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Some drinks may help people fall asleep more easily. These include herbal teas, almond milk, and cherry juice. However, research is limited, and their benefits on sleep are not proven.

Some teas are classified as herbal supplements. This means they may not be Food and Drug Administration (FDA) .

A person should only buy products that clearly list the ingredients and serving suggestions on the packaging and avoid companies that make unsupported health claims about their products.

A quick look at the 9 best drinks for sleep

In this article, we discuss 10 drinks and beverages to help people sleep.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe, high quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. Products should also confirm that they are free of pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the supplement dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
  • Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

People drink chamomile tea to treat insomnia because of its calming effects.

Older research suggests that its effect on sleep comes from its flavonoid content. Apigenin is a flavonoid that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which has a sedative effect.

A few people may experience allergic reactions to chamomile. Nevertheless, the FDA placed chamomile on the “generally recognized as safe” list.

Learn more about the benefits of chamomile tea here.

Best chamomile tea: Celestial Seasonings Chamomile Tea

  • Price: around $17
  • Ingredients: chamomile
  • Servings: 20
Celestial Seasonings Chamomile Tea

Celestial Seasonings offers chamomile tea bags for under $20. There is only one ingredient in these tea bags — organic chamomile — and they are a 0-calorie option for people looking for chamomile tea.

There is also no caffeine in this tea, making it suitable for people who wish to try chamomile tea before sleep.

Celestial Seasonings tea is blended in Boulder, CO, and the company claims its products are Non-GMO Project verified.

It also states that it uses sustainable tea bags that do not include strings, tags, or staples.

Pros

  • does not contain caffeine
  • non-GMO
  • has no calories
  • uses sustainable tea bags

Cons

  • lacks flavor, according to some users

Valerian is an herb that people can find in health food stores. Sleep aids and sedatives may contain valerian. People can purchase these products over the counter (OTC) in tablet form or as tea.

Researchers have not confirmed whether valerian is effective and safe for treating insomnia, and some studies show conflicting results.

Research from 2020 concluded that valerian root could be a safe and effective herb for promoting sleep and reducing the risk of sleep disorders. However, results were inconsistent, and some of the active natural ingredients in valerian root are unstable. The authors note this may affect the quality and reliability of products, and more testing needs to be done.

Learn more about using valerian to treat insomnia here.

Best valerian tea blend: Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Tea Extra Valerian

  • Price: around $13
  • Ingredients: valerian root, passionflower herb, lemon balm leaf, peppermint leaf, caraway fruit, licorice root
  • Servings: 16
Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Tea Extra Valerian

This valerian tea comes in a pack of two, containing 16 servings each. Each serving contains a blend of sleep-benefitting herbs, and the company claims this blend is its strongest to help sleep.

It states that it uses USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, and kosher ingredients.

It is free of caffeine and has 0 calories.

Each serving contains 450 milligrams (mg) of valerian, and 300 mg of passionflower herb, lemon balm, and peppermint leaf. It also contains a 150-mg blend of caraway fruit and licorice root.

Pros

  • includes a range of herbs to benefit sleep
  • comes in a pack of two boxes
  • USDA-certified organic

Cons

  • some users report an unpleasant scent
  • research has not confirmed sleep benefits of valerian

This valerian tea may be best suited to people who want a stronger herbal blend to help them sleep.

Best pure valerian tea: Buddha Teas Organic Valerian Root Tea

  • Price: around $9
  • Ingredients: organic valerian root
  • Servings: 18
Buddha Teas Organic Valerian Root Tea 

This non-GMO valerian tea contains only organic valerian root. Each tea bag contains 1.5 grams (g) of valerian.

According to the product description, a person should steep the tea in hot water for around 3–6 minutes for the best flavor.

The company claims it is a preservative-free tea that does not use artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. It does not contain caffeine.

Pros

  • uses bleach-free tea bags
  • has no artificial colors or preservatives
  • non-GMO

Cons

  • research has not confirmed sleep benefits of valerian

This tea may be best suited to those who would like a pure valerian tea blend with no other ingredients.

Some people drink lemon balm tea to help them sleep. People can find lemon balm in natural food stores as a sleep aid. Like valerian, it may not be effective every time.

One study demonstrated that 80 participants with chronic stable angina supplemented with lemon leaf had reduced total sleep disturbance when researchers compared them with a placebo.

Still, more evidence is necessary to confirm that lemon balm tea helps people sleep.

Learn more about lemon balm here.

Best for a pure lemon balm blend: Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm Tea

  • Price: around $13
  • Ingredients: lemon balm leaf
  • Servings: 16

This lemon balm tea comes in a pack of two, providing 32 servings overall.

Each tea bag contains 1,500 mg of organic lemon balm leaf. It does not contain caffeine, and the ingredients are USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified.

The company says the flavor of this tea is mild with citrus tones. However, it warns that it can cause drowsiness, and Traditional Medicinals advises buyers to speak with a doctor before drinking this tea if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

People should not drink this tea before driving or operating machinery.

However, this quality may benefit those who wish to drink the tea before sleeping.

The company also writes that this tea can help aid digestion.

