Tea Before Bed
For many people, a nighttime cup of tea is their favored way to relax and wind down the day. A soothing cup can be the perfect way to prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep… just make sure to choose the right kind of tea! Read this guide to herbal teas to find the best tea before bed that will suit your sleep needs.
Tisanes, Herbal Teas, and Fruit Infusions
Tisanes, which can also be called herbal teas or fruit infusions, are a blend of herbs, flowers, fruits, and/or spices brewed using the same methods as tea. These ‘herbal teas’ are not true teas, since they don’t contain any part of the camelia sinensis plant (aka the tea plant), but have become synonymous with the term. Despite not being teas, these herbal blends can still be amazingly flavorful and delicious. Additionally, the best feature of such herbal infusions is that they are completely caffeine-free!
Unlike decaffeinated tea, a proper herbal blend contains 0mg of caffeine. The decaffeination process does remove most of the caffeine, but will leave trace amounts in the tea. Even a small bit of it can have an impact on the sleeping patterns of someone with a caffeine sensitivity. This is why it’s best to stick with fruit or herbal tisanes as your nighttime brew.
Green Tea For Sleep?
While there have been a few studies that show green tea promotes better sleep, it still may not be the right choice right before bed. Green tea contains caffeine that can give you a boost of wakefulness. Although green teas do contain lower levels of caffeine than black tea, it can still be enough that some people have trouble getting to sleep (especially those that are sensitive to caffeine). Because caffeine is a stimulant, it is recommended not to have any in the four to six hours before bedtime if you want to have a good night’s sleep.
Even for those that aren’t sensitive to it, caffeine is still a diuretic. You may end up with frequent bathroom breaks that keep you from getting a full, restful night of sleep. For these reasons, we suggest you enjoy your cup of green tea earlier on in the evening, so you can get the relaxing benefits without the interruptions to your sleep. Try a cup of green tea right after work and save your favorite caffeine-free tisanes and herbal teas for bedtime!
Our Favorite Bedtime Teas
Healing Honeysuckle is our go-to nightly blend. This ‘herbal tea’ is completely caffeine-free, since it doesn’t contain any of the tea plant. Healing Honeysuckle is a blend of orange rind, echinacea, red rooibos, ginger, blackberry leaf, holy basil, licorice root, jasmine blossom, lemongrass, spearmint, and chamomile.
The lemongrass and chamomile are both popular herbs for sleep trouble while the echinacea, ginger, and other herbs create a soothing flavor that can help you relax your whole body. This blend is light and floral, so it’s the perfect calming tea!
For those that love chai but can’t handle nightly caffeine, another favorite is Sweetie Pie Chai. This blend takes all the traditional chai spices and mixes them with sweet potatoes instead of black tea. This results in a spiced brew that’s 100% caffeine-free, so you can enjoy your favorite flavors event at bedtime.
Sweetie Pie Chai contains Alabama sweet potatoes, cinnamon, tulsi, ginger, licorice root, clove, cassia oil, and vanilla. It is a delightful blend that can warm your heart without keeping you up late!
Ingredients For Your Bedtime Tea
There are many natural ways to promote a good night’s sleep. Some favorites include roots and herbs that help you get to sleep, stay asleep, or experience deeper sleep. You can brew these plants into herbal teas as a delicious and natural way to get better rest.
There are a lot of plants to choose from, so it helps to pinpoint whether your trouble is restlessness, dozing off, or frequent waking. From there you can find the plants and herbs that will be best to help you. Keep reading to learn some of the most popular ingredients to look for when picking out your bedtime teas and their effects.
This herb is perhaps the most famous ingredient for nighttime tea and it is widely used across dozens of tea brands. Chamomile tea is brewed using the dried flowers of either the German Chamomile or Roman Chamomile plant.
It is particularly soothing due to apigenin in the plant, which is a chemical compound that can have a sedative-like effect. Because of this chemical makeup, a warm cup of chamomile tea about an hour before bed can be effective at making you sleepy.
Though this herb is helpful for falling asleep, studies have been inconclusive about whether chamomile offers any improvements to sleep quality. So if you have trouble nodding off, chamomile tea may be the perfect drink for you. But this herb isn’t the solution if you’re looking to solve a lack of deep, restful sleep.
Lemongrass has a calming, citrusy scent and a fresh, light flavor. To many people, the flavor of lemongrass alone is soothing and relaxing. But this flavorful little herb has some added benefits that make it good for your night-time tea ritual.
Firstly, lemongrass is high in magnesium, which makes it a wonderful choice for bedtime tea. Magnesium can improve sleep quality, so a cup of lemongrass tea may help give you a more fulfilling rest.
The aroma helps ease stress and anxiety, which are common causes of sleepless nights. An aromatherapy study showed that lemongrass helped lower diastolic blood pressure. The soothing impact of this herb's scent could have a very positive effect on your sleep cycle.
This herb also has other positive benefits, because it is high in antioxidants! Lemongrass has also been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This little plant is an all-around wonder!
This herb has been traditionally used for insomnia for centuries. Valerian is still a commonly used herbal supplement today. However, studies on the root’s actual benefits to sleep have been inconclusive.
Some older studies have concluded that valerian, if taken right before bed, may improve sleep quality. But the results were self-rated by the participants and highly subjective. More recent studies have shown that any benefits to sleep given by valerian are negligible at best.
Subjectively, some people sing the praises of valerian root while others say it has no effect on their sleep quality. So it may be helpful to some, but there are no widely proven benefits.
There are so many herbs, flowers, and berries that are used as herbal remedies to help you fall asleep, sleep deeper, or stay asleep better through the night. Everyone claims that their herb is the best one for sleep, but the truth is that everyone is different. While chamomile may put one person out like a light, the next may get better results from a tea made with valerian root. Like most herbal remedies, sometimes you have to try a few before you find the one that’s right for you!
The perfect herbal tea is no different, especially because you have to account for flavor too! The important thing is to make sure that your bedtime tea is caffeine-free. From there, try a few and see which one tastes and feels the best. Though there are some studies about this herb or that, it really comes down to which flavors you personally find the most relaxing. The best tea before bed is different for everyone! You just have to find your match.
Some of the most commonly used sleep aids are valerian root, chamomile, and lavender. But lemongrass, passionflower, lemon balm, peppermint, and berries have all been recommended as herbal teas to help you get a good night’s rest. All in all, it may be best to try a variety of different herbal blends to find the best bedtime tea for you, both in flavor and effectiveness!