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10 of the best teas to help you sleep 2023

man drinking a tea before bed
Bedtime teas might be just the ticket if you're struggling to drift off of a night. So to help you choose, we've listen 10 of our top picks in this article. Read more.

According to the NHS, you should be getting between 7 to 9 hours a night.1 But it’s not always that easy.

It’s natural to find it difficult to switch off after a day staring at a computer screen all day or having the stresses of work and family life.

So, it’s little wonder that many of us reach for ways to overcome our lack of sleep by trying anything that is on offer to us.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at teas, perhaps more specifically teas to help you prepare for a peaceful night.

A nighttime tea may seem like an odd concept, but keep with us and we’ll stew over the best teas, providing you with everything you need to know about nighttime teas.

In this article, we will cover:

What are bedtime teas?

Might seem like we’re pointing out the obvious here, but the thought is that teas for bedtime are teas that will help you get some much-needed Z’s.

Now, a tea before bed may seem a bit like a crazy idea.

But unlike the tea you would usually go for, bedtime teas do not contain any caffeine.

In fact, many bedtime teas contain the same ingredients that you would find in many supplements – such as chamomile.

How can tea help you relax?

Most of us know about the trick of drinking a warm milky drink before bed, but what about tea? Is it possible that it can help in the relaxation stakes too?

As we all know, normal black tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that’s also found in coffee. Because of its stimulating properties, caffeine isn’t something we’re advised to consume before we go to bed. This is due to the fact it can stimulate our brain and make us more alert, which is the last thing we want to be when we’re trying to wind down.2

However, tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee does. There’s reportedly 11mg per 100g of caffeine in tea. In comparison, coffee contains 37mg per 100g, which is a bit of a difference.3,4 What’s more, tea also happens to contain an amino acid called theanine.

It’s also been linked to boosting our cognitive abilities, e.g. memory and concentration levels, too.5 Different levels of l-theanine can be found in different tea, with green tea containing the highest levels of it.

Overall, the combination of caffeine and l-theanine working together can make us feel more relaxed, as well as the process of enjoying a nice hot cup of tea, can have an effect on our mind and body.

Summary

  • Black tea contains lower levels of caffeine than coffee – 25mg less per 100g, making it less of a stimulant
  • It also contains the amino acid, l-theanine, which has been found can help us relax better
  • Green tea contains the most l-theanine

Most of us know about the trick of drinking a warm milky drink before bed, but what about tea? Is it possible that it can help in the relaxation stakes too?

As we all know, normal black tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that’s also found in coffee. Because of its stimulating properties, caffeine isn’t something we’re advised to consume before we go to bed.

This is due to the fact it can stimulate our brain and make us more alert, which is the last thing we want to be when we’re trying to wind down.2

However, tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee does. There’s reportedly 11mg per 100g of caffeine in tea. In comparison, coffee contains 37mg per 100g, which is a bit of a difference.3,4

What’s more, tea also happens to contain an amino acid called theanine.

It’s also been linked to boosting our cognitive abilities, e.g. memory and concentration levels, too.5

Different levels of l-theanine can be found in different tea, with green tea containing the highest levels of it.

Overall, the combination of caffeine and l-theanine working together can make us feel more relaxed, as well as the process of enjoying a nice hot cup of tea, can have an effect on our mind and body.

Summary

  • Black tea contains lower levels of caffeine than coffee – 25mg less per 100g, making it less of a stimulant
  • It also contains the amino acid, l-theanine, which has been found can help us relax better
  • Green tea contains the most l-theanine

How did we choose the best teas for bedtime?

To help us put together our list, we considered five factors that would help us decide which teas deserved to make our list of the best night time teas the UK has to offer, these include:

  1. Ingredients 

It’s impossible to make a good bedtime tea without the right elements.

That’s why we only selected caffeine-free teas, of course.

But we have also looked at the specifics of each to help you summon the sandman.

