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- Best rated tea to help you sleep: Adagio Teas 40 Winks
- Best bagged tea to help you sleep: Smith Teamaker Lullaby
- Best tea with valerian to help you sleep: DAVIDsTEA Organic Mother’s Little Helper
- Best organic tea to help you sleep: The Tea Spot Light’s Out
- Best relaxing tea to help you sleep: Adagio Teas Daydream
- Best sweet tea to help you sleep: The Republic of Tea Get Some ZZZ’s
- Best decaffeinated tea to help you sleep: Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea Bedtime Brew
A hot drink can warm you up on a cold day, and tea, in particular, can help soothe a number of ailments. You might drink tea with honey and lemon when you have a sore throat, green tea for its antioxidant benefits, or black tea for a burst of energy. Herbs such as chamomile and peppermint might even help relieve menstrual cramps, muscle cramps, and indigestion.
While caffeinated teas can have stimulating benefits, many herbal teas have the opposite effect. Chamomile tea is widely used to promote relaxation, drowsiness, and restful sleep. If you struggled to get to sleep in childhood (or beyond), perhaps your parent or grandparent recommended a chamomile blend to help you drift off.
Trouble falling asleep isn’t uncommon, especially during times of increased stress. Bedtime teas blend specific herbs to help you defeat insomnia naturally, so they make a great option if you prefer to avoid medicinal sleep aids.
If you’ve graduated from sleepytime tea and need something with a little more relaxation potential, try the seven teas listed below to fall asleep faster and sleep soundly.
We considered plenty of relaxing bedtime blends to create our final list of recommendations. Here’s how we decided which teas to include:
- Ingredients. You can’t make a good bedtime tea without the right components. We only selected teas without caffeine, of course, but we also looked for blends featuring ingredients sure to summon the Sandman.
- Variety. You can pick up a box of chamomile tea at any grocery store, so we looked for teas with a little more to offer beyond this tried-and-true, but perhaps a little tired, herb.
- Customer reviews and testing. We sampled a few of the blends to give you the most accurate insight on taste and impact. For the others, we read through customer reviews to get a good idea of taste, effect, and tea quality.
- Quality. Speaking of quality, we stuck to well-known brands with established websites and plenty of positive customer feedback. We also checked whether brands were upfront about their ingredients and provided information about tea sourcing and processing.
- Ease of purchase. You’ll find a few of these brands on Amazon or in local brick-and-mortar stores, but you can also buy them directly from the brand’s website.
Tea prices can vary widely, especially when it comes to loose tea. Buying in bulk is generally cheaper, but you may want to taste test with a smaller sample pack first.
We included teas at a variety of price points to help every shopper find the right blend.
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–$16
- $$$ = over $16
Best rated tea to help you sleep
Adagio Teas 40 Winks
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: Valerian root, honeybush tea, chamomile, spearmint, and lavender
- Type: Bagged or loose
Adagio Teas’ signature sleepytime blend, 40 Winks, has an average rating of 96 (out of 100) from 835 reviews — a good sign this tea really may promote restful sleep.
You can probably thank the valerian root for that. Valerian root is widely used to promote relaxation and restful sleep, and some people say it also helps relieve anxiety and stress. While research on the effectiveness of valerian root remains inconclusive, plenty of people swear by the herb as a bedtime sleep aid.
In testing, we liked the crisp herbal scent of this tea. The fragrance of spearmint stood out, although, when we sipped the tea, we tasted chamomile more than anything else. 40 Winks has a light, clean flavor that’s not fruity or floral but rather distinctly herbal. We found it refreshing and calming, with just a bit of tartness.
Reviewers mostly love the flavor of this tea. People who enjoy the benefits of valerian, but not the herb’s strong taste, say this tea blends other ingredients well enough that the valerian doesn’t take over. Most importantly, they say this tea works well for better relaxation, less stress, and relief from insomnia.
The family-owned company, sources their teas directly from farmers around the world and partners with South Pole to reduce their carbon footprint.
Best bagged tea to help you sleep
Smith Teamaker Lullaby (Blend No. 40)
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: Chamomile, lemongrass, lavender, and ashwagandha
- Type: Bagged or loose
Smith Teamaker, based in Oregon, prides itself on fresh, unique teas, and this bedtime blend is no exception.
Ashwagandha offers a variety of health benefits, but it’s particularly known for its ability to
Reviewers call this tea “delicious” and “soothing,” saying it helps them wind down in the evening and fall asleep faster. A few people say this tea helped them feel calm and comforted during times of stress.
