Other Natural Sleep Aids To Try
If you are having trouble falling asleep, a relaxing routine at the end of the day is helpful. This is part of the reason why a warm cup of chamomile tea before bed is recommended, especially in place of unhealthy sleep habits like drinking alcohol or scrolling through your phone.
Take the hour before going to bed to take a hot bath or drink a cup of chamomile tea, which can be helpful in slowing your mind and body down, says Nate Favini, MD, Medical Lead of Forward, an online primary care practice focused on preventative medicine.
In addition to drinking chamomile tea, there are other natural sleep aids that might help induce sleepiness before bed. These include:
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Why Drinking Chamomile Tea Can Help You Sleep
“Chamomile formulations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation,” says Michael Breus, PhD, a psychologist and board-certified sleep specialist. “They are commonly used as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer.”
Chamomile is particularly effective at making you feel sleepy because of its chemical structure. The plant extract contains apigenin, a chemical compound that induces sleepiness when it binds to the GABA receptors in the brain.
GABA receptors are the same receptors that bind to benzodiazepines, which are commonly used as anti-anxiety drugs because they have a calming effect. Similarly, when the apigenin in chamomile binds to GABA receptors, it has a sedative and relaxing effect that’s why chamomile tea can make you feel sleepy.
Some research has indicated that drinking chamomile tea may be a helpful natural treatment for sleeping troubles. For example, a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2015 examined 80 women with poor sleep quality who had recently given birth, and found that those who drank chamomile tea had fewer symptoms of inadequate sleep.
According to Breus, you should drink one cup of chamomile tea about 45 minutes before bed if you’re hoping to induce sleepiness. That will give your body enough time to metabolize the tea, and the chemical compounds that cause those sedative feelings to kick in.
Rooibos And Honeybush Tea
Rooibos and Honeybush are wonderfully gentle teas used for generations in South Africa to help people sleep.
Naturally caffeine free and full-bodied with a sweet nutty finish, rooibos tea has become very popular around the world for its unique taste, numerous health benefits and variety of flavours. Honeybush tea is made from a related shrub and is a little lighter and more floral than rooibos and is named for its delightfully honeyed aroma.
These teas both come from the coastal Cederberg mountains of the Cape. Unlike normal herbal teas which are dried, these are oxidised much like black tea which gives a rich, deep flavour without any bitterness. You can drink this tea with or without milk so it is perfect for black tea drinkers. Plus, it is naturally caffeine free rather than decaffeinated, and therefore hasnt undergone the chemical processing used to make decaf teas.
High in antioxidants and low in tannins, rooibos tea is often said to have a relaxant effect on the body, without being a sedative. There is ongoing research into the health benefits of rooibos, especially its impact on heart health and diabetes, as well as weight loss and stress. For an extra strong cup some people use two tea bags just steep in boiled water and leave for 10 minutes. You can also add a dash of honey for extra sweetness.
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Can Tea Really Help You Sleep
I dont want to sound negative, but when you trim away the urban myths, popular wisdom, and marketing hype, the scientific evidence that tea can help with sleep is a bit sparse.
The good news is that there is some evidence that ingredients like chamomile, lavender and valerian might have some sedative properties. But researchers often use larger dosages in supplements than youd typically get from a cup of tea.
On a more positive note, my personal opinion is that taking the time out to prepare and enjoy a nice cup of tea is in itself rewarding. Its the perfect excuse to have some valuable me time.
Whether the ingredients are working their magic behind the scenes and the effect just hasnt been proven by researchers or its the placebo effect is irrelevant to me. If I feel it helps me drop down a mental gear and wash away my stress at the end of a hectic day, Ill keep on drinking it.
But I do think its important to keep this balanced view in mind when researching teas yourself.
Tea brings time to a crawl, its frantic pace resuming on noticing our empty cups.
Can Herbal Teas Really Help You Sleep
Some people refrain from drinking any kind of tea at night. But the truth is that herbal teas are very different from regular caffeinated teas. They contain anti-anxiety ingredients that help your body relax and get to sleep easily. You must have heard of how valerian root can help people with sleep problems. Herbal teas contain the same ingredient as valerian root to soothe your physical and mental system and help you relax before you go to sleep.
The advantage of drinking a herbal tea instead of taking the raw supplement is that you dont have to deal with the stinky herb and bad taste. Moreover, taking raw herb with water isnt a soothing experience in itself. On the other hand, drinking tea at bedtime has an inherent relaxing effect on your brain, just like taking a hot shower helps you feel instantly relaxed.
