10 Best Sleeping Teas To Have Good Rest [Ultimate Guide]
Whether it’s insomnia or an unhealthy diet, tea might just be the solution to enhancing your sleep quality. Severe situations might call for stronger sedatives, but unless it comes with your doctor’s recommendation, a sleep aid will do more harm in the long run than a soothing beverage.
We’re obviously not talking about hard liquor here! A warm drink before bed has helped people hit the hay for hundreds of years before the advent of modern sedatives. Whether it’s hot chocolate, tea, or just a warm cup of milk, you can safely say there are a few different ways to improve your sleep quality.
But most hot cocoas have far too much sugar in them for sleep. And not everyone can drink, let alone enjoy, a cup of warm milk. Therefore, tea is the ultimate drink for poor sleepers.
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The 10 Best Teas To Help You Sleep
1. Lavender Tea: Best To Reduce Anxiety
Out of all the herbal teas on this list, lavender tea has some of the most well-known effects on relaxation and reducing your anxiety. The plant itself is relatively easy to source, and that might just be enough, thanks to something called Linalool.
One of the reasons why drinking lavender tea is so relaxing for people is the compound linalool. Linalool naturally appears in many flowers and spice plants. You will also find it as an ingredient for perfumes, detergents, and lotions. Besides its sweet smell, Linalool repels insects and has antifungal properties.
This means that people have associated lavender’s refreshing smell with cleanliness for years. So, it is likely that this association can trick your brain into relaxing before bed thanks to some lavender aromatherapy.
Lavender aromatherapy is so popular, in fact, that if you can’t find any lavender tea, then you should still be able to source lavender essential oil instead. Although you shouldn’t drink lavender oil, you can still drip some of it on your pillow to improve sleep quality.
Although lavender tea does help you fall asleep, its impact on your sleep quality does not always last long term. It might help you feel less fatigued, but lavender does not make any significant changes to your overall stress levels.
Celestial Seasonings has a massive catalog of herbal teas. Lemon Lavender Lane is a particularly nice blend if you prefer a more sour taste over that of lavender.
- Lessens anxiety
- Good for aromatherapy
- Only works short term
2. Chamomile Tea: Best To Reduce Insomnia
The chamomile plant has been used for a whole host of medical purposes in the past. Chamomile tea is the preferred hot drink for sleep-disturbed postnatal women. We are not kidding.
Chamomile tea contains a chemical compound called Apigenin, which interacts with the benzodiazepine receptors in your brain. Put simply, drinking chamomile tea releases a chemical that soothes the part of your brain that medications like Xanax and Ambien do, and to a similar effect. The result is that symptoms like insomnia, depression, and general irritability that come with postpartum depression are alleviated.
But remember that you should not drink chamomile tea while you are pregnant. Studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information show that it can increase the risk of preterm labor or miscarriage.
Twinings is a reliable tea brand that sells high-quality products. Their Pure Camomile packs should last you a few weeks if you’re one for drinking tea on the regular.
- Relieves anxiety
- Perfect for new mothers
- Dangerous for pregnant people
3. Lemon Balm Tea: Best To Reduce Asthma
Out of the other sleepy teas on this list, Lemon balm tea is closest to lavender in the sense that both are used for aromatherapy. But when you prepare your bedtime tea, lemon balm tea might lead to a better night’s sleep because of its Rosmarinic acid.
Rosmarinic acid is common among all plants in the mint family, so don’t let the lemon in the name fool you! This citrusy plant has anti-inflammatory properties. Aromatherapy can reduce the effects of asthma.
Lemon balm tea has also been proven to help reduce anxiety and insomnia, according to the national library of medicine. Although it might not induce sleep, it will certainly ensure restful sleep for the whole night.
One problem with lemon balm is that it has a chance of affecting your thyroid hormone levels. You should avoid using lemon balm products if you have any thyroid infections.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm Herbal Tea usually comes in large packs and at a high quality. If you like drinking lemon balm tea and lots of it, then you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces effects of insomnia
- Avoid if you have thyroid infections
4. Valerian Tea: Best For All
Valerian root tea works similarly to traditional sleep aids since it helps you fall asleep. Many herbal teas make sure you have better sleep by keeping you from waking up at night, but valerian tea has sleep-inducing ingredients.
These ingredients are valepotriates and sesquiterpenes. The former is used in many sedatives and has a history of being used to treat anxiety. The latter has anti-microbial properties.
