Have you ever experienced tossing and turning at night? I had and it wasn’t pleasant since I felt groggy the following day. I have attributed those nights to stress that made my brain go into overdrive. I wasn’t fond of taking sleeping aids, such as sleeping pills, that is why I had to look for other solutions that led me to the best sleep teas. Can drinking herbal teas really improve my slumber?
What are the Benefits of Tea for Sleep?
Sleep teas are often recommended to those who feel anxious or suffering from stress as they are said to help reduce anxiety. You might be wondering what the connection is between drinking herbal tea and sleep? Well, there are advantages to having a cup of tea before you go to bed and these are:
- Reduces anxiety
Bedtime tea, like green tea, contains L-theanine and other amino acids that are believed to help reduce anxious feelings. The L-theanine is a relaxing agent that can help you feel calmer and more relaxed which is important for getting a good night’s sleep.
- Natural sedative
There are some sleep teas that act as natural sedatives, just like in the case of chamomile tea. What this means is that drinking this type of tea can help make your muscles feel more relaxed. If you are having difficulty sleeping, sipping a cup of tea can provide you some relief.
Another benefit that you can gain from herbal teas is that your stress levels will go down. This is because of the antioxidants that are present in these drinks that combat stress by elevating your serotonin levels. Stress has been proven to have a negative impact not only physically, but mentally too. Unfortunately, when your stress level is high, it can affect your sleep too. This can become a vicious cycle that can be interrupted by finding a soothing herbal tea to have at night.
- Improves sleep
Drinking bedtime tea at least half an hour prior to your sleep time can help make you rest better. This is because of the ingredients present in tea bags that can make you drift off to dreamland faster compared to resting without sipping some tea. And it is not just about making you sleep faster but it also helps you go deep into sleep where your body starts to recuperate and rejuvenate itself. This way, you will wake up fully energized.
- Combats insomnia
There are certain types of sleep teas that can prevent insomnia because of its natural sedative properties just like in the case of valerian tea. If you are having difficulty sleeping, then drinking tea can be beneficial to you in the long run.
- Relaxes the muscle
Drinking certain types of herbal teas may earn you a more restful slumber because they do come with mild tranquilizer effects that cause the muscles to relax. Since there is less tension in the muscles, you will find that it is easier to drift off to sleep.
8 of the Best Teas for a Good Night’s Sleep
There are dozens of teas sold these days that have different properties. You have green tea that is known to contain high amounts of antioxidants that can help you become stronger and less prone to sickness. Then there is black tea, which can help reduce your risk of diabetes. Some are great for weight loss, while others are known to promote restful sleep. Here are eight of the best teas that are known as the best alternative to sleep aids.
Chamomile tea has been used to help people fall asleep easily because of its natural sedative properties. On top of that, drinking this tea has been found to be helpful in fighting inflammation as well as anxiety which can contribute to improving one’s slumber. This herbal tea has been the go-to solution by many who wants to get some peaceful and restful sleep at night.
It is possible that the calming effect of this drink can be traced to the apigenin which is a type of antioxidant present in chamomile. What it does is that it binds itself to certain areas of the brain that reduce the feeling of anxiety. Studies on women who are in their postpartum stage showed significant improvement to their rest compared to those who do not drink this tea. However, more studies are required to validate the efficacy of this drink, but many swear by this herbal tea as one of the best solutions to their sleepless nights.
Another example of bedtime tea that you can try is Valerian root. This herb has been around for the past few centuries and its use has never changed. Among its traditional uses were to treat headaches, nervousness, and even insomnia. It made a huge impact back in the Second World War when it was used to reduce anxiety and stress. Today, it is one of the most in-demand herbal teas and supplements in Europe because of its sedative properties.
Researchers are still unsure how valerian root works, but theories abound that drinking this tea can increase gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA in the body which, in turn, can make a person fall asleep. There is a small study conducted on the efficacy of valerian root and it appears that 89% of the participants felt that their sleep quality had improved when they took valerian root extract.
Drinking valerian root tea may help you drift off to sleep faster than without one which can be useful to those who need help getting a night’s rest. But it should be taken in the right dosage to be effective.
Another example of natural sleep aid that you can try if you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep is lavender. You’re probably familiar with this herb as having an aromatic scent to it that is frequently used as an essential oil to help soothe the senses. You’ll be surprised to learn that even the Romans and even the Greeks added this plant to their baths to breathe in its scent to help them feel calm.