  1. Variety 

It’s possible to pick up a box of caffeine-free tea from any supermarket, which is why we’ve tried to go a little bit further than just your average box of chamomile.

  1. Customer reviews

We have taken on the views of our customers so we can offer you the most tried and tested teas available on the market.

  1. Quality 

We researched our brands so we can offer the most established night time teas on the market.

We checked whether brands sourced their ingredients and processed their teas responsibly.

  1. Ease of purchase 

We’ve ensured that all of these brands are available via the Holland & Barrett online shop or at one of our Holland & Barret stores, so you can find them easily and purchase without too much hard work.

11 bedtime teas to help you drift off

Read on for our top picks of bedtime teas in 2023...

  1. Twinings Superblends SleepTea Bags

Similar Vitamin C products

Twingings Superblends is exactly what you might think.

It’s a delicious blend of camomile, passionflower, spiced apple and vanilla to help you on the way to a peaceful night.

This smooth and serene blend offers a smooth and warming hit of flavour, which makes it a perfect addition to your bedtime routine.

Simply use freshly boiled water and infuse the bag for at least 3 minutes.

Give the teabag a few little stirs and a gentle squeeze to release the flavour before removing it from the cup and sip away.

Key features:

  • Great Taste Winner 2018
  • Added botanicals
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Caffeine-free

How to drink it: 

Use freshly-boiled water and infuse the bag for at least 3 minutes. Give the teabag a stir and a gentle squeeze to release the flavour before removing it.

Here’s what our customers think

Alibxox123 – Super chilled and sleepy – 5/5 stars

“I bought this tea as I can never sleep, I would be lying in bed for 3-4 hours before I ever got any way to sleep.

I have had this drink twice now, the first night I took it I straight away felt like I was so calm and relaxed feeling, I am only after having the drink now and I am feeling the same, this is not usual for me as I can never really relax.

I love this drink and I am looking for to get passionflower oil/mist. it really works:)”

  1. Pukkia night time tea bags

Pukka nighttime tea is a unique blend of oat flower, lime flower and lavender to provide you with a pleasant beverage at bedtime.

Caffeine and plastic-free teabags, these really are a great choice.

How to drink it: 

Enjoy in the evening to prepare you for a restful night, and a more refreshed awakening.

Key features:

  • Plastic-free tea bags
  • Caffeine-free

Here’s what our customers think

SueCat – Pukka night time tea is lovely – 5/5 stars

“It is a very nice tasting tea and is certainly relaxing to drink even if it doesn’t blend you into the shape of a mountain. I find it good to drink in the morning or the evening.”

  1. Pukka After Dinner Tea Bags

Pukka’s After Dinner tea is a wonderfully rich and naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that has a unique blend of aromatic herbs, which offer a great alternative to your usual after-dinner coffee or mint tea.

The fine blend of fennel seed, aniseed, cardamon and chicory offers a rich and nourishing flavour as a great part of your post-meal experience.

Key features:

  • Plastic free teabags
  • Caffeine-free

How to drink it:

Prepare in the evening to get you ready for a restful night.

Here’s what our customers think

Sarahs1 – love, love, love, this tea – 5-5 stars

“Love this tea, refreshing and warming after an evening meal, seems to settle my stomach. If you like Pukka tea, I would recommend this one.”

Louise Healthy – Great natural energy – 5/5 stars

“As everything begins in the stomach, happy stomach - happy me.

This tea gives me lots of energy, more mobility, lots of comfort being in my body and a nice feeling of wellbeing as a result.

It's one of the best tea blends I have encountered and as a herbalist I have tried many.”

  1. Dr Stuarts Valerian Plus Tea Bags

Dr Stuarts Valerian Plus Tea provides the perfect balance of mellow and bitter flavours for the perfect nighttime drink.

The mix of valerian root, lime flowers and hops, with added high-quality herbs gives you the most aromatic and flavourful nighttime tea.

