Your sleep is precious! With our lives becoming increasingly stressful, quantity and quality of sleep has become more important than ever. Find out about our 6 favourite teas for sleepiness, and why we love them!
Herbal teas are made from natural plants, herbs and flowers which are naturally caffeine free, so naturally make the best teas for sleep. These plants have often been used for generations in botanical traditions around the world for their soothing and restorative properties. Herbal teas can play a great part in the winding down process to help improve sleep and reduce stress.
Although caffeine can make us feel more alert in the short term, it can negatively impact the quantity and quality of our sleep which in turn affects how alert, energetic and switched on we are the following day. We drink caffeine to helps us wake up… and a cycle of tiredness ensues.
Caffeine can be found in many foods and drinks of which coffee is the best known, but it is also found in soft drinks, energy drinks, some cold medicines and even in chocolate. Black and green teas also contain caffeine because they are made from the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis), which naturally contains caffeine in its make-up.
Therefore, for those of us who are avoiding or reducing our caffeine intake but still want a warming and comforting tea before bed, herbals such as camomile or lavender tea, rooibos or valerian tea, or blends of these, are the perfect choice.
Does tea help you sleep?
Teas are said to promote sleepiness, however what is it about tea that helps you sleep? Is it the routine, the heat or the specific ingredients in the tea? The answer is a mix of all three. Firstly, according to the sleep experts, finding a consistent bedtime routine and sticking to it allows your mind and body to start the process of slowing down and preparing for sleep. Making a cup of tea can be an important part of that process; the time you take to boil the kettle, to brew and then savour the tea are all useful moments for pressing pause on the day. Having a warm drink is also said to be beneficial, just like having a hot bath. The heat itself is relaxing for muscles and then afterwards the body’s subsequent cooling down process encourages sleepiness.
When it comes to what tea to drink, whilst normal caffeinated black or green tea might be more of a hindrance, caffeine free herbal teas are said to help you sleep. And there are a few special ingredients which have been used by generations to achieve this, for example camomile, valerian and rooibos - all ingredients in some of our best-loved teas.
Teas for sleep included in this blog:
- Pure Camomile Tea
- Night Sky Calm Herbal Infusion
- Cape Rooibos and Honeybush Tea
- Mint Garden Digestif Herbal Infusion
- Rooibos Choco Chai Tea
- Quiet Camomile Herbal Infusion
1. Pure Camomile Tea
Camomile tea (also called Chamomile tea) is one of the best known herbal teas for helping with sleep issues. This daisy-like flower has been celebrated by herbalists since ancient Egyptian times and used for relaxation, to relieve general anxiety and to promote a good night’s sleep.
Our organic Camomile flowers are harvested by hand and then slow-dried naturally to maintain the special essential oils and soft fragrant notes of apple and quince. Perfect before bed, this light and fragrant tea will help to keep you hydrated without interfering with your sleep. Plus, a hot drink last thing, much like a hot bath, can help as the body recognises the resulting cooling down process as a signal to start winding down for sleep.
2. Night Sky Calm Tea
One of our newest teas, Night Sky Calm contains a very special blend of ingredients used for centuries to help with a good night’s sleep. Inspired by the herbal and botanical tradition of the Mediterranean, we've combined soothing camomile with valerian root, a touch of lavender, oat straw and lemon balm for the perfect night-time cup.
Valerian root has traditionally been valued for its mild sedative effect and used as a natural sleep aid, whilst fragrant lavender is known for its relaxing essential oils and is popular in aromatherapy. Lemon balm and oatstraw, although lesser known, are often used to help with anxiety and stress (much like magnolia bark and passionflower teas amongst others).
To complete the line-up we've also added a little sage, honeybush and a touch of licorice for a softly floral brew with a gentle soothing sweetness. The perfect treat last thing at night to help you wake up feeling positive and rested, this is fast becoming one of our best-selling teas and we can’t sleep without it!
Rooibos (or redbush) and Honeybush are wonderfully gentle teas used for generations in South Africa to help people sleep.
Naturally caffeine free and full-bodied with a sweet nutty finish, rooibos tea has become very popular around the world for its unique taste, numerous health benefits and variety of flavours. Honeybush tea is made from a related shrub (Cyclopia) and is a little lighter and more floral than rooibos and is named for its delightfully honeyed aroma.
These teas both come from the coastal Cederberg mountains of the Cape. Unlike normal herbal teas which are dried, these are oxidised much like black tea which gives a rich, deep flavour without any bitterness. You can drink this tea with or without milk so it is perfect for black tea drinkers. Plus, it is naturally caffeine free rather than decaffeinated, and therefore hasn’t undergone the chemical processing used to make decaf teas.
High in antioxidants and low in tannins, rooibos tea is often said to have a relaxant effect on the body, without being a sedative. There is ongoing research into the health benefits of rooibos, especially its impact on heart health and diabetes, as well as weight loss and stress. For an extra strong cup some people use two tea bags – just steep in boiled water and leave for 10 minutes. You can also add a dash of honey for extra sweetness.
4. Mint Garden Digestif
A happy digestive system is key for a good night’s sleep, particularly when it comes to sleep quality. Our digestif blend is a wonderfully light and reviving fusion of celebrated herbs from the British and European botanical traditions including fennel seed, peppermint, ginger and nettle.
These are all ingredients long used to help support digestion and are perfect after a meal, particularly if it has been quite heavy, balancing tangy freshness with a sweet herbal lift to cleanse the palate. Experts advise eating at least two hours before you go to bed to help give you a chance to digest properly and for your stomach to settle. This way your body can start the process of slowing down and turning its attention to sleep and getting some quality rest.
5. Rooibos Choco Chai
If you crave something with a little sweetness after dinner, then this is the perfect guilt free bedtime drink that won't interrupt your sleep. We’ve blended rooibos, chai spices and cocoa shells with a touch of vanilla for the ultimate warming brew. All the relaxing and calming attributes of rooibos are complimented by spices such as ginger and cardamom which have been traditionally used to help with a variety of issues from digestion to stress. The addition of cocoa shells and vanilla bring a moreish and comforting sweetness without any of the negatives of sugar.
As you probably know, chocolate does contain small amounts of caffeine. However there is only a trace amount of caffeine present in the cocoa shells in this tea, so you can still enjoy it at any time of the day. Expert advice for a better night sleep is often to eat earlier, avoid spicy and acidic foods, alcohol, caffeine (including chocolate) and sugary food before going to bed. This tea could be the perfect treat before you turn in to help you wake up feeling positive, rested and ready for a brand new day.
6. Quiet Camomile
A gentle all-rounder, this feel-good herbal tea blends soothing camomile with other herbs which are thought to help with anxiety and digestion, such as lemon balm, fennel seeds and lime flowers. Both lemon balm and lime flowers have long been used in traditional medicine for their calming properties to help with stress and anxiety, and lime flowers in particular are believed to have a mild sedative effect. Fennel seed is also commonly used to help with digestion as well as being high in antioxidants.
This is a great tea for hydration and a little bit of calm any time of the day, and especially last thing in the evening as part of your preparations for going to bed. Experts say that routine is key for good sleep and is an important aspect of sleep hygiene. So why not try turning your screen off an hour before bedtime, going to bed at the same time each evening, and making a cup of camomile tea to help you relax, quietly unwind and drift off peacefully to sleep.
Reviewed and updated: January 2023