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Tuesday 13 March 2018

Six Bedtime Teas That May Help You Sleep

Kaitlyn Berkheiser RD, LDN writes: 
The 6 Best Bedtime Teas That Help You Sleep

"Good sleep is crucial to your overall health. Unfortunately, about 30% of people suffer from insomnia, or the chronic inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or achieve restorative, high-quality sleep. Herbal teas are popular beverage choices when it comes time to relax and unwind. For centuries, they have been used around the world as natural sleep remedies. Modern research also backs the use of herbal teas and their effectiveness as a sleep aid.
This article explores six of the best bedtime teas for catching some z’s.

1. Chamomile 
For years, chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy to reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety and treat insomnia. In fact, chamomile is commonly regarded as a mild tranquilizer or sleep inducer. Its calming effects may be attributed to an antioxidant called apigenin, which is found in abundance in chamomile tea. Apigenin binds to specific receptors in your brain that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep.
Summary Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which may help initiate sleep. Also, drinking chamomile tea may help improve your overall quality of sleep.

2. Valerian Root

Valerian is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat problems like insomnia, nervousness and headaches. Historically, it was used in England during World War II to relieve the stress and anxiety caused by air raids. Today, valerian is one of the most popular herbal sleep aids in Europe and the US. It’s available as a dietary supplement in capsule or liquid form. Valerian root is also commonly dried and sold as tea.
Summary Valerian root may increase sleepiness by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Smaller studies suggest that valerian root may improve overall sleep quality by shortening the time it takes to fall asleep and decreasing night-time awakenings.

3. Lavender

Lavender is an herb often touted for its aromatic and soothing scent. In ancient times, Greeks and Romans would often add lavender to their drawn baths and breathe in the calming fragrance. Lavender tea is made from the small purple buds of the flowering plant. Originally native to the Mediterranean region, it’s now grown worldwide. Many people drink lavender tea to relax, settle their nerves and aid sleep. In fact, there is research to support these supposed benefits.
Summary Lavender is best known for its relaxing aroma. Drinking lavender tea may improve sleep quality, especially in those with insomnia or anxiety-related.

4. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm belongs to the mint family and is found all over the world. While frequently sold in extract form for use in aromatherapy, lemon balm leaves are also dried to make tea. This citrus-scented, aromatic herb has been used for reducing stress and improving sleep since the Middle Ages.
Summary Lemon balm is an aromatic herb that increases GABA levels in the brains of mice, thus initiating sedation. Drinking lemon balm tea may decrease insomnia-related symptoms.

5. Passionflower
Passionflower tea is made from the dried leaves, flowers and stems of the Passiflora plant. Traditionally, it has been used to alleviate anxiety and improve sleep. More recently, studies have examined the ability of passionflower tea to improve insomnia and sleep quality.
Summary Drinking passionflower tea may improve overall sleep quality. Also, passionflower in conjunction with valerian root and hops may reduce symptoms of insomnia.

6. Magnolia Bark
Magnolia is a flowering plant that has been around for over 100 million years.
Magnolia tea is made mostly from the bark of the plant but also consists of some dried buds and stems. Traditionally, magnolia was used in Chinese medicine for various symptoms, including abdominal discomfort, nasal congestion and stress relief. It is now regarded worldwide for its antianxiety and sedative effects.
Summary In mice, magnolia bark tea has been shown to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the amount of overall sleep by modifying GABA receptors in the brain. However, further research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.

The Bottom Line
Many herbal teas, including chamomile, valerian root and lavender, are marketed as sleep aids. Many of the herbs they contain work by increasing or modifying specific neurotransmitters that are involved in initiating sleep. Moreover, they may help you fall asleep faster, decrease night-time awakenings and improve your overall sleep quality. Unfortunately, most of the current research used these herbs in extract or supplement form — not the herbal tea itself. Given that herbal supplements and extracts are very concentrated versions of the herb, a diluted source like tea is likely to be less effective. Further research that involves larger sample sizes is needed to fully establish herbal teas and their role in improving sleep in the long run. Additionally, since many herbs and supplements have the potential to interact with both prescription and over-the-counter medications, always consult your healthcare provider before adding an herbal tea to your nightly routine. While results can vary by individual, these herbal teas may be a good approach for those who are looking to get a better night’s sleep naturally."

