Best bedtime teas - Luckily, there are a number of teas that are renowned for doing exactly that (why not buy Chamomile tea from our finest selection) if you can find the right one.
As the experts will confirm, regularly getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for enjoying a long and healthy life. On a daily basis, not sleeping well the night before can leave us tired, irritable and unable to work effectively. Over longer periods, a lack of good sleep can increase an individual’s risk of developing more serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. On the flip side, if you are getting the sleep your body needs, research shows you might enjoy benefits such as: enhanced mental wellbeing; increased sex drive and fertility; and a stronger immune system. Sleep could even slim you because it raises your levels of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full.
Teas That Help You Sleep - If you are finding it difficult to drift off and get those all-important eight hours a night of quality sleep, trying a new routine could help. As part of that routine, you could consider a relaxing drink such as one from the selection below.
Which teas help you to sleep?
Genuine teas come from the Camellia sinensis tea plant and contain caffeine, a natural stimulant that might not be conducive to immediate sleep. Herbal teas – which don’t come from the tea plant and are therefore better known as herbal infusions – could be a better place to start because they are naturally caffeine free.
Different herbal infusions tend to be good for drinkers in different ways and we should note here that more scientific research needs to be done to confirm any specific health benefits of drinking them. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning Chamomile Flowers, which have long been renowned as a relaxant that can help people enjoy a good night’s sleep. That relaxing quality perhaps come from apigenin, a phytonutrient compound that is believed to have sedative effects. Studies have also shown chamomile easing mild anxiety, helping adults with type 2 diabetes and helping new mothers to sleep better and ease depression. Like lots of traditional herbal infusions, chamomile also happens to taste great.
Taste can be important in working out which bedtime teas are best for you. For example, caffeine free teas such as Rooibos and Whole Rosebuds offer calm, soothing flavours that we have found work well in the later hours of the day. With rooibos tea, remember that it is naturally caffeine free, so it is not a decaffeinated tea. This means it hasn’t had to undergo any potentially damaging decaffeination process, so its micronutrients (polyphenols) are all still there. You can find out more about rooibos’s other health benefits here.
Peppermint tea also deserves a mention here. It’s a great palate cleanser and digestive aid, so it could help you settle down and prepare for sleep as part of a post-dinner evening routine. Watch out, though: some peppermint teas are blended with black or green teas, so they contain caffeine. We suggest trying a pure peppermint infusion that lets its flavour and aroma speak for themselves.
Does tea help you stay awake?
We mentioned earlier that tea derived from Camellia sinensis (including black tea and green tea) contains the natural stimulant caffeine. Unlike coffee or artificial energy drinks, however, tea also contains L-theanine. This is an amino acid that promotes relaxation and is understood to inhibit the release of caffeine into the bloodstream. This combination of caffeine and L-theanine is probably what gives a cup of tea its unique ability to both focus and relax its drinker at the same time.
If you are comfortable ingesting caffeine in the evenings, one bedtime tea you could consider is Hojicha green tea. This Japanese green tea is roasted in a unique way that not only gives it nutty, toasty qualities, but also lowers its caffeine content and makes it a real comfort drink for any time of day.