Herbal Tea for Insomnia

Do you suffer from insomnia? Have your heard that insomnia and herbal tea are somehow connected and that herbal tea could help you sleep better? Well you probably heard right, but you have to use the right type of herbal tea in order to help solve your insomnia problem. Read more on sleep and insomnia here.

What is Herbal Tea?

Technically speaking, all teas, including herbal teas must come from the tea plant camellia sinensis to be called teas. Herbal teas can be a combination of actual tea leaves and/or bark, buds, roots, etc.

If no camellia sinensis parts are present, then you should call your herbal tea “tisane” or “herbal infusion”.

When making reference to herbal tea in Canada, most people think of decaffeinated herbal infusion.

Having decaffeinated herbal tea is particularly important is you are trying to cure insomnia.

Herbal Garden Sampler

Buy a Herbal Sampler Kit from Adagio Teas.

Insomnia and Herbal Tea

Specific herbal teas are better than others when it comes to treating insomnia. Here are some well known ones:

  • chamomile tea
  • lavender tea
  • fennel tea
  • catnip tea
  • oat seed tea
  • lemon balm tea
  • and many more…

Many of these teas make great and inexpensive homemade relaxation drinks.

Insomnia & Herbal Tea: Make Herbal Tea

When using roots or bark or other coarse components of a plant, you need to make a decoction.

How do you make a decoction? Easy. Using a pot, simmer the bark, stems and/or roots for 30 minutes. This half-hour simmering process allows the flavour and medicinal components to come out of the bark, stem and/or roots.

For other, more common herbal teas, you simply have to infuse it. You may have to play with the quantity of tea and/or infusion time to find the ideal tea for you because our bodies (and taste buds) are different.

I recommend that you start with 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of dried leaves for 250 ml (1 cup) of water. Let your tea steep for at least 3 minutes.

Many people recommend steeping the tea in a teapot or covered cup (use a saucer if you don’t have anytime to cover your cup) so that the essential oils do not evaporate during that time.

Pour yourself a small amount and taste. You can increase infusion time to about 10 minutes. If the tea still isn’t strong enough, use more tea next time instead of increasing your infusion time longer than 10 minutes.

Insomnia and Herbal Tea: When to Drink It?

You should drink one to two cups of herbal tea approximately 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night, you can have another cup to help you fall asleep again.

Herbal Orchard Sampler

Insomnia and Herbal Tea: Which Type?

Depending on what causes your insomnia, a specific type of herbal tea should work better than others. For example, if you can’t sleep because you feel nauseous and have an upset stomach, the typical insomnia tea won’t help you. In this particular scenario, I recommend the following:

  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of fresh basil OR 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of dried basil leaves in 250 ml (1 cup) of water.
  • Steep for 10 minutes.

Is your insomnia caused by fatigue, depression, tension headaches? Then lavender tea may be a better choice for you. Here’s how to make lavender tea:

  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of fresh lavender OR 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of dried lavender in 250 ml (1 cup) of water.
  • Steep for 3 to 5 minutes.


Chamomile Tea The most popular tea when thinking of insomnia and herbal tea is chamomile or camomile tea. I personally like and recommend chamomile tea from Adagio Teas.

If these previous remedies do not work for you, you can also try to make a decoction using 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of cumin seeds in 500 ml (2 cups) of water.

In this particular decoction, do not leave the seeds in boiling water for longer than 5 minutes.

Other useful insomnia and herbal tea remedies include catnip, fennel or anise tea.

Learn more about insomnia and herbal tea and other insomnia remedies.