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Does Tea Really Help You Sleep?

A woman drinking a mug of sage tea.
Feyyaz Alacam/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve ever sought out advice for better sleep, you likely heard someone, somewhere, at some point say, “You should try drinking some herbal tea before bed!” But does that work?

Experts say that herbal teas do not put you to sleep, but that doesn’t mean you should stop having your evening cuppa.

According to sleep-medicine specialist Wendy Troxel, Ph.D. who spoke with Well+Good, there is a unique physiological process necessary for quality sleep. Essentially, you need a sufficient build-up of a particular neurochemical before your body can fall asleep, a process to which herbal tea doesn’t contribute.

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However, Troxel does explain that many herbal teas are suspected to influence the body’s chemical messengers that calm the nervous system. This means that while herbal teas aren’t necessarily a sleep aid, they may promote calm. When you combine the tea with a night routine, it can help promote feelings of calmness, which can, in turn, promote rest for those dealing with nighttime anxieties.

If you’re struggling with sleep due to restlessness or anxiety, you may find herbal teas bring the relaxation you need to find rest.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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