How to sleep: The herbal tea thats a sleep inducer – its effects are immediate

Olympian Greg Rutherford shares his top tips on sleep

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Many Britons – one in three to be precise – struggle to get a sound night’s sleep. Fortunately, you do not have to suffer in silence. Simple dietary tweaks have been shown to aid sleep loss.

Research suggests drinking chamomile tea can help to promote sleep.

Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind.

“This herbal sleep inducer is a popular ingredient in night-time teas,” explains Holland and Barrett.

According to the health body, this is mainly down to an abundance of an antioxidant called apigenin, which may help encourage sleep.

Indeed, research bears out this claim.

Research published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing evaluated the effects of chamomile tea on sleep quality, fatigue and depression in postpartum women.

“Sleep quality is a significant issue for postnatal women,” the researchers in the study wrote.

“Chamomile is widely used as a folk remedy for its presumed sedative-hypnotic effects.”

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For the study, a total of 80 Taiwanese postnatal women with poor sleep quality were recruited from November 2012-August 2013.

They were systematically assigned, with a random start, to either the experimental group or the control group.

The participants in the experimental group were instructed to drink chamomile tea for a period of two weeks.

The participants in the control group received regular postpartum care only.

What did the researchers find out?

Compared with the control group, the experimental group demonstrated “significantly” lower scores of physical-symptoms-related sleep inefficiency and the symptoms of depression.

However, the researchers noted, the scores for all three instruments were similar for both groups at four-week post-test, suggesting that the positive effects of chamomile tea were limited to the “immediate term”.

They concluded: “Chamomile tea may be recommended to postpartum women as a supplementary approach to alleviating depression and sleep quality problems.”

General tips to aid sleep loss

There are a few good habits you could incorporate into your daily routine that can help to reset your body clock.

Sticking to a consistent sleep and wake time is crucial.

The NHS explains: “This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.”

According to the health body, most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night.

“By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule.”

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