By Shona Curley
There’s arguably nothing more supportive to general health than getting a good night’s sleep. During deep sleep, a lot of cellular healing takes place, including detoxification and repair inside the brain itself. Waking up fully rested after a satisfying slumber is a pleasure most of us take for granted when we’re young. But most adults, especially after middle age, struggle on occasion to achieve this basic pillar of good health.
If you find yourself tossing and turning in the dark hours, try creating bedtime rituals to support deep sleep. Creating a routine where screens are turned off an hour before bedtime can be a big help. During this time of winding down, try lighting a few candles and concocting a delicious, soothing beverage to help your body relax.
The following nighttime tea may support quality sleep. Hopefully, it will send you peacefully to dreamland.
CBD Tea to Support Sleep
A tea made with passionflower, chamomile, and a quality CBD extract may help support a good night’s sleep and enhance your self-care routine. You can choose CBD that is flavored with mint or vanilla to enhance the tea’s flavor and sweeten it with raw honey or stevia to taste. Here’s an exploration of why those herbs may help with deep sleep.
Passionflower incarnata, also known as maypop or wild passion vine, is a beautiful, climbing vine with intricate, spiky purple flowers. Passionflower is native to the warmer areas of the United States, especially the South. The whole plant can be used to make tea or tinctures, though the stem and leaves seem to be the most potent. Traditional herbalists have used passionflower to support healthy sleep and to relieve anxiety.
According to a 2020 randomized controlled trial on 110 adults with insomnia, passionflower has a positive effect on sleep for adults struggling to get a good night’s rest. The participants either received passionflower or a placebo for two weeks, during which time they kept a sleep diary and underwent overnight polysomnography tests. Those receiving passionflower increased total sleep time and improved sleep efficiency. Though further study is needed, these results look promising for passionflower as a way to achieve better sleep.
Chamomile, or Matricaria recutita, is a daisy-like, flowering ground cover with small, white flowers containing distinctive rounded yellow centers. Chamomile is native to parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia and is now also grown in North America. Chamomile flowers have been used by traditional herbalists to soothe digestion, anxiety, and improve sleep.
A 2019 review showed a significant improvement in sleep quality for people who took chamomile. The study reported almost no negative side effects from the herb. Though further research is needed, this suggests chamomile is probably a safe way to improve your sleep.
3. CBD Extract
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytochemical extract of the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, CBD has no mind-altering properties, and when extracted from the hemp plant, it is legal in all 50 states.
Many people report that using a quality CBD extract at night helps them sleep more soundly. The natural taste of CBD may be off-putting to some, but CBD extracts and tinctures come in a wide range of flavors that make the herb more palatable. A high-quality CBD oil has a low potential for side effects.
A 2019 review found that cannabinoids could improve sleep quality and lessen sleep disturbances. More study is required to understand the differences between using CBD and using THC for sleep, as some clinical trials looked at both.
Combining all 3 in a CBD Tea
Passionflower and chamomile are easily available in either bulk form or tea bags. Make sure you choose organic herbs grown in the United States, with no additives or artificial flavors. Boil some water, and soak your herbs. The longer you soak, the more potent your tea. Add a few drops of a quality CBD extract, choosing a flavor that appeals to you, such as mint or vanilla. Again, make sure the extract you choose is free of any additives or artificial ingredients. Sweeten your tea with raw honey, stevia, or the sweetener of your choice, and enjoy it before bedtime.
As always, check with your healthcare provider first to make sure these herbs are right for you. Be sure they don’t interact with any medications you’re taking already.
As a good night’s sleep is critical for health, it’s worth creating routines and rituals that help you sleep well and soundly through the night. Passionflower, chamomile, and CBD extract are three herbs that combine to make a delicious tea that may support deep sleep. Hopefully, it will help you drift off into a great slumber.
- Lee J, Jung HY, Lee SI, Choi JH, Kim SG. Effects of Passiflora incarnata Linnaeus on polysomnographic sleep parameters in subjects with insomnia disorder: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2020 Jan;35(1):29-35. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000291. PMID: 31714321
- Hieu, TH, Dibas, M, Surya Dila, KA, et al. Therapeutic efficacy and safety of chamomile for state anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, and sleep quality: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized trials and quasi‐randomized trials. Phytotherapy Research. 2019; 33: 1604– 1615. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6349
- Kuhathasan N, Dufort A, MacKillop J, Gottschalk R, Minuzzi L, Frey BN. The use of cannabinoids for sleep: A critical review on clinical trials. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2019 Aug;27(4):383-401. doi: 10.1037/pha0000285
Shona Curley lives and works in San Francisco. She is co-owner of the studio Hasti Pilates, and creator of the website www.redkitemeditations.com. Shona teaches meditation, bodywork and movement practices for healing Lyme disease, chronic illness and pain.