Sleep is so important for our overall health. Aside from feeling grumpy after a bad night’s rest, long-term it can also lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. To give yourself a helping hand getting off to the land of nod, a cup of hot sleepy tea can be hugely beneficial.
Many find it hard to switch off after a long day staring at screens, so making time for a cup of antioxidant-rich tea can be a relaxing activity in itself.
However, when the tea also contains scientifically proven ingredients to aid relaxation and digestion, this small act can be an incredibly easy way to carve out some down-time, incorporate top herbs and spices into your diet, and form the basis for a relaxing bedtime routine.
Some of the most common ingredients to be included in sleepy tea is chamomile (or camomile) and lavender, both of which are widely believed to calm and relax the body and mind.
Alongside this, you might want to look out for liquorice, fennel and peppermint, which are excellent at adding natural sweetness to your brew and aiding digestion. Crucially your sleepy tea should be caffeine-free and rest assured, all of the ones included in this round-up fit the bill.
To ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits from your tea, use freshly boiled water and leave to infuse for three to five minutes, depending on how strong you’d like the flavour to be.
So, before we nod off, here’s our pick of the best sleepy teas…zzz.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Fortnum and Mason camomile and bee pollen infusion tin 30g
This was one of the tastiest teas we tried. There’s a subtle sweetness from the bee pollen, liquorice root and Fortnum’s own honey, however, the dominant ingredient is chamomile to help aid sleep and digestion. The reusable tin is so pretty that this would also make a lovely gift for the insomniac in your life.
Buy now £8.95, Fortnum & Mason
Harvey Nichols sleep it off teabags 50g
Approved by both Fairtrade and the Rainforest Alliance, this calming concoction is bespoke to Harvey Nichols. The biodegradable bags taste divine, combining sleep-inducing camomile, lavender and hops with sweet liquorice and fennel. And when it’s empty, we’ll be reusing the handy plastic jar for storing herbs and spices.
Buy now £7.95, Harvey Nichols
The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co lullaby herbal tea 50g
You’ll find an extensive collection of tea and coffee on this website (over 1,000 in fact!), but for helping you nod off, we recommend the Lullaby Herbal tea. The loose-leaf requires more preparation than a bag, but with a mix of beautiful pink and lilac petals, it’s very pretty and smells divine too, so we think it’s worth it. It contains linden flowers which have long been used for sedative purposes, and are even thought to relieve anxiety, offer mild pain relief and fight inflammation. Lemon balm will bolster the immune system (not something to be sniffed at during the winter months) and rose petals can alleviate period pain. It tastes great too with pieces of sweet apple, blackberry leaves and orange blossoms. The brand recommends brewing a little longer than most, up to 10 minutes in this case. Just enough time to get into your PJ’s, light a candle and start a good book.
Buy now £3.00, The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co
Teapigs snooze with lavender 45g
Flowery, light and gently sweet, we liked that we could see big chunks of apple pieces, chamomile flowers and lavender floating about in these silky, plastic-free bags. Calming and subtle, we drink these throughout the day when we need a little reset.
Buy now £4.15, Dolphin Fitness
Yogi Tea bedtime organic tea bags 30.6g
The predominant ingredient in this organic blend is fennel – known for its ability to relax the muscles and aid healthy digestion. It’s supported by sleepy chamomile, sweet peppermint, soothing cardamom, and stress-relieving lemon balm among other ingredients. Whether you do an hour of relaxing yin yoga before bed is up to you.
Buy now £2.49, Ocado
Feya chamomile tea 25g
The Feya cafés are easily some of London’s most Instagramable eateries, but when covid restrictions came into place, founder Zahra Khan created this retail line, enabling you to recreate the magic at home. Beautifully illustrated, this box of 15 teabags contains nothing but whole chamomile blooms, an ingredient well known for encouraging sleep and relaxation. Better still, 10 per cent of the profits are donated to their Feya Cares initiative – a charity fighting issues faced by women within the professional space, such as racial and gender inequality.
Buy now £10.50, Feya
Clipper sleep easy organic tea bags 40g
These inexpensive bags are ideal for an everyday relaxing brew. Containing sweet, warming cinnamon, chamomile and valerian, an ingredient thought to help ease insomnia, anxiety, headaches, digestive problems, menopause symptoms, and exercise-induced muscle pain. Orange flavouring ensures each sip is tasty, and these unbleached bags are also organic and biodegradable to boot.
Buy now £1.99, Holland & Barrett
Hatters hemp tea chamomile tea
At nearly £1 a teabag, this was the priciest brew we put to the test. However, we feel the price is justified as each bag is made up of 50 per cent CBD, a natural remedy often used for deep relaxation and pain relief (without the high you’d get from cannabis). When combined with delicate chamomile, it’s a particularly relaxing experience. Although not unpleasant, we found this had quite an earthy flavour which will suit some, but others may prefer to sweeten with a touch of honey.
Buy now £19.99, Vape Mate
Heath and Heather organic night time teabags 20g
We love spearmint in our tea, not only for the helping hand in digesting a big dinner but also for the natural sweetness it offers. Other Soil Association-certified organic ingredients include camomile, rosehip, nettle, lemongrass, blueberry, hops and passionfruit. A taste sensation!
Buy now £2.99, Ocado
T2 sleep tight herbal tea bags 37g
This Australian tea brand gets rave reviews for this sleep-inducing lemon balm-based blend. Despite also containing fragrant lavender, jasmine and rose, we didn’t find this particularly aromatic, however, the flavours become more apparent from the first sip. Some may find they prefer this with a touch of honey but either way, you should start to feel more relaxed in no time.
Buy now £7.50, Ocado
Pukka organic night time berry tea sachets 36g
Newly added to the Pukka line up, this night time tea is a combination of immune-supportive berries and herbs such as echinacea and elderberry – along with valerian and chamomile to help you sleep deeply. It’s ideal for winter and tastes pleasantly fruity.
Buy now £3.00, Holland & Barrett
The verdict: Teas for sleep
We’ve awarded our best buy to Fortnum and Mason camomile and bee pollen infusion tin which was our favourite tasting brew. For a more budget-friendly alternative, try Heath and Heather organic night time teabags or Teapigs snooze with lavender which were both as tasty as they were sleep-inducing. However, it was the Hatters hemp tea chamomile tea that made us feel the most noticeably relaxed.
We’ve also found the best kettles for making the perfect brew