Key features:

  • Contains essential oils
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Caffeine-free

How to drink it: Simply leave the tea to brew for a good four or five minutes. Cover the mug whilst brewing or use a small teapot to keep even more goodness in!

JMLP – Very good tea – 5/5 stars

Actually quite tasty.”

Sassy – Dr Stuart’s Valerian Plus – 5/5 stars
“Great product for restful night. Would definitely recommend!”

  1. Yogi Bedtime Tea

Similar Vitamin C products

Yogi Bedtime Tea combines valerian root and chamomile flowers with cardamom and lemon balm to give you a delicious, warming flavour that's just right for drinking before bedtime.

Relax, tuck yourself into bed and get a restful night with a cup of our delicious Yogi Bedtime tea.

Key features:

  • Suitable for vegans
  • Caffeine-free

How to drink it: 

Bring water to boiling and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. For a stronger tea, use two tea bags. Drink before bedtime.

Here’s what our customers think

KTRobinson70 – Love it – 5/5 stars

“I love the taste of this tea - I add one sugar to make it a bit sweeter and it is perfect. Most of the time when I drink this tea I sleep really well and only wake up max once during the night. love it!”

  1. Twinings Superblends Calm

Similar Vitamin C products

Twinings Superblend Calm is a vanilla and spice herbal infusion with camomile, roasted chicory and niacin (vitamin B3) which contributes to your psychological function.

This is a smooth, delicate, lightly spiced blend with a lovely hint of sweetness. The chicory root brings a gorgeous roasted flavour and a touch of indulgence.

A moment of calm and clarity is the inspiration behind this carefully crafted blend.

The softly sweet and spiced infusion is warming and comforting, perfect to rebalance at the end of a busy day.

Key features:

  • Contains added Vitamin B3
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Caffeine-free

How to drink it: 

Use freshly boiled water and infuse the bag for at least 3 minutes. Give the teabag a stir and a gentle squeeze to release the flavour before removing it.

Here’s what our customers think

Sylv – Twinings superblend calm – 5/5 stars

“This camomile blend has lovely flavours that are not too overpowering.”

Lucvi – Ir really calms you down – 5/5 stars

“I bought this product last month and I'm really enjoying it, I was anxious about a lot stuff that I was going on and I'm pretty sure it helped to relax and disconnect from my problems for a second.”

  1. Heath & Heather Camomile Tea Bags

Similar Vitamin C products

Heath & Heather camomile Infusion Tea is blend of finest camomile flowers, to create a soothing drink that helps you to unwind at any time of the day.

Herbal specialists, Heath & Heather are committed to developing a range of fruit and herbal infusions using only the finest ingredients – and on this occasion they certainly not failed to deliver.

Key features:

  • No artificial colours, preservatives or flavouring
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Caffeine-free

How to drink it: Add to hot water in a mug before bedtime.

Here’s what our customers think

Nessie78 – Enjoy – 5/5 stars

“As Camomile tea goes this one of the best I've ever had”

Camomile tea drinker – Relaxing tea – 5/5 stars

“Perfect for end of day caffeine-free hot drink. Soothing and relaxing aroma”

  1. Teapigs Camomile Flowers Tea

Blended with the finest camomile flowers to create a drink with a surprisingly juicy flavour which will help you unwind at any time of the day. Made by brewing flowers instead of crushing them, these teapigs tea temples are ideal for a natural dose of relaxation.

Key features:

  • Great Taste 2018
  • Biodegradable tea temples
  • Plastic free
  • Caffeine-free

Here’s what our customers think

Nessie78 – Probably best Chamomile tea – 5/5 stars

Best Chamomile tea, so natural

Ryfka – Highly recommended – 5/5 stars

“Thank you Holland and Barrett for selling this delicious tea pigs chamomile tea! Thanks to delicate and transparent teabags you can see lovely camomile flowers ready to dive into your favourite mug. This is how real camomile tea tastes like! Especially recommenden in the evening to relax after a stressfull day!”

