Sleep is key for immune system strength, disease prevention (including a link between poor sleep and increased cancer risks), and so much more. There are many ways to reset and balance your circadian rhythm for improved sleep quality and sleep duration. Sleepytime tea is one of them! Several all-natural herbs have been shown to improve your sleep. But instead of buying mass-produced commercial teas in the store, these recipes for sleepytime teas are easy to make at home, incredibly delicious, and contain other potent ingredients that support a healthy immune system.
NOTE: You can find most of these dried herbs and raw ingredients in your local health food store, or in the natural food aisle at your favorite grocery store.
Sleepytime Tea: Lavender ZZZ Brew
The essential oils in the lavender flower have been shown to improve sleep, both for people with insomnia and those without insomnia. Even just the smell of lavender can help you feel more relaxed, soothe away anxiety, and help you get ready for bed in the evening. But those same essential oils aren’t just good for your circadian rhythm and sleep. It also enhances your immunity, in part by boosting the strength and activity of your white blood cells.
This homemade brew is carefully timed to release all those good essential oils, and is paired with vitamin C from organic lemons to further enhance this tea’s nutritional value.
2 tbsp dried lavender buds (organic, culinary-grade)
2 cups of filtered water
Honey or sweetener (optional)
2 lemon slices
Ensure you have culinary-grade dried lavender buds. These are safe for consumption. Measure out 1-2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds per 2 cups of water. You can adjust the quantity based on your taste preference.
Heat the filtered water in a pot or kettle until it reaches a rolling boil. Remove it from the heat source.
Place the dried lavender buds in a teapot or heatproof container, then pour the hot water over the lavender buds. Cover the container with a lid or a saucer to trap the steam and the sleep-enhancing aroma.
Allow the lavender to steep for about 5-7 minutes. You can adjust the steeping time to achieve your desired strength of flavor.
After steeping, use a fine-mesh strainer or a tea infuser to strain out the lavender buds. This will leave you with a clear lavender-infused liquid.
Pour the lavender tea into your favorite teacup or mug. If desired, add honey or your preferred sweetener to taste, then stir in a slice of lemon for a hint of citrus flavor and extra vitamin C.
Enjoy! Sip your lavender tea slowly, savoring the delicate floral aroma and soothing taste. It’s best enjoyed when you want to relax or unwind, perhaps before bedtime.
Note: Be cautious not to use lavender essential oil or non-culinary lavender in your tea, as they may not be safe for consumption. Lavender tea is known for its potential calming effects, but individual reactions may vary. It’s a good idea to start with a small cup to see how it affects you before consuming larger quantities.
Sleepytime Tea: Chamomile and Rooibos Super Iced Tea
Rooibos is flavorful and aromatic, making for a delicious afternoon pick-me-up. But it’s also high in magnesium, which helps calm your nervous system and improve your sleep quality.
This super tea combines the calming effects of rooibos with chamomile. The chamomile plant isn’t just great for your immune system, but it also helps induce relaxation.
Combined, this caffeine-free, homemade iced tea is a delightful blend of chamomile’s gentle floral notes and rooibos’ earthy and slightly nutty flavors, perfect for relaxation and refreshment. It’s also a great way to gently nourish your circadian rhythm and maintain a healthy balance in your sleep-wake cycles.
2 tbsp dried chamomile flowers
2 tbsp loose rooibos tea leaves
4 cups of water
Mint leaves for garnish
In a kettle or a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
Put the chamomile flowers and rooibos leaves in a tea infuser or a heatproof pitcher, then pour the boiling water over the tea bags or tea infuser.
Let the tea steep for about 5-7 minutes. You can adjust the steeping time to achieve your desired strength of flavor. Rooibos tends to steep a bit longer than chamomile.
Remove the infuser.
Allow the sweetened tea to cool to room temperature. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pitcher in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Fill glasses with ice cubes. Pour the cooled chamomile and rooibos tea over the ice. If you like, garnish your iced tea with lemon slices or a sprig of fresh mint for added flavor and visual appeal.
Stir the iced tea gently with a long spoon to mix in the flavors. Sip and enjoy your refreshing chamomile and rooibos iced tea on a hot day or whenever you’re in the mood for a caffeine-free, soothing drink.
Sleepytime Tea: Valerian and Passionflower Sleep Aid
Passionflower, which grows throughout Europe and Australia and some areas of the tropics, was recently reviewed in a medical study. After drinking passionflower tea every night for two weeks, people who suffered from insomnia saw significant benefits in various sleep quality measurements, including how long they were able to sleep and how quickly they fell asleep once they went to bed.
There are also interesting benefits for your immune system. For instance, one study suggested that immunity was enhanced after drinking passionflower in part because the herb helped trigger melatonin, a hormone that’s essential not just for sleep but also for your immune system.
This sleep aid also includes valerian, another herb shown to have powerful sleep-enhancing and stress-reducing benefits. Because valerian root can act relatively quickly, how and when you drink this homemade tea is key.
1 tbsp dried passionflower leaves and flowers
1 tbsp dried valerian root
2 cups of filtered water
Ensure you start with dried, organic passionflower leaves and flowers, as well as dried valerian root. These herbs are readily available at many health food stores or online. Measure out 1 tablespoon of each herb.
In a pot or kettle, heat 2 cups of filtered water until it reaches a rolling boil. Remove it from the heat source.
Place the dried passionflower leaves and flowers and dried valerian root in a teapot or a heatproof container.
Pour the hot water over the herbs in the teapot. Allow the herbs to steep for about 10-15 minutes. The longer you steep, the stronger the flavor and potential effects. Unlike other teas, valerian root requires a longer steeping time to unlock all of its benefits.
After steeping, use a fine-mesh strainer or a tea infuser to strain out the herbs. This will give you a clear herbal infusion.
Sip your tea slowly, ideally about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime, as it may help with relaxation and sleep.
Note: Keep in mind that both passionflower and valerian have earthy and somewhat bitter flavors, so sweetening is common to make the taste more palatable. If you choose to add sweetener, opt for a healthy sweetener like organic, raw honey or organic agave syrup.