The above is only a snippet of Kaitlyn's article.
You can read it in full, with all related information and research links, here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Dianna said...

Thank you for this informative post on herbal teas being used to help with sleep. I will check around for some of the ones that I don't have. My favorite chamomile is Egyptian Chamomile that I order from Steeped Tea through our daughter-in-law. It is yummy...but I didn't realize is that chamomile is good for reducing inflammation. I'm going to up the cups of it that I have in a day's time because I have fibromyalgia and it would definitely help them with the inflammation. Thanks again, Jan.

Valerie-Jael said...

Tanks for the information, it's good to know what can help. Hugs, Valerie

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Dianna, thank you for your comment.
Looking around the inter-net it would seem that many people drink three or four cups of camomile tea per day. Please note however that Chamomile can interact with various kinds of medication, including blood-thinning medications, cholesterol drugs, sedatives, birth control pills and certain antifungal always consult with a health-care professional if you, or any other of our readers take medication of this sort.

My good wishes

All the best Jan

Catarina said...

Chamomile calms me down. I drink it every night before bedtime. Some nights it works better than others.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderfully informative post and love herbal teas !

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

The Happy Whisk said...

I love having tea before bed, and/or after supper!

Martha said...

Great tips! So many wonderful teas to enjoy, many which are very beneficial.

Debbie said...

Thanks for all of this interesting information. I have suffered for years with sleepless nights, the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep once I do fall asleep. I would love to have something more natural to help achieve A good nights sleep!

Lady Fi said...

I love bedtime teas!

Pom Pom said...

I just ordered a new pillow and it is supposed to have a lavender scent. I love Sleepytime tea.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

None of the ones I have tried have induced sleep, but lavender and chamomile are both wonderful for relaxing. I take melatonin and it works some of the time. Of course it's not a tea! So off topic. OOPS.

happyone said...

I don't usually have trouble sleeping. I do enjoy a nice cup of tea but not before bed for me. I'd be up during the night in the bathroom.

Elephant's Child said...

I haven't found the teas a great success, but do add a lavender diffuser and drops to my pillow. They help a bit.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Jan!:)

So lovely to see you today. Thank you for your visit and comments. I hope you are nicely settled in your new home. I like Chamomile tea, and drink it every night, but also have a lavender filled pillow. I replenish the lavender seeds which I collect from the garden, as needed. I love the scent and it does have a calming effect. I have never seen Lavender tea on sale however, but would love to try it.
Thank you for all this interesting information.:)

William Kendall said...

Every few weeks or so, I might have a bad night, but most nights I sleep well. I do drink tea, but generally speaking not in the evenings.

DMS said...

I enjoy tea and feel like it relaxes me when I have it. I do use essential oils and lavender is a favorite of mine.

Lisabella Russo said...

Thank you for the interesting information. I enjoy teas.

Bill said...

Chamomile tea is my favorite tea.

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing this interesting info.

Our photos said...

Thanks for the info ! I did not know.....

Carol Blackburn said...

I do love that cup of Chamomile before bed.

Mary Kirkland said...

Chamomile is the only one I've tried.

Anonymous said...

As always, very informative. Thank you.

Sami said...

Will have to try all of them and see which one suits me. I have a "sleeping tea" but it doesn't always help.
Thanks Jan.

Love Affair with Food said...

Awesome information on today's post, thank you!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, thanks for sharing this info. I need something to knock me out, I have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. Have a happy day!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

We often have chamomile tea before going to bed. As for Eileen's comment above, try a bottle of Burgundy - that should do the trick!

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent information! Thanks Jan! Big Hugs!

Anonymous said...

This was very interesting to read.


Blue Grumpster said...

I had no idea there was such a thing as tea made from the Passiflora plant.

Amy Purdy said...

I recently started drinking a stress relief tea. It has chamomile and lavender in it. It is very soothing.