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The 5 Best Teas for Sleeping: How to Use Herbal Tea to Help You Sleep and Relax

Updated on July 30, 2017
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Jorge drinks tea way too often and likes to learn about the different properties of both herbal and green teas.

Need some tea to help you sleep?
Need some tea to help you sleep?

The Best Herbal Teas for Sleeping

Are you a fan of tea, but are looking for something that can make you feel relaxed instead of energized? The best teas to help you sleep are herbal teas because most of them are naturally caffeine-free and have few side-effects.

Can herbal tea really help bring the yawns? Well, nobody knows for sure. Just as with essential oils and other holistic remedies, there's not a huge mountain of evidence either for or against their effectiveness as sleep aids.

This doesn't mean that they don't work, though! Subjectively, in my experience, certain herbal teas can help you sleep for whatever reason. Maybe it's the placebo effect, but when you're trying to quiet down your thoughts at night, "mind over matter" is all you really need.

Besides, drinking a hot cup of anything is bound to relax you. Here are some of the classic favorite teas that traditionally are used to help you sleep:

What is a good herbal tea for sleeping? Lavender might work.
What is a good herbal tea for sleeping? Lavender might work.

1) Lavender Tea

Lavender is a common ingredient in herbal concoctions that are meant to promote sleep. The tea is made from the buds of the plant. Traditionally, it has been used both as a tea and an essential oil in order to help people relax.

Lots of people use it to treat mild insomnia. It's not going to knock you out or make you super drowsy, but it will help soothe you into a state where sleep will come easier.

Traditional chamomile tea can promote sleep and relaxation.
Traditional chamomile tea can promote sleep and relaxation.

2) Chamomile Tea

You've probably heard of chamomile tea being used for relaxation. You may have even used this tea to help you sleep before. What exactly is it, though?

Well, chamomile is basically a plant that sprouts a bunch of little flowers. It's used in traditional remedies for a variety of ailments--from digestion issues to allergies--but it can also help with insomnia. The tea is made from putting the dried up flowers into some hot water.

Using chamomile tea to help you sleep is probably the simplest solution in this list because it's so easy to find. You can get all kinds of bagged or loose leaf chamomile tea at most major grocery stores, and even at many discount stores.

If you like to feel a little more connected with nature, you could also try growing your own chamomile. It's not hard and a lot of people actually use it for their lawns instead of grass.

Linden leaf can relax and soothe you before bed.
Linden leaf can relax and soothe you before bed.

3) Linden Tea

Linden tea is made from linden leaf and is used in traditional medicine in a variety of ways. Some people use it to treat colds and other mild illnesses, or even to treat headaches.

Of course, it also has a sedative effect, which is what makes it a good tea for sleeping purposes. There is actually some scientific evidence to back this up, too: according to a study, linden extract can make mice drowsy.

This trippy-looking plant has been shown to help lower anxiety, among other things.
This trippy-looking plant has been shown to help lower anxiety, among other things.

4) Passionflower Tea

Passionflower tea comes from the leaves of one of the various Passiflora plants. This plant has been used as a sedative (among other things) for generations by Native North Americans. There is also some evidence that it can be used to treat anxiety.

Though it is an herbal tea, take this one with care. Some specifies of passionflower can be mildly toxic, so you should never take it (or anything else, really) in excessive amounts. Most commercial teas that you buy will be in safe doses, though, and having a cup before bed every once in awhile is unlikely to harm you.

Green tea has been helping people relax for generations. Just make sure that the caffeine has been taken out!
Green tea has been helping people relax for generations. Just make sure that the caffeine has been taken out!

5) Decaffeinated Green Tea

Okay, so this isn't herbal tea--this is decaf green tea, but it has a lot of potential as a sleep aid. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine that can help a person relax and focus. Some people take this amino acid as a supplement to help them meditate or work with more intense concentration.

However, it can also help you relax enough to sleep. Normally, the downside of green tea is that the caffeine can keep you awake, but if you simply take that away, it can actually make a decent pre-bed brew.

Time to sip on some drowsy water. Are you yawning yet?
Time to sip on some drowsy water. Are you yawning yet?

Using Tea Blends to Help You Sleep

While teas made from these herbs and leaves on their own can help you relax and sleep, you can also made interesting fusions. For example, some people enjoy the taste and effect of lavender mixed with (decaf) green tea.

Try to experiment and see what blend works best for you. Alternatively, you can also buy pre-made herbal tea blends that are made to help you sleep. Just make sure to examine the ingredients and only buy from reputable companies.

More importantly, always consult with your doctor if you have any doubts about the safety of ingesting anything new. While herbal teas are usually safe, everybody is different.

Also, if your insomnia persists, definitely see a doctor. You may have to get checked out if you can't fall asleep naturally. Sleep is one of the most important things that you do every day, so don't neglect your health.

Your Favorite Teas for Sleep

Which of these are you going to try?

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© 2017 Jorge Vamos

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