  1. Twinings Superblends Sleep Valerian and Orange Blossom

Slip on your super soft socks, bathe in cosy candlelight, and sip a cup of comfort to your hearts content.

With a combination of blood orange, orange Blossom, camomile, passionflower, lavender and valerian – this Twinings blend is the perfect wind down partner, that could easily become the bedtime hero of your night-time routine.

What does it taste like? It has light blend with floral orange flavours that is smooth & serene. The orange blossom provides a gentle sweetness that complements the subtle fragrant lavender.

Key features:

  • Suitable for vegans
  • Added passionflower
  • Caffeine-free

How to drink it: 

Use freshly boiled water and infuse the bag for at least 3 minutes. Give the teabag a stir and a gentle squeeze to release the flavour before removing it.

Here’s what our customers think:

Sarah Jane – Calming tea – 5/5 stars
“Tasty and relaxing, a great tea to have at bedtime.”

  1. Pukka Chamomile, Vanilla & Manuka Honey Herbal Tea 20 Sachets

This tea combines silky golden chamomile, exotic vanilla pod and the golden balm of Manuka honey to create a drink to help you relax.

How to drink it: Infuse in freshly-boiled water for up to 15 minutes.

Here’s what our customers think:

Sneha S - Lovely aroma and taste. Very relaxing – 5/5 stars
“Lovely aroma and combination of flavours. Very relaxing”

Tuuu - One of the best Chamomile tea blends – 5/5 stars
“Perfect before bed, gives a nice relaxing feeling. There’s no strong herbal taste, just perfectly warming gentle vanilla/honey fragrance on top of the mild chamomile.

Summary: the best teas for relaxation

Lots of herbal teas have been connected, and proven, to help us ease into our bedtime routine. But generally speaking, which are the best to look out for?

We’ve listed five of them below:

  1. Green tea

As we mentioned up earlier, green tea contains plenty of l-theanine, which can help give its sleep-inducing effects. This is down to the fact it works by encouraging our brains to switch off and relax.6 But not one for people avoiding caffeine.

  1. Chamomile tea

Chamomile is widely reported to help with relaxation and sleep. A review of research published in 2019 concluded that chamomile can significantly improve sleep quality.7

As for why chamomile may help with sleep and relaxation, it contains an antioxidant called apigenin, that binds to receptors within your brain that are responsible for making us feel sleepy.

Because of this, it’s renowned for being a mild tranquiliser, which has been researched extensively.8,9

  1. Peppermint tea

Peppermint is naturally caffeine-free, making it a popular drink for relaxation.

In addition to this, research has found it also has muscle relaxing properties, which may help with relaxation before bedtime.10

However, evidence of peppermint tea’s ability to help with sleep is extremely limited.11

  1. Valerian root tea

Valerian root, a herb that’s native to Asia and Europe, contains gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), one of the main neurotransmitters responsible for regulating our sleep. Research has found that increasing our GABA levels can have a sedative effect on our body.12

Summary

  • Numerous herbal teas have been linked to helping promote relaxation. They include green, chamomile, peppermint, valerian root and rooibos tea
  • Rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free, while valerian roots contain a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating sleep
  • Peppermint tea may help with muscle relaxation, while chamomile tea has been found to improve sleep quality

Are there any side effects to sleep teas?

Generally speaking, sipping a herbal tea before bed is safe.

Chamomile is listed as a safe, natural ingredient in most sleep teas.

However, you might want to be a bit cautious of teas that contain valerian may cause some side effects such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach

If you have any concerns about the effects of sleep teas, please speak to your GP or a health professional.

A final few words about bedtime tea  

Next time you need some help with night-time relaxation, you may want to reach out for one of the bedtime tea blends above, which have been tried-and-tested and highly recommended by plenty of our customers.

Bear in mind that what works for one person, may not work for another. But with so many different relaxation teas to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find something that you love the taste of and will help you with your bedtime routines.

Enjoy trying all of the different blends and best of luck with finding the best tea for you.

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 1 January 2023

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