Pros

  • may help with digestion and sleep
  • USDA-certified organic
  • comes in a pack of two

Cons

  • can cause drowsiness
  • has a mild flavor

This tea is best suited to people who would like a pure lemon balm tea blend.

Some people drink lavender tea for its reported calming and soothing properties.

A study from Taiwan tested the theory that lavender tea can improve sleep quality. The researchers showed that the participants who drank lavender tea perceived less fatigue. The mechanisms explaining this effect are unclear.

Learn more about lavender here.

Best lavender tea: Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea

This tea comes in a pack of four, providing 64 servings overall.

It contains a variety of organic herbal ingredients, including lavender. It also highlights chamomile and lemon balm as its main relaxing ingredients, and each tea bag provides 1,676 mg of the soothing herbal blend.

This blend aims to help reduce stress, which may help a person relax before sleep.

It does not contain caffeine, and Yogi products are Rainforest Alliance Certified. This means the environment and the rights of workers are protected.

Pros

  • comes in a pack of four
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • uses a wide range of organic ingredients

Cons

  • does not state how much of each herb is in the main blend

This tea may be best suited to people who would like a drink to help with overall relaxation before sleep.

People report using passionflower tea to help them sleep, but research on this herbal tea is limited.

Researchers in Mexico designed a study to test the effect of passionflower on sleep. Their results show that rats injected with passionflower extract had a statistically significant increase in total sleep time.

Again, further investigations in humans are necessary to confirm the safety and efficacy of passionflower tea for improving sleep.

Learn about using passionflower for treating insomnia here.

Best passionflower tea: Buddha Teas Organic Passion Flower Tea

  • Price: around $9
  • Ingredients: organic passionflower
  • Servings: 18

Each serving of this organic passionflower tea contains 1.5 g of passionflower. This is the tea’s only ingredient, and Buddha Teas claims it uses fresh, organic, clean herbs for its products.

The company also uses unbleached tea bags made from natural ingredients, reducing this product’s impact on the environment.

It does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Pros

  • uses unbleached tea bags
  • USDA-certified organic
  • free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Cons

  • not specifically formulated to aid sleep
  • research supporting passionflower as a sleep aid is limited

This tea may best suit people looking for a flavorful passionflower tea blend.

Although green tea contains caffeine, some substances found in green tea may help people sleep because they act on the GABA system in the brain.

To study these effects, researchers gave middle-aged adults low caffeine green tea to consume before sleeping. The results of the study demonstrate that drinking low caffeine green tea may help improve sleep compared with standard green tea.

The exact mechanism of how green tea affects sleep is still unclear.

It is important to choose decaffeinated green tea, as standard green tea has caffeine, which can inhibit sleep.

Best decaf green tea: The Republic of Tea Daily Green Tea

  • Price: around $18
  • Ingredients: decaffeinated Chinese green tea leaves
  • Servings: 50

This green tea has been decaffeinated through a carbon dioxide extraction process. The company claims that this is a natural process that does not involve chemicals.

It also says this process preserves the flavors and antioxidants present in green tea.

Pros

  • does not contain caffeine
  • offers the many potential health benefits of green tea
  • has a high number of servings per pack

Cons

  • lacks flavor, according to some buyers

This tea may suit someone who enjoys green tea but finds that its caffeine content disrupts their sleep.

In an older 2010 study, researchers associated a tart cherry juice blend with a statistically significant improvement in sleep.

The study participants showed a reduction in the severity of insomnia when the researchers calculated the minutes awake after sleep onset.

Other parameters, such as sleep latency, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency, were unchanged when the researchers compared them with a placebo.

A small 2018 study with just eight participants showed that cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency.

The researchers suggest that cherry juice increases the availability of tryptophan in the body, which leads to better sleep.

Cherries contain melatonin and other anti-inflammatory substances that may explain their effect on sleep.

Further research is necessary to confirm these findings.

Learn more about the potential benefits of cherry juice.

Best cherry juice: Whole Foods Market Organic Tart Cherry Juice

  • Price: around $5
  • Ingredients: decaffeinated Chinese green tea leaves
  • Servings: 4

This tart cherry juice provides 140 calories per serving. It also contains 35 g of sugar per serving, but it does not contain any added sugars.

The juice is from concentrate. This means the manufacturer removes the juice’s water content to make a stronger juice.

Whole Foods Market states that this product is USDA-certified organic.

Pros

  • affordable
  • aids sleep, according to some buyers
  • made from cherries, which naturally contain melatonin

Cons

  • low number of servings
  • high sugar content per serving
  • more research is needed to confirm the benefits for sleep

People who are looking for a natural alternative to melatonin for sleep may find this cherry juice suitable.

Researchers have tested magnolia bark tea on sleep in menopausal females. Magnolia bark extract contains substances that interact with the GABA system in the brain that helps people sleep.

Animal studies found that the magnolol in magnolia bark — a polyphenol — decreased the amount of time it took for mice to fall asleep. Another magnolia bark polyphenol, called honokiol, had the same effect.

Drinking magnolia bark extract may be safe, but researchers need to continue studying its effect in larger and more diverse populations.

