Why Chamomile Tea Helps You Fall Asleep

If you’ve ever done any research on sleep, at all, you’ll know that chamomile tea seems to be a real buzzword, and here at Sleepify, we have all the information you need to know about why.

For those who have tried chamomile tea and noticed it helped you sleep, and wondered why chamomile helps you get those forty winks, then we have a few facts below for you.

Not only is chamomile tea a great way to help stop you from tossing and turning in bed for hours on end, it also comes with a few nutrients that could improve your quality of life too.

The good news is that with teas like this, you won’t need to rely on sleeping pills to get you a good night’s rest, and to reduce your chances of complications and circadian impairment in the long term. Chamomile is by far one of the most dynamic herbal teas out there, and whether you’re struggling to fall asleep or not, we highly suggest you try it.

With all that said, let’s take a look at the antioxidant-filled chamomile tea and why it might be the key to getting you a good night’s sleep.

A Bit About Chamomile

If you’re new to the world of tea, or just haven’t migrated too far from your black teas, then the chamomile might be a little exotic for you. However, not to worry!

To keep things simple, the chamomile plant, or flower rather, is a herb that’s been made use of for hundreds of years in both Western and African cultures. In fact, as far as we know, the use of chamomile tea goes all the way back to Ancient Egypt, which means there are at least a few thousand years of use under the chamomile’s belt.

Fast forward to the 2020s, and you’ll find the tea available everywhere, from supermarkets, supplement stores and more. It’s also being integrated into foods as a flavour enhancer — so we’re standing by the fact that the tea or herb is as safe as can be.

Getting into the good stuff, chamomile can be easily brewed from tea bags, so you’re able to quickly whip up a cup before bedtime.

Once you’ve finished off your cup, you’ll find your body has been provided a healthy dose of the phenolic flavonoid apigenin, which essentially tells the body that it’s time for relaxation and to wind down for the day.

Unlike many other teas, chamomile doesn’t feature any caffeine at all, which means you’re getting no unintentional stimulants before bed — giving you the best chance of a good night’s sleep.

The Sleep Study of 2009

We know that a lot of sleep remedies are essentially wive’s tales and have little to no actual fact backing them up; but that isn’t the case for chamomile tea.

In 2009, the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine conducted a study that dove into the power of chamomile tea and how it affected patients with anxiety disorders.

These patients were clinically diagnosed, ensuring that there was a reputable baseline to begin the study with.

The research found that chamomile, or the apigenin flavonoid rather, reduced both anxiety and stress symptoms in patients, and worked to relax them without the need for any chemical-based medications.

That said, if you’re someone who does stress a lot before bed, or finds anxiety, stress or even depression an inhibitor to your sleep, then chamomile tea might help you fall asleep a whole lot quicker.

In all, a cup of chamomile tea might be your saving grace when it comes to a good night’s sleep.

The Other Perks of Chamomile Tea

We’re happy to say that beyond just sleep, chamomile tea works wonders for a tonne of other issues too.

Getting into the details, the scientific name for chamomile, or the plant that the tea is brewed from, is called Matricaria recutita. You’ll find this label on a tonne of different herbal medications in stores around the world, as it offers an ability to remedy more than just sleeping problems.

You’ll be able to use the chamomile tea or the plant’s flavonoids, rather, to help with everything from muscle spasms, inflammation in the gums, rashes, cold and flu symptoms, digestive disorders and more.

That said, it’s a great all-rounder when it comes to helping you live a better day, and get a better night’s rest.

That out of the way, the most popular use for this tea does remain anxiety reduction and sleep improvement.

To add, a lot of these health benefits are backed by a myriad of studies, making this one of the few herbal medicines that truly work on improvements in the body. If you’re willing to integrate a healthy cup of chamomile tea into your daily routine, you might be well on track to a good night’s sleep every night as well as fewer aches and pains.

When it comes to calories, we’re glad to say that you’ll only find two calories in here, so there’s little to be concerned about when it comes to weight gain or fitting in with a low-calorie diet.

A few of the proven and well-documented outcomes of chamomile tea include:

  • The reduction of insomnia symptoms
  • An ability to decrease allergy symptoms
  • Works as an anti-inflammatory
  • Aids in both wound and ulcer repair
  • Works to minimise the side effects of anxiety, stress and depression
  • Lessens the pain associated with arthritis
  • Can reduce the symptoms of PMS
  • Harmonises stomach flora to reduce IBS or gastrointestinal problems
  • Helps to prevent the formation of haemorrhoids

With that said, there are a tonne more claims that come with chamomile tea, though the ones we’ve outlined above are backed by both research studies and patient testing.

How Does Chamomile Tea Work So Well

If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering how a plant can work so well on so many complex issues. That in mind, let’s take a look below at how chamomile works so well, and why you should consider chamomile in your daily routine.

As you might already know, chamomile can be used in a variety of different ways beyond just tea. You’re able to diffuse the scent, drink it as tea, purchase the flavonoids in essential oils for application on the skin and even find the plant in toothpaste and mouthwashes too.

