10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (2024)

You are here:Home » Food Preparation » Recipes » » 10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 “sleepy” tea recipes}

Make a healthy dinner in 30 minutes or less... while spending $0 extra! Click here to get the Eat God's Way “30-Minute Skillet Dishes” worksheet + videos FREE!

We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).

10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (2)

We all know that getting enough sleep is important, for both health and happiness. But many of us just can’t get the sleep we need. Whether you suffer from occasional sleeplessness or chronic insomnia, these herbs may help.

After the list of 10 sleep herbs (and why they’re helpful), I’ll share 3 easy tea blends you could be drinking tonight before bed!

1. Chamomile

Chamomile promotes sleep with a wonderful calming effect. It is usually taken as a tea before bedtime, and is widely available commercially, but you can also make your own by pouring boiling water over dried flowers and letting it steep for five to ten minutes. If you find it hard to relax at bedtime, or if you suffer from tummy troubles that keep you awake, this is the tea for you!

Please note that those who are allergic to ragweed or asters may also have allergic reactions to chamomile.

2. Valerian

Valerian is the most scientifically tested sleep herb. As a long-term insomniac, it is the one herb I turn to again and again. It calms the nervous system, which greatly decreases stress-induced sleeplessness, and can be taken in capsule, tea, or tincture form. I personally have great success with the tincture.

3. Skullcap (American)

Skullcap is a lesser-known herb — a mild relaxant that relieves nervous tension and anxiety and is thus an excellent sleep aid. It is often recommended in combination with valerian in a tea or tincture.

4. Lavender (English)

Lavender is perhaps the most well-known sleep herb, and for good reason. There are many lavender sleep aids available commercially as it has long been known as a muscle-relaxer and sedative. Dried lavender is often made into small sleep pillows, which can be tucked under your pillow, where the scent will help you sleep better all night long. Lavender can also be made into a tea, either on its own, or in combination with other herbs.

5. Hops

Hops helps to relieve anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness. Some sources say it might help to reduce hot flashes during menopause, a definite sleep-disruptor for women! It can be taken in capsule, tincture, or tea form. In a tea, combine with other herbs to reduce its bitterness, or brew with stevia leaf, or stir in some honey.

6. Passionflower

Passionflower is another sedative herb with scientific backing! Passionflower has a tranquilizing effect, treating insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness. Drink as a tea, either on its own, or in combination with other herbs.

7. Oats

Not just a breakfast food! Oat seeds are often recommended to treat anxiety and exhaustion. The latter is a great benefit for long-term insomnia sufferers. Drink as a tea, usually in combination with other herbs.

8. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm has been used to promote sleep since the Middle Ages. It is especially helpful for stress or anxiety-induced sleeplessness. Drink as a tea. It has a lovely lemony flavor. It is often recommended for children due to its gentleness and mild flavor.

9. California Poppy

California Poppy is a gentle muscle-relaxant, mild pain reliever, and helpful for anxiety, nervousness, and hyperactivity. Can be taken as a tea or tincture, although the tea is bitter. Another mild herb that is said to be safe for all ages.

10. Catnip

Catnip has been used as a sedative for at least 2000 years. It has similar compounds to valerian, but is also helpful for colds, fevers, and indigestion. It is usually taken as a tea, either on its own or combined with other herbs. It isn’t recommended during pregnancy, but it is deemed safe for use by children.

Deep Sleep Tea Blends

Here are a few tea combinations to put you to sleep!

Relaxing Blend

Rosemary Gladstar’s Blend

Simple Blend

To make any of these teas, combine 1 to 2 tablespoons of tea blend with 1 cup boiling water. Let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain out herbs and drink. Larger batches can be made and stored in the fridge for later use. Some herbalists recommend drinking smaller amounts of tea over several hours before bed, rather than a whole cup at once.

Although herbs are natural healers, many of them (including those listed here) have strong properties and should not be used while pregnant, taken with certain medications, or used by young children. Please seek out the advice of your doctor or natural health practitioner before using.

Do you use herbs to help you sleep? Which are your favorites?

This post was featured in 20 Homemade Herbal Gifts.

...without giving up the foods you love or spending all day in the kitchen!

10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (3)

2 free books:

Eat God's Way

Ditch the Standard American Diet, get healthier & happier, and save money on groceries...

We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).

10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (4)

About Andrea Sabean

Andrea is an artisan and teacher trying to live a handmade and homemade lifestyle with her husband in Eastern Canada. She is passionate about growing her own food, cooking healthy meals, using herbs for healing, nurturing creativity, and finding joy and blessings in the every-day moments of life. She writes about all of this, plus her adventures in sewing and crafting and bringing children’s drawings to life at Artisan in the Woods.

Reader Interactions


  1. 10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (5)Jenny says

    I loved this article! Thank you so much Andrea. I have had good success with lavender myself. I put a few drops of lavender essential oil into a hot bath right before bed at night. If I have it I will also combine it with chamomile. I’ll hang on to this for future reference.


  2. 10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (6)CC Sandy Lee says

    Thank you so much for these recipes and suggestions. Refreshing sleep seems to elude so many of us these days. I love to give friends herbal teas as “Just Because” gifts. The only things I might add (for the tummy) are a bit of dried, grated ginger, a pinch of peppermint, and some sweet fennel seeds. I love the idea of sipping through the evening before bed. Good to hydrate, prevents heart attacks.


