Best teas for bedtime slumber

April 7, 2017 SLEEP ESSENTIALS

Your kooky Aunt Vera was right: A nice little cuppa before bedtime really can lead to a better night’s sleep. But as any tea enthusiast can tell you, not all teas — and not even all herbal teas — are a one-way ticket to Sleepy Town.

Here, we explore the best teas for sleep. You can find all of these at the grocery store, or (if you really want to channel Aunt Vera) you can brew them yourself from dried herbs. Consume these teas as you would any natural sleep aid — about 30 minutes before bedtime, after you’re settled in for the night. One cup should do it; any more, and your bladder will work against the benefits.

Best Tea for Sleeping - Chamomile

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Chamomile tea

Why It Works: This centuries-old herb is best known for its sleeping aid abilities.

Other Benefits: Also known to relieve an upset stomach, chamomile is believed to treat skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis. Like many herbal sleep aids, it’s also known for its relaxing qualities.

Instructions: Steep a ¼ cup of chamomile in 1 cup hot water for up to 5 minutes.

Best Tea for Sleeping - Lavender

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Lavender tea

Why It Works: Legit research shows lavender’s scent can reduce both insomnia and anxiety. Inhaling the fragrance as you sip is a great way to easy into a great night’s sleep.

Other Benefits: This herb can also help in a host of digestive issues and can be used as both a mood stabilizer and a hair rinse (really!).

Instructions: Brewed best with 1 teaspoon per 1 cup water.

Best Tea for Sleeping - Valerian Root

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Valerian root tea

Why It Works: This is another herb with a few studies under its belt verifying its powers to combat sleep disorders.

Other Benefits: Valerian root helps ease both depression and anxiety, as well as muscle joint pain. Cat owners, keep the Valerian root away from Fluffy. While not harmful to kitties, it’s almost as enticing to them as catnip.

Instructions: It’s honestly easier to buy Valerian root in tea bags, but brewing enthusiasts can use a ratio of 1 teaspoon of dried root to 1 cup hot water.

Best Tea for Sleeping - Green Tea

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Caffeine-free Green tea

Why It Works: Green tea’s sleep benefits are easy to dismiss because it’s naturally caffeinated. But thanks to the amino acid theanine, decaffeinated versions can help drinkers seriously chill.

Other Benefits: Green tea can ease anxiety and lower blood pressure. A more long-term benefit includes aiding in Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

Instructions: Green tea is typically caffeinated, so double-check you’ve gone home with a decaffeinated version.

Best Tea for Sleeping - Mint Tea

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Mint tea

Why It Works: The menthol in mint does more than create a delightful aroma; it also serves as a natural muscle relaxer that can prepare the body for sleep.

Other Benefits: Just like sucking on a peppermint candy can help an upset stomach, mint tea can settle your insides. It can even relieve sinus congestion.

Instructions: Use 10 to 12 of any type of fresh mint leaves per 1 cup of water. If using store-bought varieties, make certain that the blend doesn’t contain any black tea, which is caffeinated.

Best Tea for Sleeping - Lemongrass

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Lemongrass tea

Why It Works: A lot of “sleepytime” tea combinations include lemongrass, not just for the taste, but also because of its relaxing smell.

Other Benefits: Lemongrass can soothe the stomach and relieve muscle pain.

Instructions: Simmer ½ cup chopped lemongrass in 1½ cups water for 10 minutes.

Best Tea for Sleeping - St. Johns Wort

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St. John’s wort tea

Why It Works: Another plant used for millennia, it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Other Benefits: A small portion of scientific evidence shows St. John’s wort can rival anti-depressants for treating mild depression.

Instructions: Fresh or dried St. John’s wort can be challenging to find, so stick to the store-bought teabags on this one.

Written By Andrea Lynn

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