With that out of the way, it can be used in a variety of different ways and on different areas of the body, which means you’re getting a direct response from wherever or whatever you’re putting it on.

Of course, the most common means of getting a fix of chamomile is drinking or ingesting it as a supplement, though there are a lot of different ways. 

The primary reason the plant, or the tea, works so well is in the fact that the apigenin compound is accepted positively by the body in many different locations. If you’re applying this compound to the skin, for example, your body will focus on absorbing and utilising it in that location — which assists in reducing rash and eczema symptoms.

When you ingest the compound, it finds its way to your gut and enhances stomach flora and improves digestion along with the reduction of issues with IBS and more.

That said, you can think of chamomile as a wonder-herb that works to enhance and repair the organs you apply it to, rather than working as a whole-body solution when you ingest it.

Is Chamomile Tea or the Apigenin Compound Safe

As with many herbs and supplements, the general consensus is that it’s perfectly safe for most people; though there is always the chance of an allergy.

For the general population it’s safe to assume that chamomile is incredibly safe, however, if you’re someone who has an allergy to either pollen or ragweeds, then you’re better off straying from chamomile tea and other flower-based teas.

One imperative point to keep in mind, is that chamomile can have an effect on anticoagulants, which means you could be at risk of blood circulation and pressure issues should you have a problem with blood pressure, clotting or any other blood disorder.

The United States’ Food and Drug Administration doesn’t currently regulate herbal supplements and other non-chemical additives, which means that chamomile can be touted as being safer, or able to do more than it truly can — something to always be mindful of.

On the other hand, the University of Maryland’s Medical Centre has warned that your intake of chamomile should be limited to around half a cup for children, and a maximum of four cups for adults. If you’re looking to get a quick fix of chamomile for sleep, you’re also able to take capsules which contain your apigenin compound.

If you’re not too keen on ingesting the chamomile compound, it might be worth considering investing in an essential oil with the compound integrated within it, and add a few drops into your bath.

Are There Side Effects to Chamomile Tea

As we mentioned above, the herb is generally quite safe, however, there’s always the slight chance that you’re going to see a reaction or experience a side effect. A few of the most common side effects we’ve outlined below.

  • Vomiting along with an upset stomach
  • Nausea and a feeling of general queasiness
  • A mild or severe allergic reaction from the pollen
  • An interference with blood thinners which can be mild to severe

With that said, no matter how minor these issues could be for you, it’s always a good idea to reach out to your doctor before taking a new herbal supplement. If you’re on blood thinning agents, you’ll want to be cautious about ingesting things that could have an affect on these.

To add, if you do take prescription medications, we suggest you, again, consult with your doctor before beginning to take chamomile as a supplement or as tea during the evenings.

Choosing the Best Chamomile Tea for Sleep

Like many supplements, there isn’t typically a ‘best’ of a chamomile tea to choose from as they’re all based upon the same ingredient. Where you will notice a difference is in the preparation of the tea.

If you’re ill-preparing your nightly chamomile brew, you might be reducing its effects, or getting rid of them all entirely. We’ll go over preparation in just a moment.

To get a good chamomile tea, however, you’ll want to look at the additives and other compounds that are placed in the tea itself. If brands are adding caffeine, sugars and other stimulants, for example, you’ll be cancelling out all of the good effects that come from the tea itself.

Our biggest tip is to choose a chamomile tea that is just that, chamomile and nothing else.

One final thing to note is that you’ll have an option (typically) of between bagged and loose leaf chamomile tea. Some people will tout that one tastes better than the other, though we haven’t noticed too much of a difference. The main difference is the difficulty of preparing loose leaf tea, so we’d choose the bagged variety.

How to Make Chamomile Tea

Before we end our article on why chamomile tea helps you sleep, we’ll let you know a little bit about how to brew it. Generally there will be instructions on your tea bag or the box, though, sometimes you’ll be left without any direction so take a look below.

  • Add your teabag to your cup or the infuser just like any other tea
  • Boil the kettle and pour your water into the mug
  • You’ll need to steep this tea for at least three minutes, with four to five being the max
  • Drop in any flavour or sweetener you’d like — just be mindful of sugars at night
  • And there you have it!

Keep in mind that the longer you rest the tea to brew, the stronger it will taste, so keeping it at around the three to five minute mark is our top tip. If you leave it any longer, you might have an overly strong cup of tea, which requires a lot of sweetener to balance it out.

If this is a brew for sleep, we’d suggest drinking the tea around half an hour before bedtime and waiting for your sleep symptoms to kick in. In a lot of cases, chamomile is regarded as a low-power tranquilliser so you should start feeling some effects quite quickly.

The Takeaway

From our article above, it’s clear to see that when it comes to a natural remedy for sleep, there’s little that comes close to chamomile tea. It’s low-calorie, caffeine-free and scientifically proven to ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep, as well as a tonne of other perks.

We suggest you make a cup of chamomile tea part of your night routine to really exacerbate the effects of the tea and get your mind ready for sleep, as well as your body.

All that said, whether you decide to get your fix of chamomile through tea, a pill or by using essential oils, we’re sure you’ll be on your way to a good night’s sleep.