DEC 19, 2017 05:56 AM PST

These Teas Can Help You Sleep

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It's a busy time of year, and there's a lot to be anxious about. The stress of the holidays, all the gifts to buy and family events to attend can be the cause of insomnia. However, rather than reaching for a pill or a glass of wine, there are some kinds of tea that could be just the ticket for soothing frazzled nerves and getting a good night's sleep. None of these teas have caffeine, and many contain roots and plants that act on the brain to calm the nervous system.

Passionflower tea and valerian tea are both first-line choices for sleep. Passionflower won't necessarily make you drowsy, but it does reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can cause the jitters and interfere with quality sleep. Valerian root is called "nature's valium" because it acts directly on the brain to induce sleep. Skullcap and lavender are also excellent for sleep issues and anxiety. They act to calm the twitchy-anxious feelings of stress that can interrupt sleep. Finally, kava is a good bet for getting to sleep. Researchers are not sure if it works on the brain's GABA receptors or through another mechanism, but it works. Pour yourself a cuppa of any of these blends the next time you're up late.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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