Yes, the English love their tea! But while builders tea ruled the roost for decades, herbal teas such as chamomile, pepperment, and valerian have been making a comeback, and some of our favourite household brands have developed their own sleep-inducing concoctions using natural and organic ingredients.
From Twinings to Clipper, Sleepytime tea to Tetley, everyone's trying their hand at creating teas to help you destress, unwind and hopefully, fall asleep! We've researched the ingredients, the brewing times, the flavours and the effectiveness of the most popular sleepy teas on the market, and created this guide to help you snooze.
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Tara is a nutritionist and energy coach who helps clients lose weight, improve their eating habits, and get their energy back through their nutrition. Tara specialises in helping busy parents specifically improve their eating with ease and without overwhelm, and get back on track so the whole family can benefit.
Chamomile is the base of most sleep teas. It has mild tranquillising properties and has been proven to induce sleep. Chamomile is packed with antioxidants which also help to decrease anxiety and calm uneasy minds before bed.
Chamomile tea has long been the original go-to when it comes to sleep-inducing teas, and there is a good reason for that! The benefits of this superpower tea include lowering blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, treating cold symptoms, slowing down osteoporosis, assisting with menstrual pain, and more.
Valerian root isn't as common as chamomile but has been used for hundreds of years to treat sleep problems like insomnia from an over-anxious mind. It is said to work by increasing levels in a neurotransmitter called GABA, which, when elevated, makes you feel sleepy.
If falling asleep is a common problem for you, Valerian root may be the solution to your insomnia. It is sometimes referred to as ‘nature’s valium’ because of its calming and sleep-inducing properties.
It is known for reducing anxiety and stress and allowing you to fall asleep faster and into a long sleep, thus improving your sleep quality. It has also been found to help with symptoms of menopause.
Lemon balm has a refreshing citrusy smell but actually belongs to the mint family. It has been used for centuries to reduce stress and improve sleep, as well as to aid digestion. It works in the same way as valerian by increasing levels in your GABA.
Research shows that lemon balm acts as a mild sedative which can help ease symptoms of insomnia. It is one of the sleep-inducing teas that can be considered as safe for drinking during pregnancy, though it is recommended to talk to your doctor if you are at all unsure.
Lemon balm tree is another excellent option for sleepy teas, and a bonus of this tea is that it is safe for use during pregnancy. This can be especially useful as pregnancy is known for causing issues with sleep quality for the expectant mum.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm is a great option to try because it is both caffeine-free and organic.
Lavender is another herb used for its relaxing effects. It has a floral, soothing scent which has been known to calm people with its aroma alone. Lavender tea can be consumed to help settle nerves and prepare the mind and body for sleep.
Lavender is known for having a calming and soothing effect, and so it’s commonly found in many teas designed for bedtime.
Drinking lavender tea has been found to improve sleep quality and breathing airways, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, help with digestion, and aid with overall detoxification of the body through clearing free radicals.
Passionflower has been traditionally used in teas to help alleviate anxiety and aid sleep. It has even been linked to improve insomnia and significantly improve quality of sleep. Interestingly, reports have shown passionflower to be just as effective as some pharmaceutical alternatives such as Ambien, known in the UK as Zolpidem.
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Passionflower tea is another great option if your anxiety and stress prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Passionflower is known to help with anxiety and ADHD, menstrual pain, digestive pain, heart rhythm problems, and it can even be helpful on burns to the skin.
Teabags are the most popular form of tea, especially when it comes to supermarkets. They are especially useful for those looking for convenience as the tea is already portioned out and popped in a handy little bag. Sometimes when you're struggling to sleep, the last thing you want to think about is adding more time to your routine.
The tea which goes into a teabag is often created using the CTC method: crush, tear and curl. This method means that the tea leaves are no longer whole, which some say reduces the quality of the tea and creates a bitter taste. That said, teabags are usually the most cost-effective option.
That being said, pyramid tea bags will offer you the best of both worlds as these tend to be much more porous than the average bag giving a deeper and more concentrated flavour as you would with loose leaf.
Loose-leaf tea, on the other hand, is usually packaged in one large bag or resealable tin. This tea hasn't been portioned out for you, so the preparation and clean-up times are a little longer. You will also need to buy additional accessories such as teapots and strainers. But the best thing about picking a loose tea is that it gives you the flexibility of personalisation.
A bag or tin of loose-leaf tea is usually filled with whole leaves, meaning the quality and taste are a little superior to the tea in teabags. No wasteful plastics or cotton are used in the packaging, and with loose leaf, you can even buy a few and mix them yourself to create your own signature brew!
Sometimes it can be easier to find pure ingredients in loose-leaf teas rather than classic tea bags (which can be blended). When you opt for loose leaf tea, you are also keeping the quality and potency of the ingredients relatively high, meaning you could potentially be drinking more effective sleepy tea.
The drawback to this option is the added cleaning up and the additional equipment you may need to purchase.
Not all teas require the same amount of preparation time. Depending on the type of tea, creating the optimum brew can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a whopping 15 minutes. So if speed is of concern, check the brewing time on the packet before you purchase.