Some sleep teas have ingredients that have a sedative effect, such as chamomile and valerian. On the other hand, some teas have ingredients that reduce stress and anxiety. Some sleep teas help ease digestion so that the body can relax and go to sleep.
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Is Drinking Green Tea Before Bed Good For Health
Here is what drinking green tea before going to bed at night can do for you:
1. Relax and boost metabolism
The L-theanine in green tea helps in relaxing your mind, providing a soothing effect, and de-stressing your body. This way you can be in a happy state of mind and get a sound sleep.
When your sleep quality is good, your metabolism will get revved up! Green tea helps in stimulating that process and this is a huge pro!
2. Combat flu and remove toxins
Apart from helping you relax and enhancing your metabolism, green tea has a hand in keeping the flu at bay. This effect is due to the presence of the antioxidant EGCG .
So, if you want to keep the cold and flu away, you need to drink green tea. The catechins in green tea are also effective in removing toxins from your body as you sleep.
In a nutshell, green tea helps you sleep well along with providing you with loads of other related benefits.
Please note If you are planning to consume green tea before bedtime, it is better to consume it at least 1-2 hours before going to sleep.
This is just to make sure that you sleep well and dont have to wake up later to use the restroom. Now, you might be wondering why you are being told so?
Well, being a natural diuretic, green tea will make you urinate more than usual. Therefore, when you consume an excess of it, it can dehydrate you and result in electrolyte imbalance in the body.
Does Drinking It Calm People With Anxiety And Depression
No matter what type of decaffeinated tea you choose, there is evidence that supports the fact that drinking tea will help calm those suffering from anxiety in depression.
There are three reasons why this is the case:
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The Best Teas For A Peaceful Night’s Sleep
Like taking a warm bath before bed, drinking a hot cup of soothing liquid can help you get to sleep faster. Compounds in tea trigger chemical reactions in the nervous system that encourage your body to relax and prepare for sleep. Many herbal teas and even some decaf true teas feature additional chemical compounds that further enhance sleepiness and resolve sleep problems to help you rest easier.
Does This Really Work Or Is It Just A Placebo
The answer is yes and no. It really works because of the inherent relaxing properties of the ingredients. But it also works as a placebo to give an additional effect. So no matter which herbal tea you have before bed, it will feel relaxing and ease your stress. However, it is important to maintain proper sleep hygiene as drinking herbal tea alone wont put you to sleep.
It is important that you refrain from using digital devices 1-2 hours before bed. The room where you sleep should be dark and quiet. Also, try to keep your bedroom just for sleep and sex. This is because our brain forms associations between the locations we spend time at and our activity or behavior in that location. So if you are used to indulging in stimulating activity on your bed, then it will be hard to sleep on it. If you dont have an option, try sleeping on the other side of the bed and keep your work activities on the different side.
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Do Chamomile Tea Have Caffeine
Most people believe that most teas contain caffeine, but does chamomile tea contain caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant found in many popular drinks, including coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks. Its the most widely used psychoactive drug globally, which affects our moods. A small amount of caffeine can make you more alert, but too much caffeine leads to overstimulation and insomnia.
However, the caffeine content in chamomile tea is much lower than in regular tea. The caffeine in chamomile is virtually undetectable so that it wont harm your sleep. Compared to other teas, it is not from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is where caffeine is found. The dried flower heads of the chamomile plant are used to make chamomile tea, which does not contain any caffeine.
So, if youre looking for a bedtime drink that will help you relax and fall asleep, try a cup of chamomile tea. Its gentle on your system and wont keep you up all night.
Gaia Herbs Sleep & Relax
Theres a big warning in bold on this box: KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN. So you know its gonna be good. Sorry kids, stick to your sippy cups of scotch, this is adult tea thats far from a placebo. Passionflower is really carrying the team, with lemon balm, licorice, and chamomile on the bench. With all those assertive ingredients, you would think that this tea for sleep would taste like…something. Anything. How can a tea taste like so much nothing? These are the stoner thoughts youll have when drinking this tea. If I had to say it tastes like something, Id go with hay or the color beige. Unoffensive. I didnt feel woozy or slightly dangerous the way I do sometimes with valerian teas. Its good to switch things up before your body starts building up tolerances.
