Can tea help you sleep better?

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These 3 herbal teas can

Do  you have trouble sleeping? Is your stressful routine preventing you from quality resting? I know how that can feel. You’re running all day doing a million things and at the end of the day you are exhausted but as soon as you get under those warm blankets your mind can’t stop racing! Don’t worry, you are not the only one having this kind of problem. According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 20% of Americans don’t get sufficient sleep today and at the same time 9.000.000 Americans use prescription sleep aids to ensure quality sleep. But are these pills effective or even safe? Experts warn that they shouldn’t be always trusted.

There is a natural way to fight stress and insomnia though and that is herbal tea! Herbal tea is naturally caffeine free and is safe to use by everyone. These 3 different kinds of tea can work miracles on providing you a better night’s sleep.

1. Chamomile tea

Cup of Chamomile tea
Cup of chamomile tea

Chamomile, a white-pedaled flower that is similar to daisy, is an herb used by people for  centuries to treat a variety of different ailments. There is  two types of chamomile used for medicinal reasons. German chamomile (Matricaria retutica) and Roman or English chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Usually you can buy it in the form of dried flower heads.

Chamomile offers a very mild flavored beverage when steeped. It has been shown to relieve insomnia and promote healthier sleep cycle and overall wellbeing. One of the active compounds found in the chamomile plant is apigenin. According to several studies, this element can reduce locomotor activity. Also chamomile tea is rich in other flavonoids, mucilages and coumarins all of which may contribute to stress reduction and a more calm, restful night of sleep.

2. Valerian root tea

Valerian flower
The roots of the Valerian Flower are used in tea

Valerian is a tall flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented white or pink flowers that bloom in the spring. Valerian root has a long history of use as an herbal remedy. It has been used for centuries from ancient Greeks and Romans to treat nervousness, relax sore muscles and promote a healthy deep sleep. Certain phytochemicals found in valerian root stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which has as a result stress reduction and relaxation. More specifically these phytochemicals interact with a brain chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which regulates anxiety and depression. Although valerian is considered a safe herb to use in general it should be consumed in moderation since large doses of it may cause drowsiness or headaches.

3. Kava root tea

Kava plant
Kava plant has roots used in tea

Kava-kava is a plant native to western Pacific islands. A drink produced by the plant’s roots has been used for ages in these countries for its sedative properties.Kava has been shown to have a calming, relaxing effect on the mindand body without disrupting mental clarity. The active ingredient in the plant is kavalactones. A number of clinical studies have identified kava as an effective treatment for symptoms associated with anxiety. Kava can be a good choice for insomnia since not only does improve sleep quality but also decreases the amount of time needed to fall asleep.Today there is a lot of different “sleep teas”available in the market that have kava root as a main ingredient. Kava is a safe herb to use but it should be consumed moderately since large doses may cause liver problems.

Caution: Although herbs are generally safe to use it should be noted that they contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. They should always be used with care and you should consult your doctor before starting using them since they may not be appropriate if you are pregnant or suffer from any other conditions.