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Published on November 1, 2019

What’s the Best Tea for Sleep? 7 Recipes to Try Tonight

What’s the Best Tea for Sleep? 7 Recipes to Try Tonight

A good night’s sleep is essential for your health. But our current lifestyles are not really designed to encourage healthy sleep habits. There’s the constant hustle, stress, late night work on projects, and unhealthy food and drinking habits. All of these combine to give you consistently poor quality of sleep, an even difficulty falling asleep in the first place.

Research shows that about 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia. And this lack of sleep is the cause of 5% of all cases of obesity in adults.[1] It is also a leading cause for depression and anxiety among adults and teenagers alike.

So how do you avoid all this? How do you make sure you get a good night sleep every night?

Well, the first step is obviously falling asleep and we’ve found just the right thing to help you with that — Tea.

The simple act of boiling certain herbs or flowers in hot water for their calming effects has been around for centuries. Ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and valerian are said to have sedative properties which help the body relax and induces sleep. And even though there is no definitive evidence of the effectiveness of teas, there are a lot of personal accounts where people have found herbal teas to be helpful in falling asleep.

What say you test out that theory for yourself? Here are 7 recipes of the best tea for sleep:

1. The Valerian Tea

This tea is mostly used since ancient times as a sleeping aid. It is well known remedy for insomnia. This tea works by restorative the brain cells to produce more of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical which is responsible for soothing nerves and relieving anxiety.

Benefits of Valerian Tea

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  • Treats insomnia and sleep problems
  • Treats anxiety and depression
  • Treats hyperactivity
  • Makes you mentally sharp
  • Treats headaches and migraines

Ingredients and Recipe

“It’s very easy to make. Put a teaspoon of valerian root into an infusion tool like a heat seal tea bag. Put the valerian into an empty container and then pour in boiling water and leave the mixture covered for 15 minutes to steep. After the quarter an hour uncover and then pour the mixture into a cup but make sure you pass it through a strainer.”[2]

Directions

Place a valerian tea bag or a tea infuser containing about one tablespoon of loose tea leaves in a teacup. You can also simply place loose tea leaves at the bottom of a cup.

  1. Heat water to 90-95º Celsius or 194-205º Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a temperature-controlled teapot, bring water to a boil and then let sit for a minute to reduce the temperature just slightly.
  2. Pour eight ounces of water over the tea bag, infuser, or tea leaves.
  3. Let tea leaves steep for as long as desired. Some drinkers prefer a lighter tea, so a two-minute steep is sufficient. A 3-5 minute steep will brew a stronger cup of tea that provides more intense effects
  4. Remove the tea bag or infuser or strain loose leaves from the cup before drinking

2. Cuddle Time Tea

This is the perfect mixture for bedtime and anti-stress beverage as the name of it suggests. You can add milk/honey as well. This tea is from Plum Deluxe. They also have a very cool club to help you save on tea.

Benefits of Cuddle Time Tea

  • Reduces stress
  • Relaxes mind and body
  • Helps with anxiety and insomnia

Ingredients Required

  • Chamomile, Rooibos tea
  • Peppermint leaves
  • Vanilla essence
  • No caffeine

Directions

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  1. Use 1 1/2 tsp per 16oz cup.
  2. Steep with boiling water for 3-5 minutes.

3. The Cinnamon Sleep Tonic

This sounds like absolute heavenly. Cinnamon is high in cinnamaldehyde, which is what is responsible for most of the health benefits that come from cinnamon. Cinnamon can also help you fall asleep at night. It will also take care of your body’s digestion and help you achieve a restful sleep.

Benefits of the Cinnamon Sleep Toni

  • May cut the risk of heart disease
  • Can improve insulin sensitivity
  • Lower blood sugar levels and have a powerful anti-diabetic effect
  • May have beneficial effects on Neuro-degenerative diseases
  • May protect against cancer
  • Help fight bacterial and fungal infections, and may help fight the HIV virus

Ingredients

  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon all-spice berries
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns (optional)
  • 15 bay leaves
  • 2 piece of fresh ginger, cut into large pieces
  • 10 cups filtered water

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, and allow them to steep for 2-3 hours.

4. The Chamomile Herbal Tea

It is the most famous herbal teas in the world.There are 2 varieties in this tea i.e German and English varieties. German chamomile is believed to be particularly useful in fighting sleeplessness. It has daisy-like flowers which are used to make tea and herbal supplements. This herbal tea helps you to calm and relieve anxiety and stress.

Benefits of the Chamomile Herbal Tea

  • Induces sleep
  • Treats migraines
  • Boosts immunity
  • Reduces stress

Ingredients

  • Two cups of clean drinking water
  • Two tablespoons of dry chamomile or 2 sachets of chamomile
  • 1/4 teaspoons of turmeric
  • Ginger and cinnamon
  • One tablespoon of natural honey and a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil.

