Think bedtime, think chamomile! Widely known as the go-to beverage for promoting a good night’s rest, chamomile tea is a staple in most kitchen pantries. Find out how the soothing properties of this delicious garden herb have secured it a place in our hearts as a sleepy tea. We also cover the other tried and tested bedtime routines for a sleep-full night, as promoted by the National Sleep Foundation.
Chamomile is a native plant to Europe, Asia and North Africa and was a medicinal herb used in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The word ‘chamomile’ was derived from the Greek word, khamaimēlon, which means earth apple.
Today, dried flowers of the chamomile plant are commonly used as a herbal tea to help calm and soothe the body and mind.
Does chamomile tea help with sleep?
Drinking chamomile tea, especially of the organic variety, is a popular bedtime option for those looking to improve their sleep quality. In fact, chamomile is such a commonly drunk hot beverage at nighttime that it’s often renamed as a sleepy tea.
But what is the evidence supporting whether this softly scented dried flower can help to improve sleep quality and sleeping patterns?
Several studies have shown that drinking chamomile tea before bedtime can help improve sleep quality and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
One such study was published in the journal Phytomedicine and found that drinking chamomile tea for two weeks improved sleep quality in elderly people suffering from sleep disturbances.
Another study, published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, found that drinking chamomile tea before bedtime improved sleep quality in patients with chronic insomnia.
Chamomile’s many other health benefits have also been thoroughly investigated.
Why chamomile helps to promote sleep
The reason why chamomile tea is so effective at improving sleep quality is due to its high levels of an antioxidant called apigenin. Apigenin binds to specific receptors in the brain that help reduce anxiety and promote a better night’s sleep.
It goes to show why chamomile tea is often recommended as a natural remedy for those struggling with sleep issues.
Other health benefits of drinking chamomile tea
Aside from supporting a better night’s sleep, chamomile tea is known for its many other health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
Chamomile tea contains compounds called flavonoids that are anti-inflammatory in nature. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these flavonoids can help reduce inflammation in the body and improve overall health.
The tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe skin irritations, reduce redness and improve your skin’s complexion. Some sufferers of skin complaints such as eczema, acne and psoriasis, even apply chamomile topically to help relieve those complaints.
Chamomile tea has been shown to help soothe the digestive system and relieve stomach discomfort. This is due to its anti-spasmodic properties which can help relax the muscles in the intestines and reduce cramping. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that chamomile tea can help relieve symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Boosting the immune system
Chamomile tea contains antioxidants that can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can cause oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that chamomile tea can help boost the immune system and protect against oxidative stress.
Relieving menstrual cramps
The tea’s natural anti-inflammatory properties can also be used to help soothe menstrual pain. Chamomile tea has been used for centuries to help relieve cramps and improve overall wellbeing during that time of the month.
Perhaps one of the best known benefits of drinking chamomile tea is for the effect it can have on promoting relaxation and improving quality of sleep. According to the study mentioned earlier, drinking chamomile tea before bedtime can help improve sleep quality in patients with chronic insomnia.
Why is a good night’s sleep so important?
Sleep is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. Often, the stresses of life we face – whether’s it’s juggling family life and work commitments, concerns about health or the many trials and tribulations that can be thrown our way – can create extra challenges when it comes to getting enough sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, women need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to function at our best. But we can often stuggle to get the recommended amount of quality shut-eye. Fluctuations in hormones can also start to play a big role when experiencing poor sleep quality.
Getting enough sleep is important for several reasons.
Lack of sleep can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also affect mental health and increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
Also, getting the sleep you need each night is crucial for strengthening your immune system and helping to prevent or limit disease. Healthy sleep can actually help to stop you from getting sick as often.
Ongoing sleep deprivation can affect our ability to maintain a healthy weight. Poor sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances that can in turn increase appetite and make it harder to lose weight.
We must have all had those days when we’re just not firing on all cylinders. Getting enough sleep is crucial for cognitive function and productivity. Lack of sleep can lead to difficulties in concentrating and memory problems.
By incorporating a regular routine or downtime before bed you can help to take steps to improve your twilight hours and get the much-needed rest you need. Read on to find out a few top tips for promoting better sleep.
6 bedtime routine tips for better sleep
Establishing a bedtime sleep routine can be helpful in improving your sleep quality and overall health. Here are some tips, based on advice from the National Sleep Foundation, that can help encourage you to achieve a better night’s sleep.
#1 – Wind down with a bedtime ritual
If you struggle dropping off to sleep, establish some relaxing activities to do each evening that will encourage you to wind down from your day. These could be listening to calming music, reading a book, drinking a soothing cup of chamomile tea or taking a warm bath.
You may even want to incorporate a regular yoga or meditation practice at this time of day. Use the Calm app for ideas on sleep, meditation and relaxation. Within the free resources is also a daily sleep journal to help you explore the things that support your slumber or hijack your sleep.
#2 – Stick to a regular sleep schedule
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps you to get into a regular sleep cycle so your body gets used to the routine.
#3 – Exercise regulary
Walking, swiming or yoga are all helpful for improving sleep. Incorporate a low-impact fitness into your week to help improve your sleep cycles.
#4 – Create a sleep-friendly bedroom
Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. Use comfortable bedding and pillows, and consider using aromatherapy with essential oils such as lavender to promote relaxation.
#5 – Avoid electronic devices
Turn off electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light emitted from these devices can interfere with sleep.
#6 – Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bedtime as they can interfere with sleep quality. Instead drink a cup of sleepy tea when your day is coming to a close.
Beneficial sleep teas to consider
Organic herbal teas, containing calming and soothing herbs, have been shown in studies to help promote sleep along with many other health benefits. The following tea blends contain the finest organic ingredients, sourced from ethical tea growers, to help support your nightly bedtime routine.
Rest – Organic Chamomile Tea
Rest Organic Chamomile Tea is made from Certified Organic chamomile flowers. Enjoy this delicate caffiene-free beverage as a soothing afternoon tea or a pre-bedtime beverage to support your slumber. Containing anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile can help to soothe digestion, reduce stress and promote better sleep patterns.
Rest is available as a loose leaf tea and in plastic-free tea bags. Explore the options:Chamomile tea bags Chamomile loose leaf
Goodnight Sleep Tea
Ease yourself into a tranquil sleep with the delicious herbal blend in Goodnight Sleep Tea. Completely caffiene-free, this sleep tea contains four medicinal herbs that have been shown to help support a good night’s sleep: chamomile, lavender, valerian and lemon balm, all organically grown in New Zealand.
Goodnight Sleep Tea is available as a loose leaf blend.Goodnight Sleep Tea