If chamomile tea works for you but you’re seeking a flavor that’s a little out of the ordinary, you might enjoy this tea. Reviews suggest it has a pleasant, mellow taste that doesn’t overwhelm. One reviewer calls it “an interesting chamomile tea I actually like.”
You can purchase this tea loose or bagged online, but you may also find it sold in stores that sell Smith Teamaker blends. Lullaby is certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers.
Best tea with valerian to help you sleep
DAVIDsTEA Organic Mother’s Little Helper
- Price: $$$
- Key ingredients: Valerian root, chamomile, peppermint, and lemongrass
- Type: Bagged or loose
Like Adagio’s 40 Winks, Mother’s Little Helper features valerian root as a key ingredient. The tea blend also contains chamomile and peppermint, so it might help ease any knots in your stomach while providing a double dose of relaxation.
Most reviewers love this tea. People call it refreshing and relaxing, with a soothing fragrance and crisp flavor. A few people did find the mint a little strong, so if you aren’t a fan of minty teas, you may want to skip this one.
In general, reviewers say this tea helps ease not only insomnia, but also stomach troubles and even headaches. Mother’s Little Helper is organic, kosher, and fair trade.
Bonus: Canadian tea company DAVIDsTEA prioritizes sustainability and partners with Ethical Tea Partnership.
Best organic tea to help you sleep
The Tea Spot Light’s Out
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: Hibiscus, peppermint, licorice, lavender, chamomile, and valerian root
- Type: Bagged or loose
Another blend of valerian root and chamomile, this organic tea also features the bright tang of hibiscus, licorice for sweetness, and lavender for a dose of calm.
In general, reviewers praise this tea. People say it has plenty of flavor and a wonderful fragrance. If you don’t care for licorice, don’t worry — a few reviewers note the taste is barely noticeable. People tend to notice the hibiscus more than anything else, but most reviewers enjoy the taste.
As for effectiveness, reviewers say this tea really does seem to put the lights out. People say they love the tea for winding down and relaxing before bedtime, and a few even say it made sleeping pills unnecessary.
Best relaxing tea to help you sleep
Adagio Teas Daydream
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: Rooibos, hibiscus, passionflower, lemon balm, and lavender
- Type: Bagged or loose
The unique flavor profile of the Daydream blend may not put you right to sleep, but many say it’s still wholly relaxing.
Thanks to the marigold flowers, this tea gives off a slightly spicy fragrance as it brews. The actual taste, a clean herbal flavor that falls short of floral, isn’t strong at all. In other words, you might like this tea if you prefer lighter blends.
In testing, we didn’t taste much of the lavender or licorice beyond a faintly sweet aftertaste. The notes of orange add some tart sweetness, while the faint hint of peppermint keeps it from becoming cloying.
In short, Daydream helps refresh and calm you without an overwhelming flavor — no small feat, when you consider the lengthy list of ingredients. The herbal notes work together to provide a soothing, somewhat elusive flavor, not unlike a pleasant dream you can’t quite recall.
Reviewers call Daydream’s flavor “hazy” and “delicate.” A few reviewers don’t love the blend of ingredients, but others say it has a soothing, fruity flavor.
While some reviewers say it doesn’t have the most intense flavor, they note it does help ease stress and anxiety and promote relaxation — especially as they wind down after a long day. One reviewer even says this tea puts them to sleep before they finish their cup.
Best sweet tea to help you sleep
The Republic of Tea Get Some Zzz’s
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: Rooibos, orange peel, spearmint, chamomile, passionflower, valerian root, and stevia
- Type: Bagged
Orange peel adds citrus notes, while stevia sweetens the blend. The reviews suggest you won’t need any sugar or honey for this tea. Some people even find it a little too sweet.
For the most part, people love this tea. Reviewers call the taste smooth and mellow, with notes of refreshing mint. Bedtime teas are about more than taste, of course, and reviewers also say this tea really does help them, well, catch some Zzz’s.
People say this tea helps them relax and unwind, even in the face of pandemic anxiety and stress. Some people experiencing chronic pain say this tea helps them sleep more soundly. A few reviewers even say this tea helps them skip other sleep aids or pain medication.
This tea is kosher and gluten-free. You’ll find this brand in many stores, but you can also purchase Get Some Zzz’s from Amazon or directly from The Republic of Tea’s website.
Best decaffeinated tea to help you sleep
Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea Bedtime Brew
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: Decaffeinated black tea, vanilla, and nutmeg
- Type: Bagged
Not a fan of herbal teas? You still have options for a bedtime beverage. Decaffeinated black tea won’t help promote relaxation in the same way as herbs like valerian root, chamomile, or lavender.
