mg of lemon balm extract per day for 15 days3.

Passionflower

Passionflower tea is made from the dried leaves, flowers and stems of the Passiflora plant. This floral tea calms the mind and also alleviates indigestion helping to ease the stomach.

Passionflower is a natural relaxant. A 2011 study found that it improves sleep quality in the short-term4.

Sleep is fundamental to good overall health. Getting enough quality sleep is important for maintaining your immune system and metabolic function, processing the day’s memories and maintaining normal body weight.

If you are finding it hard to sleep and it is interfering with your day to day life get in touch with your doctor.

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Footnotes

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26483209
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/teas-that-help-you-sleep#section2
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230760/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21294203

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