Hands up if you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night? And if you do – is it a quality sleep?
Herbal teas have been used for centuries as a natural sleep and relaxation remedy, so it’s no surprise that they are a popular choice when it comes to unwinding at the end of the day.
What’s more – there’s no shortage of research that backs the warming beverage and its effectiveness in aiding sleep. We go over why catching plenty of Z’s is important, and how a cuppa before bed might help you wake up feeling fresh and ready to tackle the day.
Why is a good nights sleep important?##
To maintain a healthy weight
Those of us who get a good night’s rest are more likely to be able to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Research shows that a short sleep is a risk factor for obesity. This is partly due to a combination of hormones (including higher levels of ghrelin – the hunger hormone) and a reduced motivation to hit the gym.
Boosts concentration, productivity and performance
Sleep is essential for good brain function. A quality sleep can improve your problem-solving skills, reaction time, boost your memory and improve exercise performance. Some research has found that a short sleep can impact aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication!
Lowers your risk of chronic disease
A poor sleep doesn’t just make it difficult to concentrate or perform well in the gym. Sleep duration and quality can affect many risk factors associated with chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions. What’s more, mental health conditions including depression are linked with poor sleep patterns.
How might tea help you sleep?##
Too often our minds are still buzzing with the days’ events right up until bed time. Switching off and engaging in a relaxing activity before bed, like sitting down with a cup of tea and a book, may help with falling asleep. Make brewing a hot cuppa part of your bed-time ritual. The English Tea Shop have a range of sustainable sourced caffeine-free teas perfect for winding down.
The action of L-theanine
L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea which may promote a high quality sleep by boosting calming brain chemicals, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. It is present in black, green and white teas.
Sleep promoting ingredients – Choose your pre-bed beverage carefully!
Certain ingredients may promote sleep more than others:
-Chamomile contains the antioxidant apigenin that binds to receptors in your brain promoting relaxation, initiating sleep and improving sleep quality.
-Valerian root was used during WWII to relieve stress, and its action may be related to GABA (a neurotransmitter) that increases sleepiness.
-Lavender is well-known as a calming fragrance, and it may improve sleep quality.
-Like valerian root, lemon balm may increase GABA levels.
You will find each of these ingredients in the ultimate pre-bed beverage, the English Tea Shop Sleepy Me tea.