Yet black tea offers other health benefits, and a warm cup of tea can still help soothe and calm you as a part of your nightly ritual.
This decaf blend from Yorkshire Tea makes a great alternative to herbal blends. Along with having an overall 4.5-star rating on Amazon, it’s a tried-and-true favorite nighttime tea, especially during the colder months.
The light, smooth flavor is balanced by a hint of nutmeg, while vanilla enhances the tea without overpowering it. Even when drinking it plain, it almost tastes as if you’ve added a dash of milk.
The best part? It doesn’t even taste like decaf. Several Amazon reviewers agree this mild tea tastes much like the real thing and makes a relaxing evening drink. People call this tea calming and fragrant, and they praise its “comforting” flavor.
Bonus: Yorkshire Teas have earned the Rainforest Alliance certification. And Taylors of Harrogate, the parent company of Yorkshire Tea, founded the Ethical Tea Partnership.
With so many flavors, blends, and tea types to choose from, finding the best bedtime tea can be an exhausting undertaking.
Wondering how to find the right tea for better sleep? The tips below can help.
What ingredients should you look for?
You’ll definitely want to stick with decaffeinated or naturally caffeine-free teas, but certain herbs may have additional benefits for promoting restful sleep.
Herbs often used in teas for sleep include:
- valerian root
- lemon balm (different from lemon, which can have an energizing effect)
While many bedtime teas include peppermint or spearmint, some people find that mint feels more invigorating than relaxing.
Note that experts recommend avoiding valerian root while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you want to try a valerian tea, it’s best to talk with your healthcare provider first.
Should you go for loose tea or bags?
If you’ve heard that some tea bags contain microplastics, you might feel a little alarmed by the thought of drinking bagged tea.
Many tea brands have shifted to newer, biodegradable tea bags, or are in the process of doing so. For the time being, experts still consider tea bags safe to use, so you don’t need to completely avoid bagged tea.
That said, many people prefer the taste of loose tea steeped in a teapot rather than directly in the mug. Tea bags can be convenient, but loose tea also helps reduce packaging waste.
If you prefer loose tea, you’ll need a teapot or tea ball, along with a kettle to boil water.
How do you know you’re buying quality tea?
You can recognize good quality tea by the shape of the tea leaves, flower buds, or herbs. Lower quality tea is often crumbled or powdered.
Good quality herbal tea, on the other hand, will more closely resemble a dried bouquet. This means you’ll probably see pieces of fruit, plants, or flowers in your tea.
Dried herbs and flowers should have some weight and color to them, along with a fragrance not unlike the fresh plant. Old, low-quality herbs feel lightweight, and they probably won’t have as much fragrance or taste.
Your tea doesn’t have to be top-tier to get the job done, of course, so don’t feel bad about sticking to your favorite Stash or Celestial Seasonings blend — we drink them, too!
Do you have to pay a lot for good tea?
Fancy teas can get a little expensive, but in some cases, price can suggest a better grade of tea.
Higher quality teas and herbs tend to cost more to produce and harvest. Organic, responsibly sourced, and fair trade teas all tend to cost more than your average grocery store tea bags. But their higher price tag helps ensure sustainable production and fair wages for farmers.
You absolutely can find quality teas at reasonable prices, however, especially if you buy your tea in bulk.
While a relaxing tea can certainly help you drift off a little faster, too much tea before bed can keep you up for an entirely different reason. If you don’t want to find yourself hopping out of bed to answer the call of nature, it’s generally best to finish off your bedtime tea at least an hour before you go to bed.
Aim to brew and drink your tea 60–90 minutes before bed.
If you work out or do anything that provokes physical or emotional stress in the evening, drinking a relaxing tea after (or during) can help you calm down and prepare for sleep.
The most potent bedtime tea in the world won’t necessarily counter every insomnia trigger.
If you regularly experience trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, these strategies might make it easier to get the beauty rest you need and deserve:
- Avoid caffeine after lunch.
- Make a habit of going to bed and getting up around the same time every day.
- Shut off electronics and dim bright lights an hour before bedtime.
- Create your own nightly wind-down routine.
- Avoid intense workouts in the evening hours.
- Try taking a warm bath about an hour or two before bed.
- Save the evening hours for stress-relieving self-care and relaxation.
When persistent worries seem to multiply and keep you lying awake, the warmth and fragrance of a cup of tea can help you achieve a sense of calm — even before you take the first sip.
Tea can help you relax and work wonders for your mood, but it’s not a cure-all. If insomnia begins to affect your mood, performance at work, or overall quality of life, your healthcare provider can offer guidance on potential treatments.
Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.