    • 10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (7)Andrea Sabean says

      Lovely suggestions. Ginger, peppermint and fennel would give the tea a beautiful flavour, too. Thank you for sharing!


  3. 10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (8)Faye says

    What brand do you recommend for these herbs? I have been researching essential oils and have come to understand that all brands are not created equal. The two brands that I came across highly recommended were Rocky Mountain oils that recently merged with Native American Traditionals.


    • 10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (9)Andrea Sabean says

      Hi Faye, I personally grow my own herbs or purchase them from a local seller. However, if you click on any of the herb names above you will be taken to Mountain Rose Herbs, which is highly regarded. It is somewhat easier to identify quality herbs vs quality essential oils. You want to know that they are fresh, that they have been grown organically, and are sustainably harvested. I think you will find Mountain Rose Herbs has a commitment to all three.


      • 10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (10)Faye says

        Thank you I will check them out.


Leave a Reply

10 Herbs for Better Sleep and How to Use Them {plus 3 "sleepy" tea recipes} (2024)


What is the strongest herbal tea for sleep? ›

Valerian root is effective as a sleep aid due to the two naturally occurring sedatives within it called valepotriates and sesquiterpenes. In one study, nearly 90% of people reported improvements in sleep after drinking valerian tea.

Is it OK to drink Sleepytime tea every night? ›

However, there are some risks associated with overuse. Valerian, one ingredient of sleepytime tea, could cause some negative side effects. One sleepytime tea brand, Extra, has this ingredient in it and could cause headaches, dizziness, and stomach issues.

What ingredient in Sleepytime tea makes you sleepy? ›

Those varying mixes of lavender, lemon verbena, and raspberry leaves are nice on the nose, but the true active ingredients to keep in mind are chamomile, valerian root, and passionflower.

What tea is best for anxiety and sleep? ›

  • The Best Teas For Sleep. If deep sleep has been eluding you, you have come to the right place.
  • Chamomile Tea for Sleep. Savor the soothing serenity of chamomile tea, a calming tea for anxiety and sleep.
  • Valerian Root Tea. ...
  • Lemon Balm Tea.
  • Lavender Tea.
  • More Herbal Teas For Sleep.

What tea is good for deep sleep? ›

Chamomile Bilberry Bliss

Chamomile blossoms harmonize with rose petals and lavender for a soothing herbal tea.

How long does it take for sleepytime tea to kick in? ›

According to Breus, you should drink one cup of chamomile tea about 45 minutes before bed if you're hoping to induce sleepiness. That will give your body enough time to metabolize the tea, and the chemical compounds that cause those sedative feelings to kick in.

How close to bedtime should you drink sleepytime tea? ›

Sleepytime tea contains calming herbs like chamomile, valerian, and lemongrass. The best time to drink Sleepytime tea is 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.

What are the side effects of sleepytime tea? ›

A short-term randomized control trial of 40 healthy adults found that those who drank a sleep tea daily (with standardized extracts of valerian root and passionflower) for one week reported better sleep quality than those who did not drink the tea.

Can I use two bags of sleepytime tea? ›

Sometimes (rarely) I will steep two bags of tea to make a stronger tea during that time of the month, It works great!

Does sleepytime tea make you pee more? ›

This tea works for sleep but…

There's a diuretic effect. Groggy and stumbling to the bathroom 5 times a night to pee doesn't make for a restful sleep. Maybe it won't happen to you but this tea is a huge diuretic for me.

What's in Yogi bedtime tea? ›

Lavender and valerian root envelop us in warmth, while the flavour of fragrant herbs such as mint and sage bring us calm. The tea for everyone who wants to gently round off their day.

What is the strongest natural sedative? ›

Valerian. Valerian is an herbal sleep aid made from the roots and stems of the valerian plant. Limited evidence suggests that taking 300 to 600 milligrams of valerian up to an hour before bedtime can help people fall asleep and improve their sleep quality.

What is the Chinese herb for sleep? ›

Fu Shen (Poria with Wood)

It is often used to address emotional disturbances, palpitations, and insomnia caused by an unsettled mind. With its tranquilizing properties, Fu Shen is believed to help soothe irritability, alleviate excessive worry, and promote restful sleep.

What is the best natural drug for sleep? ›

Use melatonin supplements .

“Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally released in the brain four hours before we feel a sense of sleepiness,” Gamaldo says.

Is there a tea that helps with insomnia? ›

People drink chamomile tea to treat insomnia because of its calming effects. Older research suggests that its effect on sleep comes from its flavonoid content. Apigenin is a flavonoid that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which has a sedative effect.

Is chamomile or valerian tea better for sleep? ›

Valerian Root

It is stronger than chamomile when it comes to inducing a sleepy state. It contains valerenic acid and iridoid glycosides that give this root the sedative label. Multiple studies suggest that its active ingredients bind with the ꞵ-subunits of the GABA receptors and encourage benzodiazepine-like action.

What tea wakes you up the most? ›

The most caffeinated teas include black, oolong, green, and white teas. These all have potential health benefits, as they contain antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, flavonols, and other health-promoting compounds.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated:

Views: 6275

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.