4 Best Teas for Sleep, According to Experts
Tossing and turning at night is an all-too-common problem for countless people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2014, more than one-third of Americans got under seven hours of sleep at night, which can lead to a long list of health complications, from increasing your risk of heart disease to exacerbating mood disturbances.
However, if you're struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, popping a pill isn't the only way to help—the right tea can also make a major difference when it comes to waking up well-rested. From old favorites to botanical blends you've never tried, read on to discover the teas experts recommend for a good night's sleep. And if you want to improve your health in a hurry, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
An oldie, but a goodie, chamomile tea really can make a difference when it comes to how soundly you sleep.
"Anxiety is a major cause of sleep disturbances, like the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep through the night. Fortunately, chamomile tea may be able to help with these sleep disturbances, according to research. In fact, several studies have associated chamomile with reducing anxiety levels, and one clinical trial found that sleep quality improved when older adults consumed chamomile," says Lacy Ngo, MS, RDN, of Mindfulness in Faith and Food.
Valerian root tea
Valerian root, which is frequently used as a natural sleep supplement in capsule form, is also highly beneficial for sleep hygiene when consumed in a tea, experts say.
"It's been used for centuries in traditional medicine to promote sleep and relaxation. It also works on the GABA system and contains antioxidants that may have sedative properties," explains board-certified psychiatrist and sleep specialist Nishi Bhopal, MD, founder of IntraBalance Integrative Psychiatry & Sleep.
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Looking for a delicious way to wind down at the end of the evening? Try a cup of passionflower tea.
"Like many other herbs used for sleep and anxiety, [passionflower] works on the GABA system and is shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It's also thought to help with symptoms of menopause. One study showed that a combination of passionflower, valerian, and hops was as effective as the sleeping pill Ambien," says Bhopal.
Turmeric isn't just a tasty addition to your favorite curry or soup—it also makes a great sleep-inducing tea, experts say.
"Turmeric tea is a way to get high-quality turmeric extract in a delicious drink that can also have a calming effect. This compound is naturally anti-inflammatory which can help to improve joint health and gastrointestinal issues, among many others," explains Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian with Balance One Supplements. And for more drinks that can help you get healthier, check out the 22 Best Teas You Should Drink for Weight Loss.