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Snooze Sleepy Tea With Lavender｜15 Bags
The Pyramid Tea That's the Best of Both Worlds
Organic Night Time Tea｜20 Bags
A Valerian-Boosted Tea to Calm an Anxious Mind
Organic Sleep Easy Infusion｜20 Bags
A Sweeter Treat With a Dash of Cinnamon and Orange
Superblends Sleep｜20 Bags
Great for the Colder Months With Warming Spiced Apple and Vanilla
Valley of Tea
Organic Herbal Sleep Tea｜200 g
An All-Natural Organic Blend Packed With Fruits and Spices
Sleep Tight Loose Herbal Tea｜50 g
The Loose-Leaf Tea Made Using Lemon-Balm, Rose and Jasmine
Corporate Carma Store
Loose Leaf Deep Sleep Tea｜75 g
Giftable Loose Leaf Deep Sleep Tea With Powerful Antioxidants
Sleepytime Infusion｜3 x 20 Bags
The Classic Brew That Has Been Putting Us to Sleep for Decades
Snore & Peace｜20 Bags
The Floral Choice With a Heady Aroma
Yorkshire Tea Store
Bedtime Brew Tea Bags｜40 bags
The Tasty Alternative to Caffeinated Tea With Milk
Teapigs have whipped up a frenzy for their organic teas for every occasion, and here's their night time concoction. This blend is made from 100% natural, whole-leaf tea, so you know it’s got lots of flavour from the infusion of herbs and flowers.
By using whole flower heads, this tea is exceptionally pretty, but they aren't just there for show! Lavender heads and chamomile flowers give the tea that extra layer of sleepiness. Unlike many sleepy teas on the market, the Teapigs Snooze tea is already sweet, so you don't need to add any sugar.
Pukka is a famous household brand renowned for its speciality teas. This organic blend incorporates ingredients and herbs which settle anxious minds and set your body up for a restful sleep. Valerian is the main ingredient in this tea which is commonly used to treat insomnia and anxiety.
An added bonus with Pukka tea is that the herbs used in their blends are harvested organically and sustainably. Even the boxes use vegetable-based inks on sustainably sourced, recyclable cardboards.
Clipper is another leading brand in UK herbal teas. Their organic Sleep Easy Infusion includes a few staple ingredients in sleeping teas like chamomile and valerian root. They also add in a little cinnamon spice and a fresh, natural orange flavouring for a slightly sweet taste.
This tea has a very refreshing flavour which is unusual when it comes to sleepy teas, as they tend to be floral-heavy. It can help to promote and maintain healthy sleep patterns while offering a balanced diet for an overall healthy lifestyle. Clipper also get extra points for their plastic-free teabags!
The Sleep Superblends tea by Twinings is one of the most popular sleepy teas on the market. It has a delicious spiced apple and vanilla flavour, making it sweet and spicy, which is a welcome change from the typical floral notes that you usually find.
It's smooth, warming and reminiscent of cosy autumn evenings by the fire – creating a great atmosphere to lull yourself to sleep. In fact, this product is a Great Taste Award Winner of 2018! The packaging is also 100% recyclable.
This loose leaf tea from Valley of Tea is an Amazon no.1 best-seller – and there's a good reason. It's an all-natural blend of spices and herbs such as lemongrass, chamomile, fennel and cacao nibs.
With the added dried fruits and flower-heads, the blend looks beautiful as well as smells divine! Being of the loose-leaf variety, this option enables you to brew tea to your ideal strength and intensity – perfect if you're picky about your tea!
If you can't sleep, don't worry because this delectable tea will help you doze off in no time. Because larger leaves retain more catechin antioxidants and plant polyphenols, loose tea is thought to have greater health advantages. You also obtain more natural oils, flavor, and smell because of the surface area of the leaves.
This herbal tea is packaged fresh in a plastic bag within a convenient, colorful cardboard box. The tea is simple to make and tastes best when steeped for 2-3 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius in a loose leaf tea infuser.
Carma is known for their luxury high grade teas sourced from tea plantations all over the world and formulated to the highest standards. They provide a beautiful assortment of high-quality teas for both commercial and personal usage, along with their colorful designer tea caddies with gold inlay or double lid air-tight tea caddies to preserve the stunning flavor and scent.
This is a true classic deep sleep tea made with exquisitely strong, full-flavor lemon with undertones of dried soothing herbs and is abundant in anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. A great choice is you like personalised intensity and blend.
The Sleepytime Tea from Celestial Seasonings is a classic brew that's been putting night owls to sleep for decades. It's packed with herbs to assist in preparing your body for sleep such as Hawthorn which can help regulate blood pressure.
The blend includes a large dose of blackberry leaves which creates more tannins, leaving the taste a little bitter. In this case, you may need to sweeten it with a spoonful of honey.
The Clipper Snore & Peace tea has a heady, heavy aroma of lavender and rose hip. That said, to balance out the floral notes Clipper has added in the refreshing taste of lemon balm, which has been used for hundreds of years to alleviate stress and improve sleep.
If you like floral flavours, this will be a great choice, but it can be a little strong for some. The tea bags themselves are unbleached and filled with authentic, organically-sourced ingredients with no artificial flavours.
If you're looking for a tasty alternative to caffeinated tea, Yorkshire Tea's bedtime brew is an excellent choice. It has a mix of deliciously fresh flavours like lemongrass, lemon balm and nutmeg, and then sweet notes of natural vanilla flavouring.
It's just sweet enough that you don't need to add honey or sugar as you do with some of the other more bitter-tasting teas. You can also add milk for a comforting beverage before bed. However, there isn't much of your typical sleep-inducing ingredients.
Written and researched by Roxy Pratley
No. 1: Teapigs｜Snooze Sleepy Tea With Lavender｜15 Bags
No. 2: Pukka｜Organic Night Time Tea｜20 Bags
No. 3: Clipper｜Organic Sleep Easy Infusion｜20 Bags
No. 4: Twinings｜Superblends Sleep｜20 Bags
No. 5: Valley of Tea｜Organic Herbal Sleep Tea｜200 g
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