A good sleep at night is a difficult task for many these days. Tossing and turning without sleeping whole night feels awful. A disturbed sleep for one night can leave you feeling tired and irritated but sleepless nights for a prolonged period can be very detrimental for health.
Few things are always recommended by professionals to get a good sound sleep. It includes- avoiding cell phones as its light disturbs the sleep pattern and the desire to fall asleep, following a bedtime routine by sleeping on a fixed time, and the last one is sipping warm herbal teas to trigger sleep in no time. All these are a part of natural sleep-inducing methods to get the best of sleep.
Does Herbal Teas Really Help You Sleep Better?
Herbal teas are a sort of infused warm water to get the benefits instead of taking any herb in its raw, bitter or stinky form as herbs have a very peculiar flavor and taste. However, sipping an herbal tea is too soothing and relaxes the body, mind and soul. Moreover, some of the herbal teas possess ingredients which help to reduce stress and anxiety both, ease digestion so that the body can relax completely from inside and go off to sleep (1). Although, herbal teas do help in inducing sleep but there are no lies that at times an additional benefit of placebo effect also adds up to the situation.
9 Herbal Teas That Can Help You Sleep Better
Some people believe that every tea contains caffeine in it and hence prefer avoiding it. However, that is not the truth as there are many herbal teas which are fully loaded with benefits without any trace of caffeine. They contain anti-anxiety ingredients which easily relax the body and make it easy to sleep.
At times, herbal teas also possess a slight sedative effect, such as the chamomile and valerian teas. Valerian root is one such ingredient of herbal teas which calms down physical and mental state while a person drifts off to sleep. Let us see the different kinds of herbal teas and their benefits to help you sleep better.
Chamomile tea is the best herbal tea for sleep. It has been used for ages to help with stress, insomnia, anxiety, and stomach upset (2, 3). It also has some antidepressant qualities and works as a tranquilizer by relaxing the muscles and nerves (3, 4). Even few studies have reported data to justify that the chamomile tea actually helps in falling asleep quickly due to its calming and relaxing effects on the body (2). So, steeping Chamomile tea for at least 10 minutes and then drinking it gives all the required taste and aroma of this herbal tea. Chamomile tea has certain blood thinning properties hence, anyone preparing for any surgery or even pregnant women must seek doctor’s advice prior to starting with chamomile tea.
Besides helping with sleep, chamomile tea also helps in treating migraines (5), eases spasms and inflammations (6). It also helps in boosting up immunity if consumed on a daily basis. Chamomile has flavonoids which calm and relaxes the mind by a sedating effect on the body and release stress.
Valerian Tea to Help Sleep Better:
Valerian tea is stronger version than that of chamomile tea and can quickly put one to sleep. Several studies over time, has shown remarkable improvement in insomnia with valerian tea (7). It has a stronger natural sedative action on the body since second-century valerian root has been used to help with insomnia and other sleep-related issues (7).
It might take a few days to weeks to show the effects of valerian herbal tea. For making valerian tea, steep the valerian herbs for at least 5 minutes in warm water can give effective results. It relaxes the brain by increasing GABA or Gamma-Aminobutyric acid in the brain naturally and GABA relaxes the nervous system with ease.
Decaffeinated Green Tea:
Green tea is always a healthy and better option as a bedtime tea especially for people who do not like the bitter tastes of other herbal teas. Its main constituent is theanine which helps in stress reduction and promotes sleep (8, 9).
Some of the other benefits of green tea include weight loss, better digestion, increased cognitive performance, sound sleep without awakening, and reduces risks of cancer and diabetes.
Kahwa as a Herbal Tea to Help you Sleep Better:
Kahwa tea is a traditional concoction which is made with a Kashmiri green tea leaves, spices, nuts, and a pinch of saffron. Kahwa is rich in antioxidants, helps to combat stress and anxiety and eliminates toxins from the body and thus promotes sleep. It has no negative impacts in any way and its aroma and flavor are so rich that the whole body relishes it.
Rose Tea to Help in Better Sleep:
Rose tea has a sweet fragrance of rose petals which itself is helpful in beating stress and relaxes mind and body. Either dried or fresh rose petals can be used to prepare a cup of rose tea. Sipping it before going to bed provides a very calm effect on the mind and helps in improving the sleep (10).
