Dragonfly's 6 Best Teas For Sleep
Your sleep is precious! With our lives becoming increasingly stressful, the quantity and quality of sleep that we get has become more important than ever. Herbal teas can play a great part in the winding down process to help improve sleep and reduce stress. Read on to find out about our 6 favourite teas for sleep, and why we love them!
Herbal teas are made from natural plants, herbs and flowers which are naturally caffeine free. These plants have often been used for generations in botanical traditions around the world for their soothing and restorative properties.
Although caffeine can make us feel more alert in the short term, it can negatively impact the quantity and quality of our sleep which in turn affects how alert, energetic and switched on we are the following day. We drink caffeine to helps us wake up… and a cycle of tiredness ensues.
Caffeine can be found in many foods and drinks of which coffee is the best known, but it is also found in soft drinks, energy drinks, some cold medicines and even in chocolate. Black and green teas also contain caffeine because they are made from the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis), which naturally contains caffeine in its make-up.
Therefore, for those of us who are avoiding or reducing our caffeine intake but still want a warming and comforting tea before bed, herbals such as camomile or lavender tea, rooibos or valerian tea, or blends of these, are the perfect choice. Here are some of our favourites:
1. Pure Camomile
Camomile is probably one of the best known teas for helping with sleep issues. This daisy-like flower has been celebrated by herbalists since ancient Egyptian times and used for relaxation, to relieve general anxiety and to promote a good night’s sleep.
Our organic Camomile flowers are harvested by hand and then slow-dried naturally to maintain the special essential oils and soft fragrant notes of apple and quince. Perfect before bed, this light and fragrant tea will help to keep you hydrated without interfering with your sleep. Plus, a hot drink last thing, much like a hot bath, can help as the body recognises the resulting cooling down process as a signal to start winding down for sleep.
2. Night Sky Calm
One of our newest teas, Night Sky Calm contains a very special blend of ingredients used for centuries to help with a good night’s sleep. Inspired by the herbal and botanical tradition of the Mediterranean, we've combined soothing camomile with valerian root, a touch of lavender, oat straw and lemon balm for the perfect night-time cup.
Valerian root has traditionally been valued for its mild sedative effect and used as a natural sleep aid, whilst fragrant lavender is known for its relaxing essential oils and is popular in aromatherapy. Lemon balm and oatstraw, although lesser known, are often used to help with anxiety and stress (much like magnolia bark and passionflower teas amongst others).
To complete the line-up we've also added a little sage, honeybush and a touch of licorice for a softly floral brew with a gentle soothing sweetness. The perfect treat last thing at night to help you wake up feeling positive and rested, this is fast becoming one of our best-selling teas and we can’t sleep without it!
Rooibos (or redbush) and Honeybush are wonderfully gentle teas used for generations in South Africa to help soothe and relax. Naturally caffeine free and full-bodied with a sweet nutty finish, rooibos tea has become very popular around the world for its unique taste, numerous health benefits and variety of flavours. Honeybush tea is made from a related shrub (Cyclopia) and is a little lighter and more floral than rooibos and is named for its delightfully honeyed aroma.
These teas both come from the coastal Cedarberg mountains of the Cape. Unlike normal herbal teas which are dried, these are oxidised much like black tea which gives a rich, deep flavour without any bitterness. You can drink this tea with or without milk so it is perfect for black tea drinkers. Plus, it is naturally caffeine free rather than decaffeinated, and therefore hasn’t undergone the chemical processing used to make decaf teas.
High in antioxidants and low in tannins, rooibos tea is often said to have a relaxant effect on the body, without being a sedative. There is ongoing research into the health benefits of rooibos, especially its impact on heart health and diabetes, as well as weight loss and stress. For an extra strong cup some people use two tea bags – just steep in boiled water and leave for 10 minutes. You can also add a dash of honey for extra sweetness.
4. Herb Garden Digestif
A happy digestive system is key for a good night’s sleep, particularly when it comes to sleep quality. Our digestif blend is a wonderfully light and reviving fusion of celebrated herbs from the British and European botanical traditions including fennel seed, peppermint, ginger and nettle.
These are all ingredients long used to help support digestion and are perfect after a meal, particularly if it has been quite heavy, balancing tangy freshness with a sweet herbal lift to cleanse the palate. Experts advise eating at least two hours before you go to bed to help give you a chance to digest properly and for your stomach to settle. This way your body can start the process of slowing down and turning its attention to sleep and getting some quality rest.
5. Inner Aloe Harmony
Another digestive tea, we've blended aloe vera, seaweed, and baobab with fresh green rooibos for a caffeine free cup which is naturally alkalising. Light and subtly umami with cleansing citrus notes, these ingredients combined to help neutralise acidity, balance the system, and promote inner harmony for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Problems with heartburn and reflux are increasingly common today, and many people find them particularly troublesome at night. The advice is often to eat earlier, avoid spicy and acidic foods, alcohol, black tea and coffee, whilst adding in plenty of green vegetables.
Soothing herbals are sometimes also recommended and we have combined many of these for an all-star alkalising brew. Aloe vera is traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory properties, and seaweed for its nutritional value and possible role in gut health. Baobab is another plant which has a long history of medicinal use and is used in part to lower acidity levels. Green rooibos meanwhile has all the benefits of normal red rooibos tea but is not oxidised and therefore retains its beautiful green colour and fresh light taste.
6. Lemongrass and Ginger
This classic combination perfectly balances fragrant lemongrass with the gentle spice of ginger root, making the ideal caffeine free infusion. One of the first spices to arrive in Europe from southern Asia, ginger has been used around the world for its digestive and cleansing properties, and ginger tea is said to be one of the oldest medicinal drinks in the world.
Lemongrass meanwhile is known as a soothing anti-inflammatory and we’ve added a touch of licorice, green rooibos and fennel seed for the ultimate warming brew.
This is a great tea for hydration and comfort any time of the day, and especially last thing in the evening as part of your preparations for turning in. Experts say that routine is key for good sleep and is an important aspect of sleep hygiene. So why not try turning your screen off an hour before bedtime, try going to bed at the same time each evening, and try a cup of tea to help you relax, unwind and drift off to sleep!
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