Best magnolia bark tea: TerraVita Magnolia Bark Tea

  • Price: around $18
  • Ingredients: magnolia bark
  • Servings: 25

The only ingredient in these magnolia bark tea bags is magnolia bark. Many buyers write that this helps them fall asleep.

TerraVita writes that its products are manufactured in a Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP)-regulated facility.

A person can add milk and sugar to this tea to suit their taste.

Each package contains 25 servings.

Pros

  • buyers state it helps them fall asleep
  • tea bags are convenient to use
  • does not contain added ingredients
  • made in a cGMP-regulated facility

Cons

  • does not state whether ingredients are USDA-certified organic
  • does not state how much magnolia bark is in each tea bag

This tea may be suitable for people wishing to try natural magnolia bark to help them fall asleep.

Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan converts into substances that can aid in sleep, including serotonin and melatonin.

Studies comparing the effect of drinking milk before bedtime to improve sleep are lacking.

However, 2020 research concluded that a balanced diet that includes milk and dairy products is effective in improving a person’s sleep quality, although this did not look into whether the timing of consumption has an impact on sleep quality.

Unless a person is lactose intolerant or has a milk allergy, they may wish to try drinking warm milk before bed.

Almond milk is made of whole almonds and is widely available in supermarkets.

Almonds may have a high content of tryptophan. They also contain magnesium.

A 1-ounce portion of almonds contains 79.1 mg of magnesium.

A 2022 literature review found mixed results regarding the benefits of magnesium for sleep, but some studies produced results that supported this link.

However, almond milk is not suitable for people with a nut allergy.

Learn more about the benefits of almond milk here.

The table below compares each of the products in this article for price, ingredients, serving size, and more.

Best forMain ingredientsServingsPrice
Celestial Seasonings Chamomile Teachamomile teachamomile20around $17
Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Tea Extra Valerianvalerian tea blend• valerian root
• passionflower herb
• lemon balm leaf
• peppermint leaf
• caraway fruit
• licorice root
16around $13
Buddha Teas Valerian Root Teapure valerian teaorganic valerian root18around $9
Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm Teapure lemon balm tea blendlemon balm leaf16around $13
Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tealavender tea• rooibos leaf
• chamomile flower
• lemon balm leaf
• lemongrass
• spearmint leaf
• peppermint leaf
• lavender flower
• sage leaf
• passion flower plant extract
• lavender flavor
• lemon myrtle flavor
• stevia leaf
• organic vanilla flavor
• organic honey flavor
16around $16
Buddha Teas Organic Passion Flower Teapassionflower teaorganic passion flower18around $9
The Republic of Tea Daily Green Teabest decaf green teadecaffeinated Chinese green tea leaves50around $18
Whole Foods Market Organic Tart Cherry Juicecherry juicewater
tart cherry juice concentrate
4around $5
TerraVita Magnolia Bark Teamagnolia bark teamagnolia bark25around $18

A person should consider the following factors when choosing a drink to help them sleep:

  • Health claims: Buyers should research health claims companies make on their products before trying them. Some drinks for sleep are classed as supplements and are not FDA regulated. This means that products may not contain the ingredients the company claims, and the health effects may not be extensively researched.
  • Price: A person should consider how many servings a pack provides and how often they would like to have drinks to help them sleep, as some products can be more expensive than others. A person may find larger packs more cost-effective than smaller ones.
  • Flavor: Before buying a new product, a person should consider reviews from other buyers about the flavor of a product. Because many food products cannot be returned, a person should consider which flavors they like before buying a product.
  • Added ingredients: A person should avoid products with added sugars and caffeine. These ingredients may make drinks higher in calories, and they may make it harder for a person to fall asleep.

Some drinks may help people sleep, but others can act as stimulants and keep people awake. These may include:

Researchers regularly find links between the consumption of sugary drinks and poorer sleep quality.

A 2020 study of 462 females found that those who drank sugary energy drinks and high calorie coffee drinks reported poorer sleep quality than those who did not consume these drinks.

In children, removing sugary drinks from the diet can result in better sleep and emotional improvements, according to a 2022 study. However, this study removed sugary drinks from children’s diets for just 3 days. Studies over longer periods of time are needed to confirm the results of this experiment.

Urologists suggest that children avoid drinking fluids for 1–2 hours before going to bed. Drinking right before bedtime may cause people to wake up in the middle of sleep to urinate.

While it is common to have difficulty sleeping every now and then, if a person has insomnia more than three nights a week for more than 3 months, they may have chronic insomnia and should speak with a physician for help.

Additionally, a person should speak with a doctor if a lack of sleep interferes with their ability to concentrate, function at work or school, socialize, or engage in hobbies.

A person should seek medical advice if they develop reactions to herbal teas or other sleep products. They should immediately stop using any products they have a negative reaction to.

People sometimes use drinks to help them fall asleep. Chamomile and valerian are popular teas that people drink before bed, but other substances may also help. These include almond milk and cherry juice.

Although some drinks contain tryptophan or melatonin, which are known to improve sleep, researchers are unclear about how other drinks help people fall asleep. Further evidence is necessary to confirm whether these drinks are effective and safe for improving sleep.