To sleep better naturally, you need one of the best teas for sleep. Below, I’ve selected teas with relaxing qualities that promise to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
To help guide your search, I’ve detailed some of the most popular herbs used in tea for sleep. The best part — they're all backed by research.
- Valerian Root: This herb has been used to alleviate ailments like insomnia, stress, and headaches for centuries, although some complain of its unpleasant odor. That said, it's currently one of the most widely used herbs for sleep, and while more research needs to be done to determine exactly how valerian root impacts sleep, one theory is that it increases levels of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is also how many anti-anxiety medications (like Xanax) work. In fact, in one study, researchers found little difference in the ability of valerian root and oxazepam (a medication commonly prescribed to treat insomnia) to improve sleep quality.
- Passionflower: People have uses passionflower to help treat everything from insomnia to anxiety to fibromyalgia, and there's some research to support its use to aid sleep. One study even found that combining passionflower with valerian root and hops was an acceptable alternative for improving sleep quality as taking Ambien (zolpidem).
- Chamomile: This calming tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to receptors in the brain that might work to alleviate anxiety and promote sleep. In one study looking at 80 postnatal women who were suffering from reduced sleep quality, it was determined that the participants who drank chamomile tea daily for two weeks experienced noticeable improvements in their sleep efficiency.
- Lavender: Although some studies indicate that aromatherapy using lavender may help treat insomnia, it’s unclear how significantly lavender tea affects sleep directly. However, lavender’s aroma is well-known and widely studied for its soothing, anti-anxiety qualities, making it a great choice if you suffer from nighttime anxiety that’s keeping you awake.
Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to check out the best teas for sleep. Some of them are blends so you can reap the benefits of several of the ingredients listed above, and all of them are highly rated on Amazon. What's more, nearly all of the teas below are from Certified B Corporations — meaning companies that meet high standards for social, environmental, transparency, and accountability standards. For the sake of convenience, all of my picks are all six-packs as well.