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Does Chamomile Tea Help You Sleep?

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Posted:

June 1, 2021

Whether you’ve recently joined the tea revolution or are a lifelong tea devotee, you’ll likely appreciate learning the many chamomile tea benefits  of the leaves you’ve chosen to steep. For citizens who enjoy sipping a naturally sweet cup of chamomile, one question that might arise is, Does chamomile tea help you sleep?

The answer is yes—chamomile tea is widely regarded as a tea that can help you wind down and experience a good night’s rest. But what specifically about chamomile makes this soothing drink a helpful sleep aid? Chamomile’s unique benefits promote those dreamy ZZZs while also helping control stress and supporting health.

Why Is Chamomile Tea Good for Sleep?

Chamomile’s warmth, subtle sweetness, and delicate floral notes aren’t the only reasons this herbal tea promotes a sense of relaxation and calmness in those who drink it. The chemical compounds of chamomile, the absence of caffeine, and the appetite-suppressing capabilities make it a perfect pre-sleep treat.

Chemical Compounds

One of the main chemical compounds in chamomile is a flavonoid called apigenin. Apigenin creates a mild sedative effect by binding to receptors in the brain responsible for inducing sleepiness and decreasing anxiety.[1]

Lack of Caffeine

Wondering does chamomile tea have caffeine in it ? The answer is no because chamomile tea is an herbal tea, it naturally doesn’t contain caffeine the way black tea, green tea, and other tea varieties do. This is because herbal teas aren’t derived from the same plant—the Camellia sinensis—as caffeinated teas. Instead, chamomile tea is made from the heads of chamomile flowers—a flower similar in appearance to a daisy, with a yellow center and small white petals.

Chamomile tea also offers a mild, mellow taste and light, sweet aroma, allowing it to fit into any nighttime routine easily.

Appetite-Suppressing Capabilities

Another way chamomile tea may help ease you into dreamland is by naturally curbing your appetite. This is because chamomile can increase levels of serotonin, which help regulate your appetite, and your mood, leaving you feeling full and satisfied.

This means rather than eating something heavy before bed and risking a night of tossing and turning; you’ll fall asleep soundly with a tummy full of warm tea.[2]

Sensory Pleasure

The subtle notes of apple in chamomile’s aroma, coupled with the warmth of your mug as you cradle it in your hands, can create a sensory experience ideal for relaxation. In fact, smell and touch can work together to lull your brain into sleep.

  • Smell – The smell of chamomile itself has been shown to improve sleep and reduce anxiety.[3] Plus, comforting aromas interact with areas of the brain that are stimulated by familiarity. This means if you make drinking a cup of chamomile a regular part of your evening routine, you can teach your brain to recognize this ritual as a calming precursor to sleep.
  • Touch – Warm temperatures, like that of your tea, can increase blood flow and lower blood pressure, mimicking the low blood pressure our bodies experience during sleep.

How Long Before Bed Should Chamomile Tea Be Consumed?

If you want to take advantage of chamomile’s sleep-inducing benefits, it’s recommended that you drink your chamomile tea for about 45 minutes before going to bed. This allows your body plenty of time to metabolize the chemical compounds that make chamomile an effective sleep aid.[4]

In addition to your evening steep, you can add other activities to your nightly routine to help promote relaxation and sleep.

Creating a Soothing Nighttime Routine

Introducing chamomile tea to your nighttime routine is just one of the ways you can experience a better night’s rest. For more ideas, take a look at these other activities that can soothe your body and mind and create a peaceful sleep environment:

  • Enjoy a hot bath – Taking a hot bath can help relax your muscles and mind, encouraging a calm mood. Plus, research has shown that taking a hot bath about 90 minutes before bedtime can actually help you fall asleep faster.[5] This is because as we near our regular sleep times, our body temperatures naturally decrease, signaling to our brains to start the production of melatonin—the hormone responsible for initiating sleep. While your body will feel warm during your bath, afterward, your internal temperature will drop, mimicking the natural decrease that occurs during bedtime and making it easier for you to fall asleep.

To further set the mood for your evening bath, you can add essential oils to your water or light tea lights to create a soft glow conducive to sleepiness.

  • Use aromatherapy – A slow-burning soy candle or an essential oil diffuser can help create a calming atmosphere for your evening routines. In addition to chamomile, scents like lavender, cedarwood, and jasmine have been shown to lower heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and promote better sleep efficiency.[6]
  • Choose the right pajamas – It’s difficult to fall asleep if you feel constricted by clothing that’s too tight or too warm. To promote comfort and relaxation, try to choose loose-fitting pajamas made of light, breathable cotton.
  • Read a favorite book – Reading a familiar book can be an effective way to allow your mind to drift into sleep. Not only will the beloved characters and memorable storyline soothe you, but the familiarity also means you won’t be kept awake wondering what to expect from the next chapter.
  • Maintain a consistent schedule – Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day helps establish and maintain our circadian rhythms, providing us with more energy during the day and better sleep at night.

Activities That Can Disrupt a Good Night’s Sleep

When creating a calming nighttime routine, it’s important to recognize the activities that can harm your ability to fall asleep, as well as the quality of your sleep.