Directions/How to prepare it

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“To prepare the tea, you need to boil the water, add the chamomile and let it steep for a few minutes. You should then add in the rest of the ingredients and then strain the mixture into a mug. If it is cold, you can reheat it and also add more honey to sweeten it.”

5. Moonrise Herbal Tea Blend

Moonrise Herbs was established in Arcata, California, in 1985 with a mission to be an outlet for beautifully vibrant, high-quality herbs and tea blends, along with a variety of tinctures, extracts, essential oils, supplements and natural body care products.

Benefits of Moonrise Herbal Tea Blend

  • Chamomile flowers provide soothing relief for the nervous system
  • Lemon balm gives us balance
  • Valerian root + hop flowers have the power to relax and induce a deep, restful sleep
  • Passionflower brings a sense of calm
  • Skullcap relieves sleeplessness related to an anxious mind

Ingredients

  • 2 parts chamomile flowers
  • 2 parts lemon balm
  • 2 parts skullcap
  • 1 part passionflower
  • 1/2 part lavender flowers
  • 1/4 part hop flowers
  • 1/4 part valerian root

Directions

  1. Measure the parts of each of the herbs listed and mix in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Grab your single-serving tea carafe (this is my absolute favourite way to make loose leaf tea), tea infusers, and/or teapots…and brew a cup! (Note: I get all of my loose-leaf tea-making supplies online from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
  3. This herbal tea blend will keep stored in a cool, dark place for approximately 6 months.
  4. This tea is mild enough to use nightly. Take a cup 30 minutes before bed.

6. Lemon Balm Tea

This seems like a formula/recipe for a lip balm, but actually it’s not. It is one of the most powerful teas for people suffering from insomnia. This tea also helps to reduce stress, indigestion, anxiety, enhance sleep and can help heal cold sores faster. Lemon balm tea is a standard herb for insomnia and when it is combined with other herbs such as Chamomile and Valerian, it can give you off better sleep-inducing properties.

Benefits of Lemon Balm Tea

  • Improves sleep
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Improves cognition and mood
  • Strengthens memory and problem-solving skills
  • Relieves sore muscles

Ingredients

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  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 20 fresh leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried lemon balm

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add leaves to a saucepan.
  3. Pour over boiling water.
  4. Cover with a lid to steep.
  5. Allow your tea to steep overnight if possible (or for at least thirty minutes).

7. Lovely Lavender Tea

The smell of lavender is very bad, but its medicinal properties are awesome. Only one cup of lavender tea can facilitate your body, brain, and help you nod off. It can likewise be utilized as a wash on the chest to help facilitate the impacts of bronchitis, asthma and colds. It can likewise help lessen hack and help with other respiratory issues. Lavender works extraordinary for both youngsters and adults and is a lot safer than over the counter prescriptions. It can help diminish fevers, recuperate wounds, cuts, and bruises.

​Benefits of Lavender Tea

  • Improves sleep
  • Improves heart health
  • Prevents inflammation
  • Heals anxiety

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh Lavender flowers or 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried Lavender flower
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Honey and lemon if desired

Directions

  1. Put the flowers in a teapot
  2. Add boiling water
  3. Steep for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Pour into cups straining if necessary to remove the flower buds.
  5. Serve Lavender flower tea with honey and sliced lemon.

Falling asleep isn’t easy with the stressful life we lead today. I hope with these 7 herbal tea recipes you’ll be able to sleep better and relieve some stress.

More to Help You Sleep Better

Featured photo credit: Lisa Hobbs via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Bijal Panchal

Brand Planning: Managing Sleep Diagnostic, Sleep Therapy & Reusable Mask Portfolio

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

Feeling tired all the time?

Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

What Happens When You’re Too Tired

If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

  • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
  • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
  • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
  • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
  • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
  • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
  • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

Unfortunately, yes!

Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

  1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
  2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
  3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

Symptoms of fatigue include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low stamina
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Low motivation

These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

  1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
  2. Exercising regularly
  3. Using stressbusters
  4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

  • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
  • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
  • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
  • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

L — Living Healthy

Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

1. Unplug

Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

2. Unwind

Do something to relax.

Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

3. Get Comfortable

Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

E — Exercise

Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

That’s what happened in my case.

But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

That made sense to me.

So, I decided to swim.

I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

A — Attitude

Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

Breathing.

But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
  2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
  3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
  4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
  5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
  6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

N — Nutrition

Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

  1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
  2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
  3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
  4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
  5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
  6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
  7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
  8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
  9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

The Bottom Line

If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

  • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
  • Regular Exercise You Love
  • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
  • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

More Tips to Help You Rest Better

Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
[2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
[3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
[4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
[5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
[6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
[7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
[8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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