These same ingredients do, however, have adverse effects when you take them with stronger medicines. Avoid drinking valerian root extract when you are taking Xanax or morphine.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Valerian Relaxation Tea is a suitable option if you want to give pure valerian tea a try. Just be sure to have some maple syrup on hand if the smell starts to put you off. Otherwise, try Numi’s Sweet Slumber tea for a mixture of chamomile, lavender, and valerian root.
Most producers mix valerian root extract into other tea bags. This is because valerian root tea has an off-putting taste on its own. You are more likely to find a mixture of chamomile tea with valerian root mixed in.
Not only does it mask the taste to a degree, it also mixes the sedative properties of valerian tea with chamomile tea’s ability to keep you asleep. You can alternatively use some maple syrup to mask the taste instead.
- Earthy taste
- Helps you fall asleep faster
- Unpleasant smell
- Avoid mixing with Xanax and/or morphine
5. Green Tea: Best For Deep Sleep
If you are looking for something warm just before you drift off to sweet dreams, then you might want to put the green tea bag away. Regular green tea has a lot more caffeine in it than almost any other tea, so it won’t help you get a good night’s sleep. So, why is it on this list?
The answer is Theanine. Theanine is a compound that appears in almost every tea, not just green tea. It’s part of the drink that gives it its soothing qualities. If you like the taste, then you can get your hands on a low-caffeine green tea that you can drink throughout the day instead of coffee.
Occasionally, the best way to promote sleep is to control your daily caffeine intake. Green tea might not be the best tea for sleep, but it’s the pick-me-up that you need in the middle of the workday. Consider a cup of tea next time you take your lunch break.
Make sure to double-check whether you’re buying decaffeinated green tea. Bigelow Decaffeinated Green Tea is a popular brand on Amazon. They also sell classical green tea if you want something to replace coffee with.
- Good for limiting your caffeine intake
- Helps reduce stress throughout the day
- Higher in caffeine than other teas
6. Rooibos Tea: Best For Occasional Drinking
Also known as red tea, this is by far one of the best non-herbal teas for sleep. We’ve mentioned before that minimizing your caffeine intake can help you sleep. Well, out of all the sleep teas on this list, Rooibos is naturally caffeine free.
Among its many health benefits, Rooibos tea is also low in tannin. Unlike other sleepy-time teas, this mineral does not necessarily treat insomnia or anxiety. Tannins appear in almost every other cup of tea. And these tannins can interfere with the absorption of nutrients like iron in your bloodstream. If you drink tea regularly, you might have had an issue with iron deficiency in the past, but luckily, Rooibos will curb that problem.
There has been some anecdotal evidence that drinking too much Rooibos tea can lead to liver problems. But that is only in severe cases, such as drinking almost ten cups a day.
Twinings’ Pure Rooibos Red Tea is an affordable option from Amazon that you can ship in bulk. You might even find blends of Rooibos tea with other spices if you want an aromatic sleep tea.
- Naturally, caffeine-free
- Low tannin levels
- Good for your kidneys
- Possible connection to liver problems
7. Mint Tea: Best To Improve Sleep
This technically extends to all teas in the mint family. If you prefer the sharpness of spearmint or the coolness of peppermint, they all make for excellent bedtime teas. Your preferred bedtime routine is what affects your subjective sleep quality the most, so experiment with different types of mint tea to see what works for you.
Mint tea is almost completely caffeine free, so it makes a good relaxing tea before bedtime. But that isn’t the only quality that helps improve sleep. Mint affects your muscles by helping them relax. We recommend a cup of tea after a stressful day behind a desk or a long exercise session. It will help you fall asleep that night and prevent cramps.
Probably the greatest property of mint tea is that it helps soothe an upset tummy. If food poisoning or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is giving you sleep problems, then a hot cup of mint tea will lead you on the road to recovery.
Mint is, unfortunately, an irritant for some people. You might be allergic to mint, so be sure to test your reaction before you buy yourself a whole crate of loose tea leaves. Common symptoms are itchiness in the applied area, irritation of the eyes, and hives.
Bigelow’s Perfectly Mint black tea is a popular brand that you can order in bulk from Amazon. Mint tea is another one of those flavors that go well with just about anything. You can mix and match if one of the other teas on our list has the effects you are looking for, but needs a little more zing.
- Low caffeine
- Improves symptoms of IBS
- Some people are allergic to mint
8. Magnolia Bark Tea: Best To Treat Headache
Magnolia bark might just be the sleepy tea you’ve been looking for. The bark from the magnolia tree has been used as a sleeping aid for thousands of years throughout China and in parts of Japan.
