Drinking Chamomile Tea Before Bed Can Help You Sleep. Here's How

Are you having a hard time falling asleep at night? Is a racing mind keeping you from getting the rest you deserve? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the average American adults get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Failing to get the appropriate amount of sleep on a regular basis leads to many negative health effects by increasing your risk for developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, just to name a few. The good news is that there are many different methods to help you get the sleep you need and drinking chamomile tea before bed is one of them.

Chamomile is an herb derived from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family (via Healthline). Adding hot water to the dried flowers of the plant yields a delicious piping hot cup of herbal, non-caffeinated tea, which happens to pack quite a few health benefits. Drinking chamomile tea has been found to aid in reducing systemic inflammation, promoting digestive health, helping control blood sugar levels, and of course, helping you sleep at night.

Chamomile helps you relax and fall asleep

Chamomile, while most commonly consumed in tea form, can also be prepared as an essential oil used for aromatherapy (via Molecular Medicine Reports). Traditionally, both of these preparations have been used to treat insomnia and provide mild sedating effects. Chamomile is commonly used for its mild tranquilizing and sleep-inducing effects, which are likely due to a flavonoid known as apigenin. Apigenin binds to specific GABA-receptors in the brain which helps induce sleep and reduce anxiety. If GABA receptors sound familiar, it's because they are the same receptors targeted by a number of anti-anxiety medications currently on the market (via Insider).

Michael Breus, a psychologist and board-certified sleep specialist, recommends drinking one cup of chamomile tea approximately 45 minutes before bed in order to induce its sedative effect. This ensures enough time for the body to metabolize the tea and allow its effects to kick in. For people who worry that drinking tea before bed will have them waking up to use the restroom in the middle of the night, Breus recommends taking a chamomile supplement instead.

It is important to note that while chamomile tea can help you fall asleep, studies remain inconclusive regarding its ability to improve your quality of sleep throughout the night. That being said, its calming and mildly sedating effects can't be denied and are worth a try for those suffering from chronic fatigue and insomnia. So curl up under the covers with a nice cup of chamomile tea and let it drift you softly into the sweet land of dreams.