The Best Herbal Teas for Sleep

8 Min Read | By Ellen Conning

Last Modified 13 March 2024   First Added 11 August 2023

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, it can be hard to find a way to unwind at the end of the day. But that’s where herbal teas can come to the rescue. They’re like a warm hug for your senses, with their calming blends and ancient wisdom, ready to help you catch those Zzzs.

So, come along for a fun ride as we dive into the world of herbal teas that’ll make your bedtime a breeze. From the dreamy aroma dance to the sciencey wonders in every sip, we’re spilling the tea on chamomile, lavender, valerian root, and more. It’s like a natural lullaby that tucks you into dreamland. Grab your favourite mug and a sprinkle of curiosity – let’s sip our way to nights that are as peaceful as they are refreshing.

What is the best tea for sleep?

When it comes to sleeping teas, there’s plenty of debate. Many different people cite different teas as their favourites, for a variety of reasons. However, when it comes to historical weight and longevity, chamomile tea reigns supreme.

A classic bedtime choice, making chamomile tea for sleep boasts a history as long as its taste is soothing. Ancient Egyptians revered it for its tranquil properties, as well as crushing it for use on ailments like erythema and xerosis, often provoked by unforgiving dry and harsh weather conditions. Putting the medicinal benefits to one side for now, it’s still one of the most beloved drinks for slumber and other benefits – in fact, about a million cups of this are made every day, with recipes galore available via a quick search online.

Scientifically, chamomile contains apigenin, which binds to certain receptors, promoting relaxation and drowsiness. There have been many studies on how this herbal tea affects sleep, but beyond science, sipping chamomile is like a gentle lullaby for your senses, coaxing you into slumber.

Preparing chamomile tea


  • 1 chamomile tea bag or 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 cup of water
  • Optional: Honey or lemon for taste


  1. Boil the Water: Begin by bringing 1 cup of water to a rolling boil. You can use a kettle or a pot on the stove.
  2. Prepare the Cup: While the water is heating up, grab your favourite teacup or mug. Place the chamomile tea bag or dried chamomile flowers in the cup.
  3. Pour the Hot Water: Once the water reaches a boil, carefully pour it over the chamomile tea bag or flowers in your cup.
  4. Steep the Tea: Cover the cup with a saucer or a small plate to trap the steam and essential oils. Allow the chamomile to steep for about 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the soothing flavours and sleep-inducing properties to infuse into the water.
  5. Add Honey or Lemon (Optional): If you prefer a touch of sweetness or a citrusy twist, you can add a teaspoon of honey or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. These additions not only enhance the flavour but can also provide extra relaxation benefits.
  6. Sip and Savour: Once the tea has steeped to your liking, remove the tea bag or strain out the chamomile flowers. Take a deep inhale of the fragrant steam, allowing its calming aroma to envelop you. Then, take slow, mindful sips, letting the warmth and comfort of chamomile soothe your senses.
  7. Create a Tranquil Atmosphere: To fully embrace the relaxation, find a cosy spot where you can unwind. Dim the lights, put away electronic devices, and create a peaceful ambience to help your mind and body prepare for restful sleep.
  8. Enjoy Before Bed: Chamomile tea is best enjoyed about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This gives your body ample time to absorb the calming properties and set the stage for a peaceful slumber.

Remember, chamomile tea is a wonderful ally in your journey to restful sleep, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Creating a soothing bedtime routine, minimising distractions, and cultivating a tranquil environment all contribute to a more blissful slumber.

Some people have suggested adding extras to the drink, such as @looseleafteamarket on Tiktok:


My favorite way to make chamomile tea not boring! Save this for later. . . . . . #remedy #naturalremedy #naturalremedies #naturalmedicine #naturalcure #herbalremedy #holistichealth #homeremedies #homeremedy #naturopathic #healthnut #alkaline #vegan #healthbenefits #healthiswealth #naturalcures #healingwithfood #letfoodbeyourmedicine #healthylifehappylife #health #healingfoods #remedies #plantbasedvegan #letfoodbethymedicine #fyp #foryoupage

♬ original sound – Loose Leaf Tea Market

And don’t forget, you can also have it over ice in the summer as a refreshing treat!

What about other teas for sleep?