Its use in Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been documented in the past with varying amounts of truth. There are claims that it can treat headaches, fever, and even anxiety disorders, but the only tested health benefit of magnolia bark tea is that it promotes sleep.
The chemical compound that contributes to this effect is called Honokiol. Honokiol binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, which prompts sleep.
GABA receptors are essentially the part of your body that help you determine when you should sleep. Caffeine also blocks these receptors, but it clogs them up in doing so. This is essentially how coffee keeps you awake.
The bark from the magnolia tree can taste pretty bad if you drink it on its own. Some people manage to block out the taste with sugar or honey, while others prefer to skip the tea altogether. Many popular herbal supplements are made from magnolia bark, which also helps you sleep.
Since magnolia tree bark interacts with your GABA receptors, it will have a negative effect on other sleeping medications. That’s because most sedatives interact with these receptors, so it’s generally a bad idea to mix it with other sleeping meds.
TerraVita’s Magnolia (Hou Po) Bark Tea is a suitable option if you want to try the ingredient on its own. It comes with no additional flavoring.
- Has been used as a sleeping aid for thousands of years
- Works similarly to other sleeping meds
- Awful taste
- Some people may be allergic to magnolia bark
9. Passionflower Tea: Best To Promote Sleep
Passionflower tea has been shown to have similar effects to chamomile tea. They have the same improvement in sleep quality since they both act on the same part of the brain. The difference is that passionflower doesn’t have the same history as a sleep aid as chamomile.
If you’re looking for anxiety deterrents that promote sleep, then you can rest assured when it comes to passionflower teas. Research by the National Library of Medicine shows that they relieve the user of insomnia as well as the other teas on this list.
That same research shows that passionflower tea works well with valerian root extract. Although you can mix your valerian root tea with passionflower, the study was done using capsules. The only difference is that capsules tend to have a higher concentration of valerian in them than the average tea bag does.
Tadin’s Passion Flower Tea has a sweet and citrussy aroma to it, but it does come at a steep cost. Depending on where you live, Tadin tea can have some wicked shipping costs tied to them.
- If you like chamomile, then you’ll love this
- Backed by modern research
- Great for insomnia relief
- Can cause drowsiness
10. Mixed Herbal Teas: Best Tea For Sleep
We have mentioned a few mixed herbal teas for sleep in this list already, but when it comes to what improves your subjective sleep quality, you will need to mix and match ingredients to make the best tea for sleep.
When you’re picking your celestial seasonings, you need to know what you’re allergic to and what you like to drink. So be sure to test around first and do your research to see what makes sleepy-time teas safe.
Twinings’s Nightly Calm Herbal Tea is our pick for the best tea for sleep, and here’s why:
Its main ingredient is chamomile, which directly affects your GABA receptors. This means it helps you fall asleep and soothes any form of irritability. Read our entry on chamomile if you haven’t already for a full list of benefits.
The other main ingredient is spearmint. Its main draw is its sharp flavor, but all teas from the mint family have a bonus effect to it. Sleeping with an irritable tummy is horrible. Luckily, mint tea can soothe most forms of intestinal distress when you drink it.
Some additional citrus and berry leaves add a more mellow taste to the overall experience. And just like that, you have an excellent sleepy tea.
Now that you know a little more about each of these types of teas, you know what to expect when you look at the ingredients list. You now also have the basic tools necessary to make your own blends when you are feeling adventurous.
- Personalized favors
- The exact benefits you need
- It can be time-consuming if you mix it yourself
- First mixing attempts might not yield good results
Why Tea Is The Best Medicine
The ultimate point in tea’s favor is that it has virtually no caffeine in it. Although there are trace amounts of caffeine in almost all teas, in some more so than others, herbal teas usually have none to speak of.
Black, green, red, and other types of teas are made from the leaves of specific tea plants, but herbal tea is made from the roots and sometimes bark of other plants. This is because most of the caffeine is stored in the buds and topmost leaves of tea plants, while the roots have other properties.
Depending on the type of plant herbal tea ingredients gathered from, these brews contain the vitamins and minerals needed for a great night’s sleep. So without any further ado, let’s look at what the best tea for sleeping looks like.
There you have it, ten good options for sleepy-time teas. Always make sure to check whether you have allergies to the specific ingredients. Some ingredients might be hard to come by on their own, and the result might not always taste so delicious, but don’t give up until you’ve tried mixing in a bit of honey first.