Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep or maintain a sleep state, resulting in insufficient sleep. Common symptoms of insomnia are falling asleep difficulty, poor sleep quality, reduced sleep time, decreased memory and attention, etc.
Insomnia is usually caused by mental stress, psychological factors, some chronic diseases, etc. Long-term insomnia can cause immune dysfunction and endocrine dysfunction, which often brings great pain and psychological burden to patients, and also the abuse of insomnia drugs will damage other aspects of the body.
At present, the healthy ways to treat insomnia are psychological counseling, relaxation therapy, and diet therapy.
Diet therapy mainly includes eating more serotonin-rich foods and the foods that can calm the nerves. In traditional Chinese medicine, there are many Chinese herbal teas that can calm the nerves and regulate emotion to treat insomnia, and the side effects of the teas are far less than that of chemical medicines.
Here are some teas for sleep improvement:
1. Valerian tea/Xie Cao tea
Valerian is widely distributed in Asia and Europe. In China, valerian is used as a traditional Chinese herb called Xie Cao to treat palpitation, insomnia, neurasthenia, mental disorder, etc.
It has a sedative effect, which can strengthen the inhibition process of the cerebral cortex and reduce reflex excitability so that it can help to lower anxiety and to fall asleep.
Besides, valerian can increase the production of GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid), which is a brain chemical that can soothe the nerves and body.
Valerian tea is made from the dried root of valerian. It has a bitter and astringent taste, so when drinking it, it’s better to add some sugar or honey.
Because of the strong efficacy of valerian, it is better not to continuously drink valerian tea for 2-3 weeks or drink it in large quantities. Excessive intake may raise blood pressure and cause a headache.
2. Passionflower tea/Xi Fan Lian tea
Passionflower is native to Brazil and later grown in South America, South Africa, Southeast Asian countries, etc.
In China, passionflower has been listed as a traditional Chinese medicine called Xi Fan Lian. It is often used to treat neuralgia, insomnia, menstrual pain, and dysentery.
Passionflower is rich in 17 kinds of essential amino acids and 160 kinds of beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, protein, and trace elements.
It is a natural tranquilizer, which has a good effect on relaxing and calming nerves. It can also treat headaches, stomachache, and palpitation caused by nervous tension.
Passionflower tea is made from the dried leaves or the fresh leaves of passionflower. Just boil them for a few minutes to drink.
3. Longan tea/Dragon Eye Tea
Longan also called Dragon Eye is a precious fruit with high medicinal value.
In China, longan is not only considered as a fruit, but also a traditional Chinese medicine called Long Yan. Long means “Dragon” and Yan means “Eye”. Longan meat and longan shells are both traditional Chinese medicine.
As early as the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), longan was given to the emperor and nobles as a tribute fruit due to its rich nutrition. It can treat palpitation, dizziness, insomnia, and can also nourish blood and calm the nerves.
Longan tea is made from longan meat. It is usually mixed with wolfberry (Goji) which is also a Chinese medicinal herb.
Not only is longan tea suitable for the insomniac, but it is also helpful for people who need recovery after illness or who have a weak body.
4. Platycladi seed tea/Bo Zi Ren tea
Platycladi seed is a traditional Chinese medicine called Bo Zi Ren. In autumn and winter, the mature seeds of platycladi are harvested, dried, and removed the seed coat to be made into finished herbal medicine.
Platycladi seed has the effects of nourishing the heart, calming the nerves, moistening the intestines and relieving perspiration. It can treat palpitation, insomnia, intestinal dryness, constipation, and night sweat.
Making platycladi seed tea: take 15-20g of platycladi seed, put it in a thermos bottle, and let it steep with boiling water for 15 minutes.
5. Lily bulb tea/Bai He tea
Lily bulb called Bai He in Chinese Pinyin is a traditional Chinese medicine made from the bulb of Lilium brownii. There are at least 120 varieties of Lily discovered worldwide, of which 55 species are produced in China.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the lily bulb has the function of calming the nerves, which is often used to treat insomnia, dreaminess, and it also has the effects on moistening the lungs, clearing heat, treating cough and dizziness.
Lily bulb can be brewed together with honeysuckle and chrysanthemum, or add some sugar or honey to make into tea. It is not only medicinal but also edible because it contains rich starch. In China, people often cook lily porridge and lily soup for health care.
6. Suan Zao Ren tea
Suan Zao Ren also called Spina Date Seed is the seed of Ziziphus jujuba (Wild Jujube) and it is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine.
Suan Zao Ren contains alkaloids, various amino acids, and mineral elements, etc. It has good functions of sedation, hypnosis, analgesia, anticonvulsion, enhancing immune function, etc.
With the accelerated pace of modern life and pressure of the work, the number of products based on Suan Zao Ren has increased significantly due to its calming effect.
Making Suan Zao Ren tea: grind Suan Zao Ren into powder, take 4-6g of the powder, and brew it with boiling water to drink.
Suan Zao Ren is usually used with Fu Ling (Poria cocos), Dang Gui (Chinese angelica), Yuan Zhi (Polygala tenuifolia), which has a better effect on treating insomnia.