I have started an evening ritual. I end my day with a calming tea, taking a few minutes to reflect on the day and prepare myself for sleep. We are encouraged to create a bedtime routine for babies and small children and I say, why does that need to stop when we get older! There is consensus that we should not be watching TV, checking phones, or playing on a screen before bed. Technology emits blue light, which is the type of light emitted by nature during the daytime hours. Spending time on a screen before bed tricks your body into thinking that it’s daytime, reducing your natural release of melatonin. The experts recommend a 2 hour break from the screen before bed, but that’s too huge a change for the 95% of us who use screens before bed. I am all about the baby steps, and getting there at your own pace. Commit to taking a break 15 minutes before bed and gradually increasing the time. Replace the screen with something that you enjoy (like sipping this tea!) and assess the overall effect this has on the quality of your sleep.
This tea tastes and smells so calming. The herbs used in this recipe are all commonly sourced and are well known for their medicinal uses (see below for descriptions of their properties). As you may have guessed, I am not a doctor 😉 However, I AM a research junkie and have done a lot of investigating into the traditional herbal uses of these plants. I am also promoting what works for me which may not work for you. If you have questions or concerns, consult a medical professional.
If you have any growing space at all (even a window sill) I urge you to try growing you own herbs in pots. You can easily grow lavender, chamomile, lemon verbena, and mint in pots, ready to be harvested at any time for a variety of culinary uses. Bonus: your kitchen will smell incredible! If you are unable to source some of the herbs, omit them. Mix and match until you find a combination that you like. Health food stores usually carry passionflower and valerian in dried form, or you can order these online. If you can’t source them, don’t worry about omitting them. I like to make a big pot and store it in the fridge, ready to be heated up for a few nights in a row. As always, if you add your honey do not heat it anywhere near boiling as you will kill off the beneficial enzymes 🙂
Megan’s Sleepytime Tea:
– 6 cups of water
– 3 T dried lavender
– 1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
– 1/2 cup fresh mint, lemon verbena, or a combination of the two
– 1/2 inch slice fresh ginger
– 1 T passionflower (optional)
– 1 t valerian (optional)
Bring water up to just below a boil. Add all other ingredients, remove from heat and cover. Set aside to steep for at least 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup raw, local honey once tea has cooled. Stir to combine. Pour into a pretty cup. Drink, relax, and dream of your favourite place. Here’s mine….
Chamomile: treats indigestion, calming, relieves headaches, lulls to a restful sleep
Lavender: helps with nervousness, exhaustion, insomnia, irritability, the scent is incredibly calming and will help achieve restful sleep
Lemon Verbena: used for anxiety, sleep problems, and restfulness, sedative, calming
Ginger: anti-inflammatory, helps to heal the gut, reduces migraines, relieves hypertension
Honey: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, yummy!
Mint: anti-inflammatory, calming, decongestant, relieves upset stomach
Passionflower: sedative, hypnotic, relives nerve pain, promotes restful sleep, has been used to treat hysteria (!)
Valerian: powerful nervine, used for tension, anxiety, insomnia, emotional stress, intestinal colic, migraines *to note about valerian: valerian seems to be best for people who are generally cold (ie. cold when other’s are comfortable or warm), rather than those who run warm. If you naturally run warm choose another herb as valerian may not work effectively for you.
Enjoy ❤ ❤