Poor sleep habits can upset our sleep cycle called our circadian rhythm rather rapidly when we are under stress for some time. Lying awake isn’t fun, and it doesn’t help us nod back off if we are awake too long.
It is easy to grab for our devices, though this will make it worse. So, what can we do to minimise how long we are awake? One of the best things to do as sleep specialists suggest, believe it or not, is to get up. And making a herbal tea that aids relaxation or settles nerves is a great way to hydrate, without caffeine or sugar. Whilst you sit in low level light or yellow light or even the dark, you can sip your tea over 10 mins and then try going back to bed.
Blending tea is not that hard, but if you aren’t keen, you can buy several great teas in your supermarket or online. The herbal tisanes that make for settling the nerves, known as nervines or sedatives, are the best teas to look for in a blend.
Some suggestions I personally love are listed below:
Skullcap, Passionflower, Camomile, Lemon Balm, a dash of Rose petals and maybe a tiny bit of Ashwagandha Root (also known as Withania). Valarian can also be of benefit, but it can keep some people awake incidentally.
If you can make a blend, make Lemon Balm and Skullcap amongst your major base teas. Chamomile and Roses can be in smaller amounts and if adding Ashwagandha root, make this minimal. Otherwise look for an organic herbal tea blend or teabags with some or most of these ingredients in them. Up to 3 cups per day will assist in relaxation.
“SKULLCAP: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews.” n.d., https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-986/skullcap. Accessed 14 September 2021.
Finney-Brown, T. “Baical Skullcap and Its Effects on Sleep-wake Regulation”. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, vol. 23, no. 4, 2011, pp. 182-184. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE|A275312593&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=10338330&p=HRCA&sw=w&userGroupName=anon~ec07f776. Accessed 14 September 2021
Katarzyna Świąder1*, Katarzyna Startek, Christofora Hanny Wijaya2. “The therapeutic properties of Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.): Reviewing novel findings and medical indications.” 2019, https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/270255274.pdf. Accessed 14 September 2021.
McKay, D. L, & J. B. Blumberg. “A Review of the Bioactivity and Potential Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea (Matricaria Recutita L.)”. Phytotherapy Research, vol. 20, no. 7, 2006, pp. 519-530. doi:10.1002/ptr.1900. Accessed 14 September 2021.
Lopresti, A. L. et al. “An Investigation into the Stress-relieving and Pharmacological Actions of an Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Extract: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study”. Medicine, vol. 98, no. 37, 2019, doi:10.1097/md.0000000000017186. Accessed 14 September 2021.