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Who doesn’t want to wake up in beast mode? Well, we hate to break it to you, but 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, and stroke, along with increased risk of death. (Holy moly.)

But we come bearing some good news: Herbal teas could help you finally get some effing sleep — after all, people have been using them as natural sleep aids for hundreds of years.

Get a good sleep routine in place, and then try sipping one of these sleepy faves 20 to 30 minutes before bed to get that deep snooze you’ve been dreaming of.

Here’s how we *teased* out the best sleepy-time teas from all the rest:

  • Ingredients. We focused on evidence-based ingredients that are known for having good sleep juju. We made sure to recommend a tea for every main ingredient — plus some blends to help you reap the benefits of multiple ingredients.
  • Type. We aimed to include both bagged and loose teas, since preparation preferences vary.
  • Quality. Most of the teas on this list are organic, although there are some more affordable non-organic options for people who aren’t looking for strictly organic products.
  • Vetted products only. Each product went through a thorough vetting process checking for unsupported health claims, shady business practices, and lawsuits regarding a company’s products. Every product below passed that process.

1. Chamomile tea

  • Key benefits: helps improve sleep quality and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Chamomile is a friend with big benefits. According to a 2019 research review, this sweet and earthy tea can help improve sleep quality *and* is an effective treatment for GAD.

But heads-up: There’s not a ton of evidence that it can help manage insomnia — so this is a better pick for people who have trouble staying asleep or often wake up feeling groggy.

Try this: Steven Smith Teamaker Lullaby

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: chamomile, lemongrass, lavender, ashwagandha
  • Type: bag

This tea from Steven Smith Teamaker contains some serious sleep-inducing ingredients. In addition to chamomile, it has lemongrass (a longtime folk remedy for inducing sleep, with some evidence to back it up), as well as lavender and ashwagandha, which are both known for helping reduce anxiety and improve sleep.

We’re big fans of this tea. It has a subtle but delicious flavor and makes you fall asleep SO quickly. It’s a great pick if stress and anxiety keep you up at night.

2. Lemon balm tea

  • Key benefits: reduces stress, anxiety, and depression; helps you fall asleep

Hailing from the mint family, this fresh bad boy is often used in aromatherapy. But research from 2011 suggests that lemon balm extract can also help reduce stress and anxiety and improve insomnia when ingested (like when you drink tea!!).

Research from 2018 also found that lemon balm supplementation can help reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disturbances in people with chronic chest pain.

Easy-peasy, lemon balm squeezy.

Try this: Celebration Herbals Organic Lemon Balm

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredient: organic lemon balm
  • Type: bag

This tea from Celebration Herbals is 100 percent organic lemon balm, so you can count on the flavor being on the — you guessed it — lemony side.

The brand recommends infusing this tea for its medicinal benefits. That means you’ll bring a cup of water to a boil, add the tea bag, cover it, and let it steep for 7 to 12 minutes.

Reviewers say it has a subtle flavor but is also surprisingly healing and relaxing. Some reviewers recommend adding a bit of stevia or honey for some sweetness too.

3. Passionflower tea

  • Key benefits: reduces anxiety, helps you fall asleep

Calming and floral, passionflower tea is made from the flowers, leaves, and stems of a plant called Passiflora incarnata.

A 2020 review of studies found that passionflower has serious anti-anxiety effects. It also has some sedative effects, which means it can help you fall asleep — a huge win for peeps who feel wired before bed.

Try this: Gaia Herbs Sleep & Relax Herbal Tea

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile
  • Type: bag

With three floral ingredients that bring the mellow, this tea from Gaia Herbs is an amazing way to unwind after a stressful day. Sit, sip, and manifest a good night’s rest.

The tea also includes our sleep besties chamomile and lemon balm, so buckle up for a relaxing-AF brew.

Reviewers love the high caliber of ingredients used by Gaia Herbs and say the tea tastes amazing and really does help them chill out before bed.

4. Melatonin tea

  • Key benefits: helps you fall asleep, helps improve sleep quality

Melatonin is a hormone your body naturally produces when it’s time to get your sleep on. A lot of research supports melatonin supplementation for managing insomnia and getting better sleep in general.

You can find melatonin capsules, gummies, and liquid supplements — but it’s also added to teas to help kick things up a notch.

