What if we told you that just a cup of tea could change your sleep quality? If you've been struggling with sleep, this may sound like a pipe dream. But in reality, there are many herbal teas known to help you catch some shut eye. Even the simple act of creating a routine around brewing a cup of tea before bed can help you set yourself up for a truly dreamy sleep.
In this blog, we'll share some of our favorite herbal teas for sleep, as well as share some of our top tips for preparing tea before bed to promote sleep.
Drinking Tea for Sleep
There are many reasons to start a tea routine for sleep. For starters, practicing the simple, relaxing routine of brewing your tea before bedtime can be a great way to enhance sleep quality. Habitual routines like preparing a bedtime tea have been shown to help your brain recognize that it's bedtime, and will help you wind down before sleep. Beyond this simple practice, though, certain teas have been shown to have specific health benefits that promote sleep.
As you already know (hopefully not from too much experience), you should limit your caffeine intake later in the day to ensure a great sleep. For this reason, you should avoid incorporating certain teas into your bedtime routine. As a general rule of thumb, herbal teas are ideal for sleep because they are caffeine free. However, certain herbal teas are even more effective than others in improving sleep quality.
Lavender Tea for Sleep
If you've ever tried aromatherapy, you're likely familiar with lavender as a great catalyst for sleep. Candles, pillow mists and lotions that are intended to help promote sleep often contain lavender essential oil. Ingesting lavender through tea is another great way to induce sleep.
Several studies have shown that lavender tea can help you fall asleep. One study showed that older adults who drank lavender tea before bedtime had decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are both major contributors to insomnia. Other studies have shown lavender essential oil's ability to reduce anxiety and induce sleep. Because you are inhaling the scent of lavender as you sip your cup of tea, you will experience similar aromatherapeutic effects.
A plain lavender tea brews as a light purple and has a deep floral, almost perfume-like flavor. While many enjoy lavender tea as-is, others appreciate a tea that includes lavender among other herbs for a smoother, less perfumey taste.
Mosi's Rooibos Lavender is a great option. This caffeine free herbal tea has a lightly nutty flavor that is beautifully enhanced by floral lavender. With added hints of honey, this lightly sweet drink will have you drifting off to sleep in no time.
Chamomile Tea For Sleep
Like lavender, chamomile tea comes from a flower. The essential oils from the chamomile flower have been shown to act as a natural sleep aid for centuries. Chamomile tea is known to have a sedative effect that improves sleep quality. This is likely thanks to the chemical compound apigenin found in the chamomile flower, which is known to calm the mind. In a review of 12 studies, chamomile was shown to improve sleep quality.
Mosi's Green Chamomile is a loose leaf blend of garden-picked green tea, chamomile flowers and lemongrass. While green tea does have some caffeine in it, Mosi's Green Chamomile is very low in caffeine. And the base of a low caffeine green tea may actual make this tea a unique powerhouse of sleep induction; low caffeine green tea has been linked to improved sleep quality and reduced fatigue. The antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) found in green tea has also been linked to its sedative effect.
The light, refreshing green tea flavor of Mosi's Green Chamomile, paired with the sweet, entrancing tonic of chamomile and bite of lemongrass makes for a robust, delicious tea that's perfect to help you unwind.
Lemon Balm Tea For Sleep
Lemon balm, an herb in the mint family, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries as both a sleep aid and a digestive aid.
Lemon balm tea has been shown to reduce experience of insomnia, anxiety and depression. Those who enjoy lemon balm tea feel that it helps with restlessness before bed.
Unlike its name, lemon balm tea doesn't actually taste much like lemon. It is actually most similar to mint tea in flavor, with light citrusy undertones.
Passionflower Tea for Sleep
Passionflower tea is another floral tea. Passionflower has been shown to contain certain flavonoids that bind to receptors in the brain and help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Valerian Root Tea For Sleep
Valerian root tea may not be at the top of your radar. This funky sounding tea is made from valerian root, an herb native to Asia and Europe. To make valerian root tea, the herbs of the valerian root are dried and steeped.
Valerian root has been shown to boost levels of GABA, the neurotransmitter known to reduce anxiety. This may also help reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, and improve overall sleep quality.
The one catch with valerian root is that many don't enjoy the flavor of the tea. Valerian root has a pungent aroma that can be hit or miss for tea time.
How to Choose Your Bedtime Tea
While there are many different options of teas to choose from to help you sleep, you'll find that some work better for you than others. Ultimately, the best tea to help you sleep is the one that you are most likely to incorporate into your daily routine. This means you should choose one that suits your budget and taste standards.
Another factor to consider is the quality of your tea. The higher quality tea you're brewing, the more benefits you'll experience. Loose leaf teas in particular are known to offer the most benefits, as they include the whole leaf, rather than just dust and fannings of the herbs and flowers. This means that more surface area of the herbs and flowers interacts with the water as it steeps, so you get a more potent brew.
Starting Your Bedtime Tea Routine
If you're still new to drinking tea before bedtime, we have a few tips to get you started.
To kick off your nighttime routine, we recommend creating a shutting off technology and dimming your lights about two hours before bedtime. When you start preparing your tea, try to focus solely on your tea preparation -- engaging in a mindful practice. Using a loose leaf tea will require a few more steps than simply plopping a tea bag into hot water -- and the mindfulness required for these extra steps will help you get into the zone.
As your tea steeps, take the time to focus on inhaling the aromas. This simple act will not only get you into a meditative state, but it will also help your brain access the aromatherapeutic effects of your tea. Once your tea has brewed, focus on the warmth and flavor of the tea as you sip.
Most importantly? Just be consistent with your tea routine. Having a bedtime routine that you stick to will help your body recognize that it's time to fall asleep.