Take a look at some activities you should avoid before you snuggle up beneath the sheets:

  • Eating too close to bedtime – Experts recommend having your last meal of the day about 3 hours before you go to sleep. This allows your body to fully digest your food so that you don’t end up tossing and turning through the night with an upset stomach. Plus, eating fried foods, foods with added sugars, or foods with caffeine too close to bedtime can cause uncomfortable acid reflux and keep your body buzzing when it’s supposed to be snoozing.
  • Going to bed hungry – While eating too close to bedtime can disrupt quality sleep, going to bed hungry can have the same effect. This is because an empty stomach growling for food may keep you awake. So how can you quell your nighttime hunger without causing acid reflux or a sugar rush? Try eating non- or low-processed foods, such as berries, nuts, or crackers. These snacks can effectively stave off hunger until morning and are less likely to keep you awake through the night.
  • Taking in too much blue light – The blue light that’s emitted from your phone, computer, laptop, and TV is known to be a stimulant and can make your brain feel as though it’s supposed to be wide awake.[7] By limiting your blue light exposure in the hours leading up to bedtime, you can help relax your brain and ensure a better night’s sleep. This means you should try to avoid binge-watching TV shows, and take a break from your phone before your head hits the pillow.
  • Being subjected to stressful information – Along with the stimulating effects of blue light, our devices can also be a source of stressors that keep our minds racing. Rather than reading the news, checking work emails, or scrolling through Twitter at the end of the night, try taking a bath, reading a book, or enjoying a warm cup of chamomile.

What Are Some Other Benefits of Chamomile?

While sipping on your evening cup of chamomile, you might find yourself wondering if there are other health benefits this powerful tea can provide.

As it turns out, chamomile is thought to positively impact our health and well-being in several ways, including:[8]

  • Reducing anxiety*
  • Lowering blood sugar*
  • Alleviating menstrual cramps*
  • Supporting healthy bones*
  • Improving immune system function*
  • Reduce insomnia*
  • Calming effect for people with generalized anxiety disorder*
  • Anti-inflammatory property*

And the best part is that chamomile tastes good. New tea drinkers might be wondering how long to steep chamomile tea  to bring out its full flavor. The trick is to steep 5-7 minutes, depending on whether you’re using loose leaf tea or a tea bag. It also goes well with other ingredients, such as cherry juice, warm milk, and lemon balm, so that you can make flavorful drinks with it.

Find Your New Favorite Chamomile Tea with the help of The Republic of Tea.

So, does chamomile tea help sleep? The answer is a resounding yes. Plus, chamomile can promote total body wellness by reducing anxiety, lowering blood sugar, and strengthening our immune systems, making your bedtime tea powerful in more ways than one. *

To give your body and mind the rest they deserve, and improve your overall well-being, make The Republic of Tea a part of your nightly ritual. We offer over 300 premium teas, including a selection of delicious chamomile choices, such as Chamomile Lemon Herbal Full-Leaf, Chamomile Rose Beauty Sleep Herbal Tea, and get some zzz’s No. 5—a blend of rooibos, chamomile, passionflower, and valerian. If you’re feeling experimental, we also have lavender tea, peppermint tea, and many more.

Let The Republic of Tea lull you to sleep so that you can wake refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to enjoy life sip by sip.

 

*The Site cannot and does not contain medical/health advice. The medical/health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of medical/health advice. Information and statements about the products on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

Sources:

 

Drugs.com. Chamomile. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/chamomile.html

FDA. Code of Federal Regulations – Title 21. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=582.10

Medical News Today. What are the Benefits of Chamomile Tea? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320031#benefits-of-chamomile-tea

National Library of Medicine. Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past with a Bright Future. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/#R68

How Stuff Works. What Makes a Scent Soothing? https://science.howstuffworks.com/what-makes-scent-soothing.htm

“How to Drink Chamomile Tea to Help You Lose Weight.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/418493-how-to-drink-chamomile-tea-to-help-you-lose-weight/

WebMD. How Blue Light Affects Your Sleep. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-blue-light

Insider. Yes, Chamomile Tea Does Make You Sleepy – Here’s How It Can Help You Fall Asleep. https://www.insider.com/does-chamomile-tea-make-you-sleepy#:~:text=According%20to%20Breus%2C%20you%20should,sedative%20feelings%20to%20kick%20in.

NCBI. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26483209/

Healthline. Having Trouble Sleeping? Try a Hot Bath Before Bed. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/having-trouble-sleeping-try-a-hot-bath-before-bed#Understanding-sleep,-circadian-cycles

Sleep Foundation. How Smell Affects Your Sleep. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/how-smell-affects-your-sleep

The 25 Best Teas for Anxiety https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/tea-for-anxiety#chamomile

Tea, herb, chamomile, brewed, 1 cup (8 fl oz)

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=76&contentid=14545-3

[1] NCBI. Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past with a Bright Future. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/#R68

[2] “How to Drink Chamomile Tea to Help You Lose Weight.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/418493-how-to-drink-chamomile-tea-to-help-you-lose-weight/.

[3] Sleep Foundation. How Smell Affects Your Sleep. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/how-smell-affects-your-sleep

[4] Insider. Yes, Chamomile Tea Does Make You Sleepy – Here’s How It Can Help You Fall Asleep. https://www.insider.com/does-chamomile-tea-make-you-sleepy#:~:text=According%20to%20Breus%2C%20you%20should,sedative%20feelings%20to%20kick%20in.

[5] Healthline. Having Trouble Sleeping? Try a Hot Bath Before Bed. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/having-trouble-sleeping-try-a-hot-bath-before-bed#Understanding-sleep,-circadian-cycles

[6] Sleep Foundation. How Smell Affects Your Sleep. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/how-smell-affects-your-sleep

[7] WebMD. How Blue Light Affects Your Sleep. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-blue-light

[8] Medical News Today. What are the Benefits of Chamomile Tea? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320031#benefits-of-chamomile-tea

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