If your morning caffeine craving is the main reason you get out of bed, you already know how much of an impact a warm cup of coffee or tea in your hands can have on your well-being when incorporated into your routine. 

Watching the sun rise with your trusty hot beverage by your side is a great way to kick-start your morning, but this is a practice that doesn’t just have to be relegated to the first few hours of your day. Drinking certain teas before bed can have a major impact on your health and your quality of sleep. So, break out your favorite mug, put a pot of water on to boil, and let’s take a look at the best teas to add to your bedtime routine to sleep soundly tonight. 

1) Chamomile

This popular floral tea has a light and crisp vaguely fruity flavor. Its calming properties have made it a staple pre-bed tea, and for good reason. The antioxidants present in chamomile are purported to help reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, and increase serotonin and melatonin levels, which help alleviate stress and bring about sleep. Chamomile’s antioxidants may also help to open blood vessels, making it an exceptional choice for those looking for headache or migraine pain relief. 

2) Lavender

Not just for body lotions anymore, lavender has a myriad of calming properties. Inhaling the sweet scent of lavender has been linked to increased sleep duration and a higher concentration of REM sleep waves. It also helps to improve mood, decrease stress, and is a common natural remedy for anxiety and depression symptoms. When brewed into a tea, lavender tastes floral and mildly sweet with a faint smoky finish. 

3) Lemon Balm

This member of the mint family has been used to treat insomnia for hundreds of years. By increasing the levels of the amino acid GABA and lowering cortisol levels in the brain, lemon balm provides a calming effect that can boost mood and relieve stress without decreasing cognitive acuity. The flavor of lemon balm is a refreshing and invigorating balance of mint and citrus which helps to soothe restless minds and relax sore muscles. 

4) Valerian Root

This herb is a potent addition to any sleep tea. Valerian actually has mild sedative properties and has been used as an alternative for over the counter sleep aids and anxiety medications for decades. In fact, during WWII, Valerian grew in popularity among British tea drinkers whose nerves were on edge from the constant threat of air raids. Your life does not have to be threatened to enjoy the calming benefits of this earthy and aromatic tea, but Valerian should be used sparingly as it is possible to form an addiction to the powerful brew. 

5) Ginger

A common remedy for nausea and a staple of Ayurvedic medicine, ginger has a variety of health benefits. Whether it is consumed by brewing a sweet and spicy tea, cooked into a variety of cuisines or just chewed on in its raw form, ginger is a dynamic digestive health aid. It enhances the fat burning process of thermogenesis, can ease stomach pain and curbs feelings of hunger, making it a great substitute for your late night snack cravings. 

6) Passionflower

When brewed, this floral tea has a light lilac color and tastes vegetal and grassy with a mild sweetness. With a little bit of honey, it is a light and refreshing drink with abundant benefits. Passionflower contains the flavone chrysin which directly impacts neurotransmitters to boost sleepiness and soothe anxiety. If you are kept awake by restless or anxious thoughts, passionflower has been proven to have similar effects as OTC drugs like Midazolam and Ambien

Drinking a ‘cuppa before you brush your teeth can help to significantly curb insomnia and other sleep issues while also providing some power house health benefits. This list is by no means exhaustive, but should be a good place to start when looking for the perfect before-bed tea blend for you. If you are still having issues sleeping, there might be something else impacting your sleep.

This article has been edited for McKinley Living, and is available in its original form on myslumberyard.com.