When it comes to preparing our bodies for the day ahead, the advice is pretty clear. We're told to drink a protein-filled smoothie or not to snooze our alarms more than once, especially if we want to avoid the mid-afternoon energy slump. However, when it comes to preparing ourselves for a good night's sleep, the advice isn't as clear and it can be difficult to switch off after a stressful or busy day. Yes, having the best mattress or the best pillow certainly helps, but there are also other things you can do that will set you up for a peaceful night's rest.
Drinking a cup of night time tea before bed can help calm your mind. In fact, the steps to preparing your cup of tea can help relax you as well. Like any other routine, the more you practise the steps, the more your body recognises what time of day it is. If you boil the kettle, choose your favourite mug, fill it up, let tea your steep and slowly take in the smell and taste, you'll undoubtedly feel sleepy in no time.
However, it has been proven that there is one night time tea that has a better effect than the others, and that's the one I'm going to be speaking about today.
Before you find out what is is, check out these 5 steps to the perfect bedtime routine.
What is a night time tea?
You may be thinking that a cup of tea before bed is a crazy idea, but unlike the tea you would usually go for, night time teas (or herbal teas) do not contain any caffeine. They are usually made from dried fruits, flowers, spices, or herbs, and have in fact been used as natural remedies for different ailments over hundreds of years.
What is the best night time tea to have before bed?
One of the best night time teas you can drink before bed is chamomile tea. Chamomile is a type of flower that's often dried and used in herbal teas, and it has a mild, floral flavour with calming notes of honey. One great thing about chamomile tea is that it's widely available at many supermarkets and health stores, so you'd be able to get your hands on some easily.
As mentioned, chamomile tea has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy, particularly to help induce sleep and relaxation. Chamomile tea has a mild sedative effect that help you fall as sleep as well as improve sleep quality at the same time. Chamomile has also been shown to help sleep quality problems associated with depression and other mental health disorders. A 2019 study found that chamomile did improve sleep quality and generalised anxiety disorder, and a 2022 study decided that the better sleep quality chamomile tea promotes may have longer-term effects on mental well-being.
How can you make chamomile tea?
It is easy to find chamomile tea in supermarkets and health stores, but if you're interested in a bit of home brewing, it's also easy to make it at home by yourself. All you need is:
2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers
2 teaspoons of runny honey
A pinch of dried lavender (optional)
The method is also pretty easy! Put the chamomile and optional lavender into a teapot and fill it up with water that has boiled in your kettle. Make sure to leave the water to stand for a minute or two before pouring it in.
Leave the flowers to infuse for 2-3 minutes and then stir in the honey. The tea should then be strained before serving. Pop it into your favourite tea cup or mug and let the sleepiness take over.
Interested in more? Check out these 7 best teas to help you sleep better & reduce anxiety.