Do sleep teas help?


I’ve wanted to ask this question foreverr!! I’ve heard about people drinking sleep teas, most are plant based. I’ve never tried them, just wondering if anyone else has and how has it helped? Is it all just sham?



I started drinking Camomile tea as it suppose to relax you. Does it work I’m still not sleeping but it doesn’t have caffeine in it so it doesn’t keep me awake. Keep meaning to try the others, but keep forgetting to buy them🤦 so I will follow your post and see what others have tried.


I’ve tried them but they don’t work for me I prefer the cold water tea infusion really nice flavours

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I’ve tried a few but I had the same result where It didn’t help me sleep, But different things work on different people so it could always be worth a try yourself ! :slight_smile:

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I’ve tried various types for extended periods and nothing. I prefer a golden milk made with oat milk. Doesn’t aid sleep but tastes much nicer than lavender tea. :wink:


Theres one I like honey camomile I drink hours before bed to wind down as if not I’ll drink sweet drinks…xxx


They definitely work differently on everyone. I don’t find them that beneficial personally but I gave some to my mum to try and they completely knocked her out! I guess it’s all about trual and error to find what works for you and what doesn’t.


I’ve never found any benefit of drinking sleep teas. They just taste good and help to warm you up on a chilly night.


Dear Tia,

Two people I definately want to draw into this because I know both use sleep teas (for themselves) … @pamelaspence who is our medical herbalist and @MJB our ethnobotanist (the study of people, plants and culture) who was telling me about his special sleep ritual when it comes to plant based teas and a few supplements. But the short answer is that it is most certainly not a sham and it is perhaps one of the oldest ways (or technologies) we have used in helping mitigate sleeplessness! The main point is that the impact of these is very individual and the question that we are really keen to understanding is if and to what extent specific plants (and related teas) have any effect for you.


I recently stopped drinking coffee and tried herbal teas and by far the best for me was chamomile. It helps calm and relax me but I don’t really take it after 6 pm so I haven’t noticed a real change in how sleepy I get or the length or quality of sleep. Also not the best taste so I add a little honey :blush:.


Hi Tia @hennakamran09

This is a subject very close to my heart because I help to formulate some of the ones on your supermarket shelves :blush:

Perhaps the answer I just wrote you on the anti-dep and sleep thread will explain a bit more of the background to this, but essentially herbs can help to resolve whatever the background issue is to you not sleeping to allow sleep to come. They won’t put you to sleep themselves but they can help.

Herbal teas, or herbal infusions of good quality are about the most unadulterated way of taking herbal medicine. You’re just adding water back into the dried plant. It’s one of the most ancient ways of accessing plant medicine.

Chamomile is the usual base for a sleep blend because it is relaxing, helps digestion (another reason some folk can’t sleep) and it contains apigenin which binds to the sleep receptors in the brain . So it’s good either alone, or as a starting point to build up a blend. Then other herbs that are traditionally used to help sleep can be added on top like Passiflora for instance or orange blossom.

There is also the added relaxing effect mentioned in the thread of making yourself a soothing hot drink before bed, that is part of it and I often suggest my patients make a ritual of this, helping to signal to the body that it is time for sleep.

Most of the herbal tea blends on the market will be aimed at improving relaxation and reducing tension to allow sleep to come - because they are classed as foods they can’t really go further than that since they are not allowed to ‘treat’ a medical condition. However if the reason for your insomnia is linked to stress or anxiety then they can be really helpful.

Hope that helps!



Passiflora as the herb, or a strong dose of passion fruit juice was the go-to solution for many mums where I grew up, in the Brazilian Amazon, when their little ones were a bit too excited :slightly_smiling_face:. I have no scientific knowledge but anecdotally I’ve seen that work often. As you said, herbs work differently for different people, so it’s usually about combining a general understanding of the ingredients with our own experiences.


ETHNOBOTANIST I never knew such a role existed! But it sounds like an interesting subject.


It’s really incredible. Mike has spent nearly 40 years living with indigenous populations between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, studying how these different cultures come to practice their form of medicine, which inevitably use plant medicines as our oldest method or technology in human health. One of the things that struck me before we started collaborating on sofi was a talk Mike gave about how we are losing our ethnosphere as fast as our biosphere … and how there is a lot of coded practices and knowledge which perhaps we don’t fully understood scientifically, but certainly adopted as part of our customs. But I am sure more of this from @MJB soon! Keep posted! KM


Working with traditional cultures and studying their uses of plants for so many purposes is truly my dream job. Since those early days in the Amazon up to my current studies in the Pacific Islands, local people have shown such kindness and sharing. Most of the elders I meet are very concerned about the loss of their traditional knowledge, their “cultural memory” that keeps them alive as a people—a community. Some of our research, always in partnership with these people, has shown that as cultural practices are lost, quality of life and importantly, quality of health is degraded as well. What will replace this? Part of the issue is that, more and more, people are in transition, and not as rooted to the land and their communities as previously. So, the question is, how to embrace the positive elements of the modern world while remembering the lessons of the past. Different peoples address this in different ways.


So grateful to have your stories and learning both shaping our values at sofi and shared in the treehouse with our Pioneers Mike. :pray:

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Hi @fcjulia, I just learned from my colleague in Kenya that they put the fresh Passiflora herb under their pillow and noticed an effect. I hadn’t thought of it as being a particularly aromatic plant (usually aromatics are the ones used in this way). I would love to meet fresh Passiflora growing wild some day! In my dispensary it is only dried or tinctured.


I could sit and listen to you talk about this for days! Grateful to be on the team with you to learn from your experience.

Loss of culture is a serious malaise and with it the loss of belonging to the land means that we no longer steward the land in the same ways. One of my biggest interests is in finding the old stories that weave in the plant medicine and teaching them to kids so they remember and start to feel connected to the plants and land around them. Iove hearing them repeat the stories to other kids!


Skullcap,passionflora,valerian,chamomile work for me, unfortunately I do not like the taste or smell of lavender but all these help me in my sleep.xx :seedling:


Thanks for these comments. If you are interested in traditional knowledge and its benefits on communities, please check out this paper my colleague sand I wrote back in 2019 based on a decade of work with small islands and their communities published in Plos1, and open access scientific journal:
PLOS ONE: Traditional lifestyles, transition, and implications for healthy aging: An Example from the remote island of Pohnpei, Micronesia