By now, we all know that coffee or soda is trouble for your night or sleep ahead. Even alcohol negatively affects your slumber. You aren’t stuck with plain water, though. Sipping tea before bed is a wonderful habit to get into, and there are a variety of teas to choose from. Whether you just like the taste of peppermint or need help battling insomnia, there is a tea for you!
#1 Chamomile Tea. This type of tea has a reputation as one of the top for inducing sleep, and for good reason. For many years, chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy to both decrease anxiety and treat insomnia. Its calming effects may be attributed to an antioxidant called “Apigenin,” which is found in abundance in chamomile tea. Apigenin works by binding to specific receptors in your brain that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. Several studies have shown that chamomile tea improves sleep quality by helping you to fall asleep faster and do away with frequent waking throughout the night.
#2 Valerian Root Tea. Valerian is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia, although it is now cultivated in North America as well. It has been used as a medicinal herb since ancient times to treat problems like insomnia, nervousness, and even headaches. Researchers are not entirely sure how valerian root works to improve sleep. However, one theory is that it increases levels of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. Similar to how many anti-anxiety medications work, when GABA is present in large abundance, it increases sleepiness.
#3 Lavender Tea. We spoke recently about the benefits of essential oils, including the scent of lavender. You can actually drink lavender as well, and reap the same benefits of a lavender candle or lotion. Drinking lavender tea may improve sleep quality, especially in those with insomnia or anxiety-related disorders. Many people who drink lavender tea enjoy a few teaspoons of honey in it, although others enjoy the taste of just lavender.
#4 Passionflower Tea. This tea is somewhat less known, which is a shame because it is so effective and so tasty! Passionflower tea is made from the dried leaves, flowers and stems of the Passiflora plant. Recent have examined the ability of passionflower tea to improve insomnia and sleep quality. One such study compared passionflower in conjunction with Ambien, a medication commonly prescribed to treat insomnia. The results showed that the passionflower combination was as effective as Ambien at improving sleep quality!
#5 Magnolia Bark Tea. Magnolia bark has been used in Asia for centuries to calm anxiety and nerves. The active compound “Magnolol” acts as a mild sedative, which is perfect for getting your body ready to sleep for a solid eight hours. "I am a big fan of magnolia for sleep," says Michael Breus, Ph.D., a board-certified sleep specialist. "It works as an anxiety reducer, and several of my patients have commented to me that it helps them 'turn off’ their brain." Research has found that magnolia bark helps both to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the amount of time spent in REM and non- sleep, both of which are important in restorative rest.
For centuries and even longer, herbal teas have been used around the world as natural sleep remedies. And this hasn’t changed, as modern research has continued to back the use of herbal teas and their effectiveness as a sleep aid. If you’re having trouble falling asleep naturally, this could certainly do the trick. If you’re still struggling, there many be a different underlying issue, like a need for a new premium mattress, a better pillow, or a way to raise your legs while you sleep. You sleep is so important to your health, it is imperative that you begin to tackle your inability to get the restorative rest your body needs right away.