Lavender these days are not only used as essential oils, but people are drinking them in tea form. This is because the herb has been found to boost relaxation, settle one’s nerves, and eventually make people fall asleep quickly. There have been studies that show that inhaling the scent of this plant, whether in oil or tea form, can improve one’s feeling of being in a more relaxed state which made it easier for them to nod off at night.
Teas like lemon balm have been found to improve sleep quality considerably as it can reduce stress and boost sleep at the same time. It is part of the mint family and has been around for ages. Studies point to the fact that this herb can elevate GABA in the body which means that it functions as a mild tranquilizer. This is not surprising given that ancient civilizations had used this plant to quell their stress levels and even treat their sleeplessness too.
For those who want to fall asleep easily at night, drinking lemon balm herbal tea may just be the solution that you are looking for. Based on a small study, this tea can create a mild sedative effect in your body which relaxes your muscles and your brain for you to sleep better at night.
Passionflower tea is derived from the Pasiflora plant’s leaves, flowers, and stems and is frequently used to help calm a person who is suffering from anxiety. It is also believed to be useful in boosting one’s sleep quality as well. Recent studies aimed to show how effective passionflower tea is alleviating the effects of insomnia and whether it can improve a person’s sleep.
One study of 40 healthy adults showed that those who drank passionflower tea experienced better sleep compared to those who didn’t drink. There was another study conducted where passionflower tea and valerian root were combined against the combination of Ambien and hops. The study showed that these two combinations work almost the same which is a good indication that you can switch to traditional medicinals to help solve your sleep issues.
Magnolia is a beautiful flowering plant that has been around for quite some time now. Aside from being a pretty ornamental plant to grace your home, did you know that drinking magnolia bark tea can help make you drift off to sleep? The tea itself consists of the bark of the plant, but you can also find traces of dried buds as well as the plant’s stems in the tea bags.
The Chinese have been using this plant as part of their traditional medicinals for treating ailments like nasal congestion, abdominal problems, and stress even. Today, it is being used as an alternative solution to treating anxiety because it also comes with mild sedative effects.
These particular sedative effects come from the honokiol which is a type of compound that is found in the leaves, stems, and flowers of the magnolia plant. What this compound does is modify or alter the GABA receptors in the brain which can lead to sleepiness.
Studies on mice that were injected with this compound showed that the test subjects were able to fall asleep faster with the duration of their rest longer too. Although more studies are needed to verify the effects of drinking magnolia bark, some are already taking advantage of its sleep benefits by sipping some before bedtime.
What other sleep teas should you try to improve the overall quality of your nighttime rest? I found out that lemongrass tea is yet another one of the best teas that are linked to making you sleep well. This is because lemongrass has been found to contain relaxing properties that alleviate stress which you need to be able to sleep better at night.
Aside from that, it appears that sipping on lemongrass tea also comes with other health benefits. Studies show that this type of tea can help improve your digestion, keeps your blood pressure at the right levels, and even enhance your body’s ability to metabolize fat just to name a few. It is also an effective treatment if you are suffering from colds or cough because of the vitamin C compounds contained in it.
The soothing features of lemongrass make it a great herbal tea to drink before you head to bed.
Peppermint comes with several health benefits such as reducing fever, alleviating headaches, and even settling a troublesome tummy. Pregnant women who are suffering from morning sicknesses, such as nausea and vomiting, may find relief from drinking peppermint tea. The same thing can be done when you are experiencing menstrual cramps. Additionally, peppermint tea can also help improve your immune system as it is loaded with vitamin B, potassium, and even calcium just to name a few. If you find yourself prone to having the flu, drinking a cup of this herbal tea may be beneficial to you in the long run.
But these are not the only benefits to be gained from this plant since it can also be used as a sleep aid.
Sipping peppermint herbal tea is the perfect solution if you are looking for a caffeine free drink at night. There are teas that come with caffeine that helps keep you up and running, but peppermint will not do this to you. As a matter of fact, when you sip on this tea at night, it will help you sleep better since it has the ability to reduce your stress levels which is important for a more restful slumber.
The best sleep teas mentioned above are just a few examples of caffeine free drinks that can help improve your sleep quality. From valerian to lemon balm to lavender, you will find that these soothing herbal teas can offer more than just making you sleep better at night.
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