Try this: Celestial Seasonings TeaWell Organic Sleep

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: melatonin, lemon balm, chamomile, catnip
  • Type: bag

The TeaWell line from Celestial Seasonings is all about the bennies (benefits, not Benjamins), baby. This organic sleep tea gets straight to the point with the addition of melatonin.

It’s also got other sleep-happy faves, like lemon balm and chamomile — plus catnip, which can be helpful for nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia, at least according to some research from way back in 1990.

Reviewers love the mellow taste and rave about how well the tea works. One reviewer says they even keep a cup on their nightstand in case they wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

5. Peppermint tea

There hasn’t been a ton of research on how peppermint tea affects sleep — but it’s naturally caffeine-free, so you don’t have to worry about it putting that extra pep in your step before bed.

There have been studies on peppermint oil, though, and it’s a pretty impressive muscle relaxant. It can also help calm your belly if you regularly deal with symptoms of IBS. It’s a minty-fresh way to get you maxin’ and relaxin’.

Try this: Bigelow Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: peppermint leaf, chamomile, hibiscus
  • Type: bag

For a truly dreamy dream, try this Sweet Dreams tea from Bigelow. On top of chamomile, it’s got hibiscus, which not only tastes delish but also has relaxation benefits of its own.

This tea is not organic, but reviewers are big big big fans of both the taste and the effects. It has a whopping 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon from more than 27,000 reviews. People say they literally can’t live without it — this stuff is legit!

6. Valerian root

  • Key benefits: reduces anxiety, improves sleep quality

This herb has been used for centuries as a sleep aid, and many studies have found that it can help improve sleep quality and symptoms of anxiety.

Results on its effectiveness have been a little all over the place, though, with quite a few studies finding that valerian root doesn’t get the job done. The most recent research found that quality control can play a part in this inconsistency, so more research is needed before we’ll know for sure.

Try this: Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Extra

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: valerian, passionflower, lemon balm, peppermint
  • Type: bag

This tea is a riff on Traditional Medicinals’ beloved Nighty Night blend. It’s loaded with passionflower, lemon balm, and peppermint — some of our fave sleepy ingredients. The “Extra” is from the valerian, which makes Nighty Night Extra the Mewtwo to Nighty Night’s Mew. Gotta catch some Zzz’s!

Just a note that valerian root has an earthy, woodsy taste, which isn’t for everyone — but it does pack a KO punch (in a good way). Some reviewers also say the licorice root flavor isn’t exactly their *cup of tea*.

7. Gotu kola

  • Key benefits: reduces anxiety

Research from 2013 found that gotu kola can help reduce anxiety, which can be a real sleep killer. According to some older research, gotu kola can also help treat sleep disorders — but more research is needed to confirm this.

Try this: Gardenika Sleep

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: gotu kola, chamomile, lavender
  • Type: loose

This loose tea from Gardenika is specifically formulated with organic ingredients that’ll coax you right to sleep. Gotu kola, chamomile, and lavender work together to lower stress and anxiety and bring on the Zzz’s.

Reviewers love this tea, but one cautions that it may work TOO well — so use it sparingly if you have somewhere to be the next morning. Sounds like the sign of a successful sleep tea to us.

8. Kava

  • Key benefits: reduces anxiety, helps you fall asleep

This earthy brew, which happens to be the national drink of Fiji, is used all the time to help with sleep issues. It has well-known anti-anxiety and sedative effects, but there hasn’t been a ton of research on how it helps insomnia — yet!

Try this: Yogi Tea Kava Stress Relief

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredient: kava
  • Type: bag

While this kava tea isn’t made specifically for sleep, it may help relieve some stress so your mind’s not racing when you’re trying to slow down.

Reviewers say the earthy taste takes a little getting used to (and you may want to add some cream and sweetener to mellow it out a bit), but the relaxation is totally worth it.

9. Tulsi

  • Key benefits: helps reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression

Tulsi — aka holy basil — is a plant native to India that can help reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. It can also help with sleep problems.

Try this: Organic India Tulsi Sleep Tea

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: tulsi, cardamom, chamomile, peppermint, ashwagandha, gotu kola
  • Type: bag

Sipping on this tea from Organic India gives you the sweet benefits of tulsi, chamomile, peppermint, ashwagandha, and gotu kola. It’s also got cardamom, which has sedative effects too.

