Herbal Teas for Insomnia – South Africa
Herbal teas for sleep that make bedtime a breeze!
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 herbal teas’ ability to aid sleep.
Many find it hard to switch off after a long day staring at screens, so making time for a cup of antioxidant-rich tea can be a relaxing activity in itself.
However, when the tea also contains scientifically proven ingredients to aid relaxation and digestion, this small act can be an incredibly easy way to carve out some down-time, incorporate top herbs and spices into your diet, and form the basis for a relaxing bedtime routine.
Some of the most common ingredients to be included in sleepy tea is chamomile and lavender, both of which are widely believed to calm and relax the body and mind.
Alongside this, you might want to look out for liquorice, fennel and peppermint, which are excellent at adding natural sweetness to your brew and aiding digestion. Crucially your sleepy tea should be caffeine-free and rest assured, all of the ones included in this round-up fit the bill. The next time you’re tossing and turning, give one of these a try.
Chamomile is a friend with big benefits. Sweet and earthy, this tasty tea manages to lessen anxiety and lull you to sleep — so much so that it’s commonly thought of as a mild tranquilizer.
The calming effect is probably thanks to an awesome antioxidant called apigenin, which chamomile is loaded with.
Everything else in your chill-time arsenal — lotion, pillow mist, bath bombs — is lavender-scented for a good reason: It’s calming AF. We can thank the ancient Greeks and Romans for the idea — they threw lavender into their baths and were obsessed with inhaling its soothing scent.
Research is limited, but a 2012 study found that women with insomnia scored better sleep after taking part in two 20-minute lavender aromatherapy sessions per week for 12 weeks. Not a bad deal.
Green tea, which comes from the leaves of a plant called Camellia sinensis, is known for its many health benefits, including fat loss, improved brain function, and lower risk of cancer. But there’s even more to the story: If you sip some during the day, it may improve your sleep at night.
Why not before bed? The thing is, all green tea contains some caffeine. But one study showed that green tea with lower amounts of caffeine improved sleep and reduced stress.
4. Valerian root
Although it has researchers scratching their heads, this herb seems to be a handy little sleep aid. This may be because it increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA. If there’s enough GABA hanging around, it can make you sleepy.
A 2010 review of 18 studies found that valerian could be effective as a remedy for insomnia, although more conclusive research is needed.
5. Lemon balm
Hailing from the mint family, this fresh bad boy is often used in aromatherapy. A 2011 study on mice found that it increased GABA levels, suggesting lemon balm could act as a sedative. Easy-peasy, lemon balm squeezy.
Calming and floral, passionflower tea is made from the flowers, leaves, and stems of a plant called Passiflora incarnata.
One study found that participants who drank passionflower tea daily for just a week had way better sleep quality than those who didn’t drink it. Not too shabby!
Citrusy and lemony, this tea has plenty of benefits to brag about. It’s also a longtime folk remedy for inducing sleep, alleviating pain, and boosting immunity. Sip and be well.
Since it’s naturally caffeine-free, you don’t have to worry about peppermint tea putting that extra pep in your step before bed.
There are many reasons to fill up your teacup with peppermint tea, but what’s really awesome is its ability to act as a muscle relaxant.
You can also mix up these herbs and make your own unique Sleepy time tea, even adding some Hops or Ashwaganda root. Put in some organic honey if you’re looking for a bomb natural sweetener that’s also a throat and tummy soother.
It’s worth mentioning that you should drink these herbal teas for insomnia at least an hour before bed. If you drink it before bed you risk needing to get up and go to the loo which may just wake you up.
Cheers, here’s to a peaceful night’s sleep and clocking up some Z miles.