When you drink tea before bed it can be a relaxing part of your bedtime routine and one of the tastiest. But you might be wondering which drinking teas are the best to help you go to sleep and keep you there throughout the night? This article lists what we think are the best herbal teas for you to achieve the kind of sleep quality you deserve.
What is Subjective Sleep Quality?
We often think that it’s quantity that is the most important when it comes to sleep but it is the quality that leaves us feeling well-rested in the morning. Our sleep needs to be restorative and the quality of which is measured by four categories:
- Sleep Latency – How long it takes you to fall asleep?
- Sleep Waking – How often you wake up during the night?
- Wakefulness – How many minutes you spend awake during the night after you first go to sleep?
- Sleep Efficiency– The amount of time you spend actually sleeping while in bed
These 6 herbal supplements can help you sleep by relaxing body and mind which improves your chances of a restful sleep. As traditional sleep aids, the health benefits of a cup of tea before bed can improve sleep quality as well as treating anxiety and promote relaxation.
The 6 Best Teas That Help You Sleep
A popular choice for tea drinkers to help them sleep, drinking chamomile tea can also reduce stress and has anti-anxiety properties. The plant extract it comes from contains apigenin, a chemical compound which induces sleepiness when it binds to the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. The same receptors that anti-anxiety medications bind to. It is even prescribed to people who suffer from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) to incorporate into their lifestyle in order to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep. Combine all of this with a gentle taste with hints of honey and you will be wonderfully soothed to bed.
How to Drink Chamomile Tea: You should prepare chamomile tea using water that is approximately 80° Celsius (just below a full boil). Serve up a bit of sweetness by including a dollop of honey.
Lavender has been an ancient practice, dating all the way back to the Ancient Romans who would use it for its antiseptic qualities. On top of smelling really good too, lavender can really help out with getting a good night’s sleep when consumed as a tea. While most evidence on the effects of tea on sleep quality is limited, there have been significant studies into its positive influence on sleep disturbed postnatal women. So do like the romans do and try a cup of lavender tea before bed.
How to Drink Lavender Tea: Bring your teapot to a boil using filtered, purified, or spring water (using tap water can cause flavor alterations). Add the lavender flowers to a tea ball, tea infuser, or tea sachet and place inside the teapot to steep for 10 minutes.
Similar to chamomile, passionflower is an herbal tea that has medicinal properties which affect the brain in a positive way by increasing GABA in the brain. This naturally occurring amino acid reduces mental activity in the brain which results in relaxation, better moods and of course, better sleep. Boiling a cup of passionflower tea before bed will help to ease the stress and anxiety that has built up over the course of the day.
How to Drink Passionflower Tea: Steep dried passionflower in boiling water for 6-8 minutes or 10-15 minutes for a stronger tea with the potential for more benefits. Can also be sweetened with honey.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian root is an herb that can be found in parts of Asia and Europe where it naturally grows. It is primarily used to treat issues that cause troubled sleep, the main culprits being stress, nervousness, headaches, and heart palpitations. Valerian tea helps soothe these ailments thanks to the two natural sedatives found within – valepotriates and sesquiterpenes. Bit of a mouthful we know but these two components can help you to fall asleep faster and improve its overall quality.
How to Drink Valerian Root Tea: Soak 2 to 3 grams of dried herbal valerian root in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is a part of the mint family of herbs and smells slightly sweet and citrusy. It has been used throughout the centuries as an antiviral and antibacterial medicine to treat infections and viruses. Drinking a cup of lemon balm tea before bed can help to reduce the effects of insomnia and anxiousness by soothing the restlessness that is common with these disruptive ailments.
How to Drink Lemon Balm Tea: Add the herbs to a tea strainer, bring water to a boil, allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Other ingredients you can add for an infusion of taste include honey, sugar and even agave.
The Bottom Line
The key takeaway of all these bedtime teas is that they are a natural and healthy way to relax, induce sleep and improve sleep quality. Your body knows how to sleep and by relieving the tension that is left behind by stress and anxiety, you can smoothly transition into a peaceful night’s sleep.
For more tips to help you fall asleep, check out Using Aromatherapy Oils for a Good Night’s Sleep.