Reviewers highly recommend this tea. Some say it has helped them quit taking over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids entirely. Others appreciate the flavor and say this tea tastes a lot better than other sleepy teas they’ve tried.

10. Lavender

  • Key benefits: helps reduce stress

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.

Try this: Crooked Crows Deep Sleep Tea Blend

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: lavender, ashwagandha, gotu kola, passionflower, lemon balm
  • Type: loose

A ton of peeps love the smell of lavender — and some people love the taste too! If you’re open to the cozy, floral flavor, this blend from Crooked Crows could be for you.

It has a pretty dang awesome lineup of ingredients for a serious cup of relaxation. And if you end up loving it, you can set up a subscription so you’ll get stocked up every month.

Ingredients are the biggest factor in the sleep-promoting effects of certain teas, but tea can also help you sleep in some other ways.

For one thing, the ritual of making tea may help lull you to Dreamland — especially if you’re consistent with it. Having a bedtime routine that you stick to faithfully will help your body recognize that when the sleepy tea comes out, it’s time to get sleepy.

Additionally, tea is just plain comforting. Warm and cozy, it’s peak hygge — so put on your comfiest PJs, curl up on the couch with a book, and sip till you’re ready to flip (the lights off).

Here’s how to choose the perfect bedtime brew for you.

Desired effects

Are you looking for a tea to help you chill out, help you fall asleep, or help you stay asleep all night? Or maybe all of the above?

Here’s a quick recap of the possible benefits of each ingredient:

Reduces anxiety and stressHelps you fall asleepImproves sleep quality
Chamomile
Lemon balm
Passionflower
Melatonin
Valerian root
Gotu kola
Kava
Tulsi
Lavender

And if you’re just looking for a yummy caffeine-free cup of tea that might be able to soothe your tummy troubles, peppermint is a great option.

Price

Price is a big one. Generally, big-brand teas you can find in the grocery store (like Bigelow and Celestial Seasonings) are less expensive.

Organic teas will be more expensive than their non-organic counterparts, and the ingredients (and concentrations of ingredients) in each tea can also have a big impact on price.

Type

How do you brew? Tea bags are more convenient than loose tea, to be sure, but loose tea allows you more control over the strength of your tea, and tea aficionados generally prefer it.

Flavor

If you’re gonna drink it every night, you gotta love the taste.

Some people say valerian root can taste, well, weird. If you’re one of those people, look for a valerian-free sleep tea. (Psst… toss in some organic honey if you’re looking for a bomb natural sweetener that’s also a throat and tummy soother.)

Quality

Finally, make sure to select a tea that matches your values and dietary preferences. Several of these brands offer non-organic versions, but many higher-end tea brands are made exclusively with organic ingredients.

Which tea is best before bed?

It really depends on what you’re looking for. Some teas are great stress reducers, while others will help knock you out. Others have multiple benefits that can help you get a great night’s sleep.

If you’re looking to reduce anxiety and stress, chamomile, lemon balm, passionflower, valerian root, gotu kola, kava, tulsi, and lavender teas are all great options.

If you’re looking for help falling asleep, lemon balm, passionflower, melatonin, and kava teas are where it’s at.

If you’re having a tough time staying asleep, chamomile, melatonin, and valerian root all help improve sleep quality.

When’s the best time to drink my sleepy tea?

When you’re ready to get sleepy — typically 30 minutes or so before bedtime.

How much tea should I drink?

Some sleepy tea makers say you can have 2 to 3 cups in the evening, but start with 1 cup before bedtime to see how it affects you.

How do I brew tea?

We’ll refer you to our handy tea brewing guide for all the details, but to put it simply: Steep the tea in hot water for about 5 minutes (or longer if you like a stronger tea) and sip sip sip.

What if it doesn’t help me sleep?

It may be time to call in reinforcements.

Consider your overall sleep hygiene. Do what you can to make your sleep environment as cool, dark, and quiet as possible. And try to make sure you’re not eaten up with stress and anxiety when your head hits the pillow — yoga or meditation may help.

If you’re still having issues, consider making an appointment with a healthcare professional.

If you’re having a little trouble snoozing, a warm mug of tea in the evenings may help. Make sure to choose a sleep tea with ingredients like valerian, chamomile, or lavender, and make the tea ritual part of your nightly routine to help you drift off to Dreamland.