Verdict: Very chill, but not chill enough. Is this the best tea for sleep? I dont know, but it packs a good sleepy punch and the flavor of nothing continues to mystify me.
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The Heat Makes You Sleepy
Drinking a hot beverage should also be part of a relaxing bedtime routine because heat is known to make people feel sleepy. Heat can make us feel tired for several reasons.
When you feel nice and warm, this can create a drop in blood pressure, which may make you feel tired. This is because our blood pressure is also low when were asleep.
The body has a natural blood pressure cycle in which it rises in the morning, reaches its peak mid-afternoon, and begins to fall back down during the evening. A warm tea could help that process if you still feel more energetic during the evenings.
The 10 Best Teas To Help You Sleep At Night
Warm milk and honey tend to hog the spotlight when it comes to drinks to help you fall asleep, but if you prefer a non-dairy or calorie-free alternative, there are also many herbal teas that promote sleep. The best teas that help you fall asleep usually contain a blend of relaxing herbal ingredients, such as tea with chamomile flower, lavender, valerian root, and lemon peel, shown to induce drowsiness or calm the body and mind as you wind down for bed.
Even just the ritual of slowly sipping a warm cup of tea before your head hits the pillow can be a meditative practice that helps soothe your body from the inside out and wash away the worries and stressors from your day. Looking for other foods and drinks to help you sleep? If you need something a little more sleep-inducing, try some of the best CBD teas as another sleep aid.
So, if you find yourself counting sheep instead of blissfully slipping into a deep, restorative slumber, try firing up your tea kettle and steeping one of these relaxing bedtime teas to help you fall and stay asleep.
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Herbal Teas For Sleep:
Herbal teas come from all plants other than the tea plant, and have widely variable effects on sleep. Some herbal teas can enhance sleep while others can disrupt it. Most herbal teas are caffeine free and are thus a better choice for drinking before bedtime and late in the day.
Valerian and kava have been shown to help treat sleep disorders, and there is some preliminary research that chamomile, hops, lavender, passionflower, and lemon balm may also be useful. However, kava and valerian are powerful drugs that should be used only under the consultation of a medical professional, not used casually as a beverage. Chamomile and lemon balm, however, are generally recognized as safe for beverage use.
What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Hibiscus Tea
Although its an herbal tea, the complex chemical makeup of the hibiscus comes with certain side effects. Thus, precaution still needs to be taken when consuming the drink. Also, adults should only consume a maximum of two quarts of hibiscus tea per day, while children should take at most one quart per day.
Here are the recognized side effects of hibiscus tea:
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The Effects Of Tea On Our Body
Caffeine and L-theanine combine to create a soothing effect for our body. Low doses of caffeine have a relaxing effect on our body, its on higher dosages that it makes us more alert. This explains why tea helps reduce anxiety. It contains very low caffeine, so it helps calm us.
Theanine is often used as a supplement to reduce anxiety. It has a soothing effect on our body.
Tea being a hot beverage contributes to the feel of tiredness.
All of these effects combine to make us feel sleepy after drinking it.
Naturally, the effects of tea depend on the type of brew you are drinking. There are a myriad of tea variants you can find in your local supermarket. We mentioned green tea earlier in the article as the variant with the most l-theanine, but there are others that will supply you with plenty of the amino acid. Examples include oolong, white tea, and black tea.
There are more exotic variants of tea that gives you a lot of l-theanine. These are all shaded teas, and most of them come from Japan. Variants with a lot of theanine include gyokuro and matcha. Both are green teas, but they undergo a different production process that better conserves the theanine in their leaves.
Tea Recipes For Better Sleep
There are a few store-bought brands that I adore and purchase frequently, but I also like to switch things up and make my own recipes. Its nice to know exactly how fresh my ingredients are and where they came from, too.
It takes almost zero effort to make your own. Here are my top 5 recipes that you wont find in any store:
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What Are The Side Effects
Research published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that herbal remedies have little to no side effects, so they can be effective in treatment of sleep problems.
But you need to really know which herb youre drinking and its side effects. Because herbs can cause allergic reactions, headaches, heartburn and stomach pain. If youre taking medication, you should ask a doctor whether drinking herbal tea is safe for you.
If you have a serious health condition, you should consider using the herb Rooibos for your herbal tea, after consulting with your doctor. Rooibos is known to have no side effects, nor it interacts with any drugs. Also known as Red Bush tea, it is the national drink of South Africa.