Did you know that 45 percent of Americans report that their sleep is so poor or insufficient that it affects their ability to perform daily tasks?
While experts underscore the importance of getting enough quality sleep each night, if you suffer from insomnia, that can feel impossible. If you're trying to avoid habit-forming medications, you may be asking, "Does tea help you sleep?
While this question appears straightforward, finding the answer gets complicated when you delve into the different ingredients in supposed "sleep-inducing" blends. Read on to learn more about the latest research and whether or not tea good for sleep actually works.
When it comes to teas that aid with sleep disturbances and insomnia, it's important to start by pinpointing what's causing your sleep trouble in the first place. If your issues with nodding off stem from anxiety, you'll want to opt for anxiety-reducing active ingredients such as lavender, orange blossoms, and passionflower.
But what if you're suffering from sleep disturbances of another kind, such as digestive issues? You'll need to seek out different active ingredients.
For example, you'll want to choose teas with spearmint, peppermint, or fennel. These elements ease digestive issues such as indigestion and bloating.
The bottom line is this. Sleepytime teas need to be customized to address the problem(s) affecting the individual's sleep pattern. As a result, one blend doesn't necessarily work for everyone.
When it comes to tea good for sleep, there are many blends on the market. But they're not all created equal. You'll want to look for active ingredients that have been linked to increased drowsiness and relaxation but that also address your unique sleep challenges.
While more studies need to be conducted on tea that helps you sleep, a few active ingredients have been singled out. Among the most powerful natural ingredients to inspire sweet dreams, lavender's reputation is well-established. In fact, it's approved in Germany as a treatment for insomnia.
Why? Lavender offers sedative and mood-stabilizing benefits, and it promotes longer periods of the most restorative type of sleep, REM. While studies have focused on the smell of lavender, more and more experts are lauding the benefits of steeping lavender as a tea.
These experts note that it produces a strong calming effect both as a fragrance and a tea. Besides this, lavender tea is also noted for its ability to reduce tension and anxiety. It even contains headache-taming properties, which can help promote a good night's sleep.
Chamomile represents another old standby of the sleepy time tea world and with good reason. Preliminary research points to chamomile as a mild tranquilizer that can induce sleep. It's been consumed for thousands of years precisely for this reason.
As already mentioned, teas with spearmint, peppermint, and fennel can ease digestive woes allowing sleep to set in. Spearmint and peppermint reduce symptoms of indigestion and gas. What's more, initial laboratory studies with rats confirm that peppermint lengthens overall sleep times.
Research into passionflower has linked it to reduced anxiety. Some research even indicates it's an effective treatment for insomnia although more studies need to be conducted. Similarly, orange blossom has been linked to reduced anxiety.
Like peppermint, lemongrass appears to promote longer sleep intervals in laboratory animals. But, in both cases, studies using human subjects have yet to be conducted.
Many tea blends claiming to support sleep health contain ingredients such as linden flowers, hawthorn, rosebuds, blackberry leaves, and Valerian root. As with the ingredients listed above, more research needs to be conducted before a final conclusion can be drawn on their effectiveness.
Although the research is still out on most of the ingredients used in bedtime teas, it's important to note that creating a nighttime tea ritual comes with its own benefits. In fact, the sheer act of repeating the same tea drinking habit every night could signal to your body it's time for sleep mode.
Yes, this is akin to the placebo effect. But if it works, it works! So, find a blend that addresses your major sleep issues and then try making it a pre-bedtime habit for six weeks. If you find yourself falling asleep more easily, it's either a result of the tea's active ingredients, the power of the bedtime tea ritual you've created, or both.
Either way, you stand to reap the benefits of better sleep quantity and quality. And you don't have to wait decades for the latest research to support what your body already knows. So, dive into a sleepy time tea habit and see what happens.
Most herbal teas come with few to no side effects. But it's worth noting that Valerian root can lead to dizziness and stomach upset when over-consumed.
There are additional considerations before diving into a nightly tea-sipping habit, too. If you're on medication, double check with your doctor or pharmacist before consuming any herbs. You want to make sure that none of the active ingredients in your tea could interact negatively with your medications.
As you've read above, the answer to the question "Does tea help you sleep?" is complicated. It depends on a variety of factors including what's causing your sleep disturbances or insomnia in the first place.
Do some research and choose the best active ingredients to address your unique sleep needs. Although more research into the effectiveness of herbal sleep remedies needs to be done, a handful of active ingredients shine above the rest including lavender, chamomile, and peppermint.
If anxiety plagues you when you try to doze off, choose a bedtime tea blend with lavender or passionflower. If you tend to wake up in the night, go with ingredients that promote longer periods of sleep such as peppermint or lemongrass. Finally, if digestive issues make you toss and turn, look to spearmint, peppermint, or fennel for relief.
Interested in learning more about tea that helps you sleep? At the Native American Tea Company, we've got your health and tea-related questions covered. Contact us today to learn more about how tea can improve your well-being.