Lavender tea

Lavender, the fragrant wonder, traces its lineage to the Ancient Greeks who recognized its calming aroma. Scientific studies point to its ability to decrease heart rate and induce calmness. Lavender is also great for those that suffer from anxiety in addition to methods recommended by their doctor. Holistically, drinking lavender tea before bed invokes a serenity akin to stargazing on a clear night.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint is refreshing and invigorating – sounds more like a daytime tea, right? While it might be your daytime go-to, it also knows how to lull you into dreamland. Its invigorating history dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was revered for its refreshing qualities. Scientifically, peppermint’s menthol magic can relax your muscles and soothe digestion – a perfect prelude to peaceful sleep.

Valerian root tea

Hailing from the Middle Ages, valerian root has been trusted for sleep support. Valerenic acid in the root interacts with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, relaxing the nervous system. While evidence is mixed on if it can help insomniacs, it still is used holistically to help set up for bedtime, and often includes lavender and chamomile flavours in its blends. As with all herbal teas, if you’re on any medication, it’s best to speak to your doctor before trying this one out.

Green tea

Green tea, renowned for its unique taste and health perks, holds a surprising secret – it might just be your new sleep buddy. Studies hint at its potential to enhance sleep and combat insomnia, with those sipping low-caffeine green tea reporting improved sleep quality, lowered stress, and reduced fatigue. Opt for low or no-caffeine green tea, especially if you’re cosying up to bedtime.

Jasmine tea

A popular brew for both day and night, the soothing essence of jasmine envelops your senses, gently easing your mind into a state of relaxation. Known for its calming properties, jasmine tea holds the promise of peaceful nights, inviting you to drift into dreams with its tranquil embrace. Make sure to opt for a caffeine-free variant of this for the full effects.

Rooibos tea

Rooibos is well known and loved for its anti-oxidant qualities, and lays the foundation for a restful repose, potentially lengthening your slumber. Embracing the cup of rooibos, you’ll find a comforting warmth that cocoons you in cosiness, guiding you into a peaceful night’s rest.

Lemongrass and ginger tea

The harmonious blend of lemongrass and ginger collaborates seamlessly, inviting tranquillity to envelop your mind in preparation for sleep. Lemongrass, celebrated for its muscle-relaxing properties, sets the stage for rest. Meanwhile, the comforting warmth of ginger offers a cosy and settling sensation as you nestle into bedtime’s embrace.


A cup of tea sits on a wooden coaster, with a slice of cake and a flower vase in the background.

Why can tea help you sleep?

Unwinding rituals before bed

We all have our own ways to rest when it comes to the end of the day, but making a special treat can be an ideal way to prepare for bed. After all, tea time isn’t just a sip – it’s a ritual. As you steep your tea, you’re also steeping your mind in relaxation. The act of preparing and savouring your brew is like a pre-sleep dance that helps you shake off the day’s worries.

Around the world, there are many rituals that involve tea. One example is the Chinese tea ceremony, which may be one of the more known methods around the world, with the Guiwan brewing method often on display:

This calming method of preparing tea for you, or for others, can help clear the mind of stress and worries, setting yourself into a meditative state before sleep.

@drinktheqi has come up with a simple ritual for flower teas that helps before bed, perfect for everyday use:


A simple flower tea ritual to unwind after a long day 💆‍♀️💆🏼💆‍♂️🌸🍵 #tea #teatok #calm #calming #selfcare #smallbusiness #soothing #ritual

♬ Lazy Sunday – Official Sound Studio


Hydrating before rest

We’ve talked before about how drinking water before bed has its own pros and cons, and herbal teas share a great many of these. For quick reference, though, some of the positives include:

  • Liquids help to improve our metabolism and airways before sleep
  • Body heat regulation throughout the night
  • Improving our moods before hitting the hay

Herbal teas, while hydrating you, also infuse your system with soothing goodness, including vitamins and minerals. Despite all the benefits that each tea brings to the table, remember to not overdo it – the last thing you need is to be making bathroom trips in the night!

When it comes to a good night’s sleep, there are a delightful array of herbal teas that whisk you away to slumberland. From chamomile’s whispered lullaby to peppermint’s refreshing embrace, these teas are your ticket to dreamy adventures. So, the next time you’re ready to hit the hay, let these teas guide you into a world of blissful sleep.

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