If you find it difficult to fall asleep—but you don’t want to take medication—there are some pretty great teas and herbal remedies you can try to help you drift off instead.
Since October is the month for all things witchy and magical, we thought it’d be fun to put together a list of the best sleeping potions to sip when you’re struggling to snooze.
Keep reading to find out which ingredients to try for better sleep, and get recipes for sleep potions that are so effective, you might wonder if someone put a spell on you.
Ingredients to look for in sleeping potions
“Generally, people are not getting enough sleep because they are nutritionally deprived and because something doesn’t feel good emotionally during the day,” says Noah Berman, psychic and expert in the natural product industry, who’s helped formulate sleep supplements like Proper. “I like working with herbs that have a dual purpose because it more easily breaks the pattern.”
In addition to classic ingredients like chamomile, Berman also likes California poppy as well as some other lesser-known ingredients that are backed by science.
Here, he shares some of the ingredients he recommends for clients he does readings for, as well as for clients who are looking to experience more vivid dreams.
- Chamomile: Chamomile tea is popular for good reason. It has repeatedly been shown in clinical trials to improve the quality of sleep. Experts believe this is because it contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which helps reduce anxiety.
- Spearmint: One study found that spearmint was helpful for elderly people when it came to memory functioning and falling asleep.
- L-Theanine: Berman explains that L-Theanine is an “amino acid extract from green tea that is found to help with sleep.” This is perhaps why you see it in so many over-the-counter sleep aids.
- California poppy: Berman says this ingredient can be found in a few sleep formulas that come in tablet or dropper form. Herbalists also recommend it for more restorative sleep.
- Lemon balm: Berman says lemon balm “has been used for centuries and has strong evidence to support use in reducing stress, improving mood, and support sleep.” He does note that he doesn’t find it very strong when used solo. He likes to include it alongside other ingredients “because of its unique way of creating relaxation without any sort of grogginess or fuzziness.”
- Rafuma plant: Berman says this one was used in Proper, the supplement he helped formulate, and is a traditional Chinese medicinal ingredient. “It boosts levels of GABAs [a neurotransmitter in your brain] at night to promote relaxation and helps support serotonin levels throughout the day which supports mood,” he explains.
Recipes for magic sleep potions
While the amount of actual magic is questionable, these recipes definitely contain ingredients that have been proven to help with falling and staying asleep. Whip them up in your kitchen-no cauldron required.
Peppermint, lavender, and passionflower sleepy-time tea
With ingredients like chamomile, peppermint, and valerian root, this sleepy-time tea recipe is sure to help you get some solid Z’s. It also contains lavender, a proven sleep booster, and passionflower, to enhance the taste. Add in a little honey if you want it to be sweeter.
Chamomile and licorice sweet dreams tea
This mom found the perfect solution to helping her kids fall asleep at night. Combining chamomile, lavender blossoms, and licorice root, she noted that her daughter is now absolutely in love with this dreamy tea. In addition to the benefits of chamomile and lavender, licorice root has been found to help patients fall asleep faster without side effects.
Magical bedtime tea potion
With cinnamon, chamomile, rose petals, and lavender, this witchy brew will help you channel your favorite fall vibes as you’re falling fast asleep. It also has almond milk, vanilla bean, and honey, making it a bit of a thicker, more nourishing consistency so you’ll feel extra cozy while enjoying it.
Calming marshmallow rose tea
This calming tea contains marshmallow root, which has been shown to be very soothing and even reduce the effects of heartburn. It also contains rose, holy basil, and lots of cinnamon-making it perfect for the fall season.
Banana and lemon sleep tea
Bananas contain magnesium and potassium, both of which have been proven to improve sleep. In addition to banana, this sleep tea has lemon balm and fennel seed, which increases relaxation and relieves nausea and muscle aches. Finish the drink with a cinnamon stick to help balance your blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Interested in more sleep-enhancing recipes? Check out our guides to the best smoothies for sleep and the best sleep spell jar recipes next.