8 Best Teas to Drink Before Bed for Better Sleep

Teas to Drink Before Bed for Better Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for our health and wellbeing. However, many people struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. Fortunately, sipping certain herbal teas before bed can help you relax, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality naturally.

In this article, we’ll look at the 8 best teas to drink before bedtime to promote sleep.

Why Drinking Tea Before Bed Helps With Sleep

Many herbal teas contain plant compounds and properties that make them useful sleep aids. The key benefits of tea for sleep include:

Relaxation – Teas like chamomile and lavender have relaxing properties that can help calm your mind and body before bed. This helps you unwind, lowering stress levels that may interfere with sleep.

Reduced Anxiety – Herbal teas containing passionflower, valerian root, and lemon balm have anti-anxiety effects that can relieve worry, restlessness, and racing thoughts at night.

Better Sleep Quality – Teas with sleep-enhancing ingredients like chamomile, valerian, and magnolia bark can help improve sleep quality by increasing time spent in deep, restorative sleep stages.

Hormone Support – Some teas provide phytoestrogen properties that may help regulate hormones related to our sleep-wake cycles. This includes teas made with valerian root or hops.

So sipping a warm, soothing cup of tea before tucking in for the night can prep both body and mind for more restful, uninterrupted sleep.

Top Teas to Drink Before Bed for Better Sleep

Many herbal teas can promote sleep, but some stand out for their potent relaxation and sleep-enhancing benefits. Here are the top 8 teas to drink before bed for better sleep quality:

1. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is one of the most widely used herbs for sleep promotion. The daisy-like flowers contain terpenoids and flavonoids that confer sedative and muscle-relaxant effects.

These compounds may increase sleep time, quality, and efficiency by binding to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. Chamomile’s mild sedating action can help you fall asleep faster and wake less throughout the night.

Chamomile tea is also generally safe, with few side effects aside from possible allergic reactions. Sipping a warm cup of chamomile tea 30-60 minutes before bed is an excellent way to wind down for sleep.

2. Passionflower Tea

The passionflower plant acts as a mild sedative, helping induce feelings of relaxation that can promote sleep. Passionflower contains flavonoids like apigenin that offer anti-anxiety, anti-insomnia effects by raising GABA levels in the brain.

As a sleep aid, passionflower tea is especially useful when anxiety or racing thoughts are keeping you up at night. It eases worry and hyperactivity in the mind, allowing you to unwind for restful slumber. Drink a cup 1-2 hours before bed for maximum effects.

3. Valerian Root Tea

Valerian root is one of the most researched and popular herbal sleep aids. Studies show it can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep while improving sleep quality and duration.

These sedative effects are attributed to valerenic acid and antioxidants in valerian root that increase GABA and adenosine levels in the brain. Valerian also contains isovaltrate, which relaxes muscle tension and creates a sense of calm before bed.

Valerian is considered safe for short-term use but can cause side effects like headache, dizziness, and stomach upset in some people. It’s best consumed right before bedtime.

4. Lavender Tea

Lavender is well known for its relaxing, stress-relieving properties. The aromatic plant contains luteolin, a powerful antioxidant that provides sedative and anxiety-reducing effects.

Lavender tea can aid sleep by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature – physiological changes that signal your body to prepare for rest. Lavender also supports overall relaxation through its pleasant, floral aroma.

Drinking lavender tea an hour before bed allows its soothing properties to sink in so you drift off to sleep with ease. For stronger effects, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your tea.

Lavender Tea cup of tea

5. Magnolia Bark Tea

Magnolia bark comes from the magnolia tree native to China, where it has been used in traditional medicine for centuries as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety remedy.

Magnolia bark tea contains beneficial compounds like honokiol and magnolol that interact with GABA receptors. One study found that magnolia bark extract improved sleep latency and quality in adults with poor sleep patterns.

The calming, anti-stress effects of magnolia bark tea make it ideal for consumption 30-60 minutes before bedtime. It helps quiet mental chatter that interferes with falling asleep swiftly.

6. Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family long used for its sedative properties. Research shows extracts of lemon balm promote calmness and improve sleep efficiency.

These effects stem from lemon balm’s rosmarinic acid content. This compound stimulates GABA receptors and limits the breakdown of GABA in the brain, inducing relaxation.

The tangy yet soothing flavor of lemon balm tea also helps prepare your senses for bedtime. Drink a cup after dinner and again before going to bed for the best sleep-enhancing benefits.

7. Hops Tea

The female flowers of the hop plant give us the sedative, antispasmodic compounds that help hops tea promote sleep. These include xanthohumol and methylbutenol, which likely produce sleep-inducing effects by uplifting GABA activity.

Animal studies also indicate that hops alter body temperature rhythms and have hormone-balancing properties – 2 factors involved in regulating sleep. The bitterness of hops means it’s best combined with a tea like valerian for a balanced flavor.

8. Peppermint Tea

While not a sedative herb, peppermint still improves sleep in several ways. The menthol in peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant, allowing your body to unwind before bed. And peppermint’s effects on the digestive tract can ease discomfort from indigestion that interferes with sleep.

Peppermint also offers a potent, refreshing aroma that heightens alertness. This may seem counterproductive for sleep, but studies suggest feeling more awake before bed leads to faster sleep onset because our bodies are better able to recognize the need for sleep.

Tips for Drinking Tea Before Bed

Follow these tips to make your bedtime tea habits as beneficial as possible:

  • Steep your tea for 5-10 minutes to extract the most active ingredients from tea leaves or herbs.
  • Avoid adding sugar as it can counteract the relaxing properties of teas.
  • Sip your tea slowly over 20-30 minutes so effects have time to kick in before bed.
  • Have your tea 1-2 hours before bed to avoid having to wake for the bathroom.
  • Experiment with teas and find the right one for your body’s response.
  • Combine relaxing teas like chamomile and lavender for enhanced effects.

Achieve Better Sleep with Bedtime Tea

Making tea a part of your bedtime routine is an easy, natural way to enhance sleep quality. The herbs and plants in sleep-promoting teas contain compounds that soothe your mind and body into a state primed for restful slumber.

Sip chamomile, valerian root, lavender, or magnolia bark tea before getting into bed and feel the tension and unease melt away as you unwind. Your mind quiets, muscles relax, and you’ll find it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake refreshed.

So brew a hot cup of one of these restorative teas, climb under the covers, and drift into a peaceful night’s sleep. Sweet dreams! Learn here more about falling asleep fast and better.