Sleep is absolutely essential for our well-being. In fact, nearly every creature on the planet requires sleep to function and live a productive life. But that doesn’t mean sleep is always easy to come by—especially in the hectic, rapid-paced world in which we live.
Keep reading to learn more about why sleep is so important and what you can do to achieve restorative sleeping habits.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions out there to help us get the sleep we need. Best of all, not every bedtime helper is pharmaceutical. One of the most effective strategies is to develop a bedtime routine that helps you set the stage for a good night’s sleep.
If you sometimes struggle to drift off to dreamland, here are five natural bedtime teas to incorporate into your nighttime routine. These herbal supplements can help you relax and fall asleep faster—all without the side effects of some prescription sleep aids.
Chamomile is one of the oldest and most commonly used herbal supplements to help with insomnia. You’ll find this tender white flower in nearly every bedtime tea on the market. It can be used on its own or as part of a blend to help reduce stress and prepare the mind and body for rest.
Its sedative effects can be attributed to apigenin, a compound of flavonoids, which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, creating anxiety-reducing effects. There are several brands that offer chamomile tea, including Twinings, , and Yogi Tea.
2) Banana Cinnamon Tea
Not every effective bedtime tea relies on the herb garden for its power. This tea combines the with the warming effects of cinnamon to make a soothing nighttime tonic. Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium, two minerals that work synergistically to improve sleep by serving as a muscle relaxant.
If you don’t find banana cinnamon tea on the supermarket shelf, don’t despair. This tea can be made at home by following these steps:
Cut the ends off a banana, leaving the peel on.
Place the banana in a pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
Use a colander to filter the liquid into a mug.
Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste, then serve.
3) Valerian Root Tea
This powerful insomnia fighter has been used since ancient times to help people get better sleep. It can be taken in a pill supplement form, but using it in hot tea as part of a bedtime routine can be even more effective if your goal is a restful and restorative night.
Valerian root extract promotes an increased release of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which, in sufficient quantities, results in a sedative effect. Commonly, valerian root is used in combination with other herbs, such as lemon balm, to greatly improve sleep quality. A popular brand is the Nighty Night Valerian by Traditional Medicinals.
4) Passionflower Tea
Passionflower, a plant originating from Peru, is commonly used to help with insomnia and anxiety. This herb also acts on the GABA receptors, increasing the levels in the brain, thus reducing brain cell activity and causing a relaxed feeling.
Passionflower can be used on its own or in combination with other herbs believed to induce sleep, such as hops, lemon balm, or valerian. Passionflower tea can be bought—Yogi has a great Bedtime blend that includes licorice and cardamom—or made by adding dried passionflower to boiling water.
5) Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea
Just the name of this tea sounds like a cozy night’s sleep. When used as part of a calming bedtime ritual, this tasty tea is an effective way to improve sleep quality and duration.
This tea is an alternative blend of herbs that contains chamomile and L-theanine, which is an anxiety-relieving amino acid that binds to the brain’s receptors, inhibiting overactivity. L-theanine may further promote calmness and a reduction in anxiety by increasing the levels of dopamine and GABA in the brain. The is a popular option.
Sleep is crucial for health and wellness, and few things can be as frustrating as being unable to get your full eight hours. To promote better sleep, try creating a peaceful bedtime routine that incorporates these rest-inducing teas—and don’t keep this info to yourself. Help friends and family get a better night’s sleep by passing this valuable information along to them.
Parinaz Samimi is a certified yoga instructor and sleep and wellness expert. Having both a Masters in Public Health and one in Business Administration she is passionate about sharing her experiences to help inspire and empower others to cultivate happiness, health, and productivity.