Let’s start small with a tiny evening ritual that I love. Tea.
Most of us are tea drinkers. From childhood morning drinks to lemon infused flu remedies. But there’s more the the world of tea than that.
I discovered real tea sometime in high school. Up until then the idea of putting milk into tea seemed ridiculous to me. But I had to try at some point. And I loved it immediately. Thus began my love for black tea and from that tea in general.
Nowadays I tend to consume at least a cup of black tea and one of green tea per day during work and then a herbal infusion before sleep.
Granted, I do not actually need anything to go to sleep. I never had any problems with that. It just feels wonderful. Taking that couple of minutes before bed, leaving the day behind, enjoying that warm cup of goodness with that magical calming yet refreshing scent. I usually drink a mix of rooibos and lemon balm, enriched with honey and orange juice. But anything with the ingredients will do, or anything that does not energize you really as long as you associate the taste and the smell with calm.
- camomile: practically a synonym for night time tea, found in most brands of bedtime tea even though it actually causes some people to get even more wired up. Tastes and smells delicious though, so it’s always worth a try. Twinings has a version with honey and vanilla that is to die for.
- rooibos: also known as red bush. It has been shown to fight off insomnia and really calms, relaxes and even lowers cortisol levels. It’s also full of antioxidants which has nothing to do with sleep but never hurts, right? Can be found in a million flavoured combinations so pick something that you associate with sleep.
- lemon balm: rarely found on its own, lemon balm is usually in herbal mixed teas. There’s no real proof showing its sleep aid properties but people still seem to love it and to believe in it. I know i do.
- peppermint: interestingly peppermint is associated both with providing energy and with relaxation. It definitely helps with tummy aches so if that’s what’s keeping you up, pepperming is definitely the way to go.
- lavender: widely known as the king (or queen?) of relaxation among herbs and flowers but rarely used as tea or included in bedtime tea.
- valerian: helps with both sleep and anxiety and its properties have actually been proven to work. It may take a couple of weeks of regular drinking before taking effect though.
Try a couple of options it and let me know how it feels.