Lavender tea helps in reducing stress and anxiety and finally helps insomniacs combating with sleepless nights (11). Some of the studies have revealed that using lavender oil before bed promotes quality deep sleep (12). Lavender tea at night not only helps with sleep but also restores high energy levels for the next refreshing morning.
Lavender tea is also known to help many women combat postnatal depression with ease (13). As per a study in women, those who consume it on a daily basis experienced lesser fatigue and depression during the postnatal phase.
Lemon Balm Tea to Help you Sleep Better:
An herbal tea of middle age to combat with sleep problems is lemon balm tea. Lemon balm herbs not only release stress and anxiety but also help in digestion as well. A proper detox from inside is what lemon balm tea can give. Lemon balm tea is mainly from a mint family and hence tastes like mint.
Lemon balm tea can also be combined with other herbal teas like valerian tea to reap the best of results. Lemon balm tea also acts by interacting with GABA receptors of the brain and hence reduces stress and induces good sleep (14, 15).
An herbal spearmint tea is enriched with anti-inflammatory properties and helps with sleep (16). It also helps in digestion and combating all causes of insomnia like a headache.
Passion Flower Tea for Better Sleep:
Another well-known herbal tea that helps in getting a better sleep is passion flower tea. Passion flower is known to have sedative properties and thus serves as an aid to sleep disturbance (17).
Do’s and Don’ts to Help You Sleep Better
Although, herbal tea helps in soothing and calming the mind and body and to get a better sleep, following a certain things and avoiding things that mess up the sleep is very essential and they are:
- A proper sleeping regime must be followed with regards to the timing in order to experience better sleep.
- It is also essential to stay away from gadgets and mobiles mainly during bedtime.
- A dark and quiet room with comfort bedding is also important to induce sleep.
The bedroom must be in a way which the person likes since our mind builds up an association with space and time we spend around. Make sure there isn’t clutter around to help you feel better and sleep. Color of the room also plays a vital role to get proper sleep and as such it is always advisable to have cooler colors on the bedroom.
For the workaholics, a separate space must be equipped for work preferably outside the bedroom or in one corner the room away from the bed. This prevents any indulgence of work during the sleep hours and it gives a peaceful sleep.
You can also use different aromas to help you feel calm and relaxed and thus promote better sleep.
For those who struggle to sleep every single day, herbal teas are effective as well as a reliable option. A variety of options are available amongst herbal teas to choose from as per the choice of taste or other preferences of aroma. Further, ingredients of the tea must be wisely chosen as per the requirement of digestive, sedative or anti-anxiolytic action of the herbal tea.
Several studies have revealed that herbal teas help in falling asleep quickly with decreased midnight awakening. Hence it improves the overall sleep quality of a person and relaxes the mind and body. Nowadays, even herbal tea supplements are also used in concentrated forms but it is always best and most effective to opt for natural herbal teas for maximum effects.
However, one must be cautious to avoid all sorts of caffeinated drinks and even sleep regime must be adhered to help regulate the sleeping pattern and resolve this problem on a permanent basis. Also, if you are suffering from any disease or disorder, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting with any of the herbal teas. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, patients suffering from autoimmune disorders, while on medications like sedatives, and post-surgery are some of the instances when consulting a doctor before starting with herbal teas becomes mandatory. Since the herbal teas are known to impact blood pressure and other vital stats of the body, it becomes very important to take precautions and know well as to what combinations and quantity of the tea one can consume.
- Shimazaki, M., and Martin, J.L., (2007) DO HERBAL AGENTS HAVE A PLACE IN THE TREATMENT OF SLEEP PROBLEMS IN LONG-TERM CARE? J Am Med Dir Assoc. 8(4): 248-252. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1939981/
- Srivastava, J.K., Shankar, E., and Gupta, S., (2010) Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Report. 3(6): 895-901. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
- Donath, F., Quispe, S., Diefenbach, K., et al. (2000) Critical evaluation of the effect of valerian extract on sleep structure and sleep quality. Pharmacopsychiatry. 33:47–53. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10761819