At Bigelow Tea, we know that getting enough sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health, yet many of us struggle to get to and stay asleep. In fact, 34.8% of adults in the U.S. report sleeping under seven hours a night on average, according to the CDC. While many people tout diet and exercise as the best way to improve overall wellness, research suggests that getting a good night’s rest is just as important if not more so.
So, what’s the secret to getting better sleep? Here’s a hint: It’s not as simple as counting sheep. Adopting healthier lifestyle habits are key to improving your body’s ability to benefit fully from sleep time.
How a Lack of Sleep Affects Your Body
Without enough sleep, your body doesn’t have time to repair itself from the day’s wear and tear and restore its energy to fuel the next day.
This can lead to:
- Diminishing alertness.
- Trouble with decision-making.
- Poor concentration.
Beyond general discomfort, sleep disorders like insomnia can also increase your risk of developing chronic health issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Time spent asleep is often the only chance your body has to hone basic functioning processes to ensure you’re ready for the next day.
The Benefits of Tea
Looking for better sleep? Adding tea to your routine could be the answer. Although caffeine may seem counterintuitive, the levels within green and black tea are much lower than coffee. The benefits these teas can bring to your sleep schedule should not be underestimated. Green and black teas contain L-theanine, an amino acid that a 2021 study shows improvement in brain functions by supporting memory, attention, and sleep quality .
If you’re sensitive to stimulants where even decaffeinated teas containing small levels of caffeine could affect your sleep quality, consider non-caffeinated herbal varieties instead. This will allow you to cut back on caffeine while still maximizing the sleep benefits of the tea’s ingredients.
Herbal Teas for a Better Night’s Sleep
People have long been drinking herbal teas for their calming effects, and science backs up the relaxation we feel after a mug or two. In addition to delicious flavor and comfort, drinking some herbal teas, depending on their ingredients, has proven to help reduce fatigue while enhancing sleep quality. Let’s explore ingredients that may help you sleep.
- Chamomile helps promote better sleep, as measured by an Insomnia Severity Index, according to a 2019 study, and Bigelow Tea has many amazing chamomile teas to choose from.
- Lavender has a calming effect. A 2020 study revealed that for older adults, lavender in tea was linked to lower depression and anxiety self-assessment scores, both of which can influence experiences of insomnia. Bigelow Benefits Chamomile and Lavender Sleep wellness tea is a great example of combing great flavor with calming ingredients.
- Vanilla is another soothing ingredient, and studies suggest that smelling its sweet aroma can be relaxing and lowers distress and regulating respiratory system responses. Teas featuring vanilla, the same study says, can be used to ease symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
At Bigelow Tea, we have an array of herbal teas developed with the intention of promoting healthier sleep. With flavors ranging from chamomile and lavender, to mint and vanilla, there’s something for everyone.
More Tips for Getting Enough Sleep
- Make preparing for sleep a routine. Set a regular bedtime and avoid sleeping in for longer than an hour on the weekends. ‘Catching up’ on sleep is a myth – make sure you get quality sleep daily.
- Avoid big meals too close to bedtime. It could be more challenging to fall asleep if your stomach is full. If your body is in need of nourishment, opt for a lighter snack.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. Make sure you’re in a comfortable sleeping environment, which will help you stay relaxed and un-distracted.
- Take a warm shower or bath to relax your muscles before bed: Adding some lavender essential oil to the bath can help ease any stress and tension.
- Use breathing techniques to fall asleep faster. According to a research study conducted in 2022 and published in Physiological Reports, researchers found that the 4-7-8 breathing technique could decrease heart rate and lower blood pressure.
You deserve a good night’s rest! Put these tips to the test, and don’t forget to grab a big mug of Bigelow Tea. Taking a moment for yourself just might help you drift off to dreamland a little easier tonight and every night.