There are plenty of reasons for why many of us have a hard time relaxing and falling asleep. Everyday we are surrounded by a multitude of stimulants and stressors which interfere with our busy lifestyles and minds. On top of this many of us suffer from a plethora of medical conditions that make it even harder. Why not give natural remedies a shot? Yes, the majority of us enjoy drinking a steaming cup of cosy tea in one form or another, but have you ever felt the benefits of drinking a warm cup of tea before going to bed?
I have put together a list of teas containing ingredients that not only taste delicious, but can also help you to wind down and slip into the haze of sleep. This list of my favourite flowers, herbs and roots make the best infusions, all with amazing benefits making you feel more relaxed and calm come these cold Winter evenings.
The Best Ingredients
1. Chamomile Flower
Probably one of the most popular ubiquitous herbs when it comes to feeling relaxed and trying to wash the stress away. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. Ancient civilizations used it to treat insomnia, by soothing the nervous system, thus promoting sleep.
2. Valerian root
Well known for its sedative effects improving the quality of your sleep, by increasing the levels of GABA (inhibitory neurotransmitter) thereby reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. It has also been used by many to calm feelings of anxiety. It may take a few weeks before you start feeling the results.
3. Peppermint leaves
Relieve mental stress by its natural sedative and antispasmodic properties menthol gives. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are quite effective ineasing indigestion and other digestive disorders – a common symptom of stress. It’s no wonder why peppermint oil is used so often in aromatherapy as it is a good all round herb for overall health.
4. Liquorice Root
Another great choice to reduce inflammation and help to ease symptoms of low mood. Liquorice has a naturally sweet taste and it helps to protect the stomach. It is not recommended for people with high blood pressure conditions due to it’s potential effects on lowering blood pressure.
5. Lemon balm
Popular amongst parents to calm down hyper children. This herb has amazing relaxing and anti-viral properties and is also really easy to grow in your own garden. Lemon balm can also be used to treat an upset stomach. If you have any thyroid conditions, talk with your GP first before using it large amounts, as in it can inhibit thyroid function.
6. Lavender flower
Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh lavender flowers? The aroma alone promotes feelings of relaxation. It is thought that the scent of lavender calms the nervous system thus improving quality of sleep, reducing stress, minimising insomnia, and improving low mood.
7. Tilia flower (linden)
Tilia is best known for its gentle sedative effects, fighting feelings of anxiety and helping with insomnia. It also helps to calm the body helping you wind down and fall asleep faster. Tilia has a lot of flavonoids that act as antioxidants promoting overall health.
What to Consider
The list could go on forever with endless options for great natural sources – these were just my personal favourites. Now, I know what you’re thinking – which one should I choose? Well, harvesting your own herbs and creating your own combination would be ideal. However, let’s be realitic as most of us have neither the time nor the space to do so.
Here is a list of my favourite brands and their combinations to aid sleep just before bed. When you are deciding which tea to try, take in consideration these three main aspects:
This is extremely important, tea should be something you enjoy both creating and drinking. Brewing and percolating your tea should be a pleasant experience; revelling in the scent and smell, looking forward for that first sip, continuing this process until the last drop. It shouldn’t be excruciating nor a revolting disgusting taste; otherwise you would be defeating the purpose of drinking it, causing yourself more stress than good.
When you get your tea infusion, there will be some more of some ingredients than others. Be conscious of getting one which primarily has the herb or root of your choice, thereby ensuring you receive maximum benefits from them.
Allergens and Medical Conditions
If you are taking any medication. be aware of any interactions the ingredients of tea may have with these. Ask your health care provider whether or not it is safe prior to consumption. Most herbal and natural ingredients are safe to take, however, when in doubt, it’s always better to be 100% certain and ask. Consult your GP for any questions regarding your personal health.
Cinnamon, Chamomile flower, Valerian root.
Chamomile flower, Spearmint leaves, Lemongrass, Tilia flower, Blackberry leaves, Orange Blossoms, Hawthorn, Rose Buds.
Lime flowers, Valerian root, Hops, Passion flowers, Fennel seeds.
Oat flower, Liquorice root, Chamomile flower, Lavender flower, Lime, Valerian root, Tulsi leaf
Fennel seed, Liquorice root, Chamomile flower, Gotu Kola leaf, Cardamom seed, Ginger Root, Marshmallow root, Ashwagandha root
Lemon balm leaves
I personally love tea and I would have a serious difficulty in picking just one. Therefore, I enjoy combining them and trying new flavours whenever I can. Drinking tea for me is an experience. It is about sharing, relaxing, cleansing, laughing, detoxing, etc. This makes drinking tea one of my favourite things to do.
Whether alone or with company, in the morning or at night, on a sunny or a rainy day; the best therapy for me, is a cup of tea.
The options are limitless so don’t restrict yourself to one tea. Seek the the perks of smelling and tasting the perfect herbal infusion, and the benefits will come along naturally. Improved Sleep will hopefully be one of the many. Relax, lay back and enjoy.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication