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A Cuppa Herbal Tea Can Help You Sleep

I grew up among tea-drinkers. The tea my grandparents and parents drank was strong and black. Red Rose. Blue Ribbon. Orange Pekoe. It was heavy in bitter tannins AND fairly high in caffeine, although not as much so as coffee. This is NOT the tea of a restful sleep. Instead, if you want to overcome insomnia, you might want to look at herbal teas, or more accurately labeled, tisanes.
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Chamomile, lemon balm, hops and passionflower are all touted for their sleep-promoting properties. You’ll often find them in "sleep-formula" tea blends, and in their own herbal blends. Unfortunately their effectiveness hasn’t been proven in clinical studies, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "I don’t doubt these teas work for some. A warm liquid before bed may produce sleepiness by generating body heat," speculates Art Spielman, M.D., an insomnia expert teaching psychology at the City University of New York.

I would also caution you to look at the ingredients listed on the "herbal tea" box. If there is anything listed as "natural" (as in "natural flavoring"), this is quite likely a man-made taste-enhancing stimulant known as an 'excito-toxin'. Yes, scary indeed. To learn more about how this MSG/ hydrolyzed plant substance gets into good foods and does bad things, read this article.

But all of that aside (there are many herbal teas/tisanes on the market that are organic AND do NOT contain excito-toxins), a nice relaxing cup of herbal tea might just hit the mark and allow you to unwind and sleep like a baby. One final small warning: drinking fluids near bedtime can mean nighttime tripping to the toilet. A cup of "sleepy-time" tea might be worth a try… particularly if you have a strong bladder.
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