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Better Sleep Council spokeswoman Lissa Coffey shares the secrets to a restful night’s sleep through the soothing and comforting world of chamomile tea.
It’s late, and you’re tired of tossing and turning in bed, so what do you do? Many of us find ourselves wandering towards the kitchen, searching for a snack. Instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips or the ice cream in the freezer, try remembering what grandma advised you to do: make a cup of tea. Grandmothers everywhere have passed down recipes for tea concoctions that can help us settle into slumber, and what’s the one common thread in all these soothing brews? Chamomile.
Explore some of the benefits of chamomile tea and discover a few additional ingredients you might want to have on hand next time you’re trolling the pantry at midnight!
Traditional teas are made from the leaves of the tea bush, Camellia Sinensis, and conventionally contain caffeine. Herbal teas, on the other hand, are made from a combination of herbs, spices, or other plant materials. Chamomile tea, for example, is considered an herbal tea, not a “true tea,” because it comes from a plant with small daisy-like flowers.
You might already be familiar with chamomile, known for its healing properties and for its ability to aid in sleep. The sedative effect of chamomile tea comes from a flavonoid called apigenin, which creates a calming response in the brain, helping us feel sleepy and ready to crawl into bed.
Warm milk has a long-time tradition as a sleep remedy, and for good reason. Milk and plant-based milks provide protein rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps boost melatonin production.
When heated, milk helps raise internal body temperature, which can calm and relax us. The calcium in milk has a soothing effect on the nervous system. Plus, there’s the possible positive psychological effects—maybe because milk was a comfort food for us when we were babies.
Try it at home!
Dunk a bag of chamomile tea in your mug of warm milk. Sip your warm milky tea slowly while winding down for the night, preferably curled up on a cozy couch with a soft blanket wrapped around you!
If you prefer using tea bags, you can easily add a few different flavors to your cup or teapot. However, if you prefer loose tea, you can mix the flavors together and place them in an infuser.
To create your own personalized sleep brew, consider adding any combination of the following ingredients to your chamomile tea or warm milk:
At the end of the day, there is no magical elixir or tea combination that can help you sleep if your mattress is in bad shape. A quality mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep. If you’ve had yours for longer than 5-7 years, check the mattress for lumps and bumps and signs of wear. It’s probably time to get a new one!
Cheers to a wonderful night’s sleep!