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Who doesn’t want to wake up in beast mode? Sadly, you need sleep for that. And unfortunately, more than one-third of American adults are not getting enough sleep. *pretends to be shocked*
Not regularly catching the recommended 7 or more hours of Zzz’s a night is associated with health conditions like diabetes, weight gain, hypertension, depression, heart disease, stroke, and increased risk of death. (Holy moly.)
But we come bearing some good news: Herbal teas could be the key to helping you finally get some effing sleep — after all, they’ve been used as natural sleep aids for hundreds of years.
Get a good sleep routine in place, and then try sipping these sleepy faves 20 to 30 minutes before bed for that deep snooze you’ve been dreaming of.
The calming effect is probably thanks to an awesome antioxidant called apigenin, which chamomile is loaded with.
Stock up: Celestial Seasonings in Honey Vanilla.
(Psst… toss in some organic honey if you’re looking for a bomb natural sweetener that’s also a throat and tummy soother.)
Everything else in your chill-time arsenal — lotion, pillow mist, bath bombs — is lavender-scented for a good reason: It’s calming AF. We can thank the ancient Greeks and Romans for the idea — they threw lavender into their baths and were obsessed with inhaling its soothing scent.
Research is limited, but a 2012 study found that women with insomnia scored better sleep after taking part in two 20-minute lavender aromatherapy sessions per week for 12 weeks. Not a bad deal.
Stock up: Buddha Teas Organic Lavender Tea
Green tea, which comes from the leaves of a plant called Camellia sinensis, is known for its many health benefits, including fat loss, improved brain function, and lower risk of cancer. But there’s even more to the story: If you sip some during the day, it may improve your sleep at night.
Why not before bed? The thing is, all green tea contains some caffeine. But one study showed that green tea with lower amounts of caffeine improved sleep and reduced stress.
Stock up: Bigelow Decaffeinated Green Tea
Although it has researchers scratching their heads, this herb seems to be a handy little sleep aid. This may be because it increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA. If there’s enough GABA hanging around, it can make you sleepy.
A 2010 review of 18 studies found that valerian could be effective as a remedy for insomnia, although more conclusive research is needed.
Hailing from the mint family, this fresh bad boy is often used in aromatherapy. A 2011 study on mice found that it increased GABA levels, suggesting lemon balm could act as a sedative. Easy-peasy, lemon balm squeezy.
Stock up: Celebration Herbals Organic Lemon Balm
This one’s been around for more than 100 million years — no exaggeration. This flowering plant is famous for its anti-anxiety and sedative effects. The sedative effect is probably due to honokiol, a compound that can be found in the flowers, stems, and bark of this plant.
One note: This bougie bedtime fave is a little steeper in price.
Stock up: TerraVita Magnolia Bark Tea
Calming and floral, passionflower tea is made from the flowers, leaves, and stems of a plant called Passiflora incarnata.
One study found that participants who drank passionflower tea daily for just a week had way better sleep quality than those who didn’t drink it. Not too shabby!
Stock up: Tadin Tea Passiflora Passion Flower Tea
Citrusy and lemony, this tea has plenty of benefits to brag about. It’s also a longtime folk remedy for inducing sleep, alleviating pain, and boosting immunity. Sip and be well.
Since it’s naturally caffeine-free, you don’t have to worry about peppermint tea putting that extra pep in your step before bed.