The end of every day is the body’s chance to rest and nurture itself. And as 16th-century author Thomas Dekker writes, “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” While there is still much speculation in the science community regarding the reasons behind the body’s need for sleep, two things are true: after a good night’s sleep, we are happier, are more alert, and have more energy; after a bad night’s sleep, we are tired, cranky, have trouble concentrating, and our immunity is compromised. Practicing good sleep hygiene can definitely help, which includes turning to our herbal allies when we need extra support. To address those occasional nights of sleeplessness, our herbalists formulated two teas: Nighty Night® and Nighty Night® Valerian. Read below to find out which one is best for you.
“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” –Thomas Dekker
In Western Herbalism, practitioners have commonly used herbs like passionflower, chamomile and catnip to help people relax. Based off that traditional use, our herbalists formulated our Nighty Night tea blend, one of our original, best-selling teas since 1974. This tea puts passionflower in the spotlight as the chief active ingredient. Also known as maypop, this exotically flowered vine is a gentle sedative to slow your body down and a nervine to help support your nervous system.* This strikes the perfect combination to help you get to sleep and get a good night’s rest.*
This blend also features the tried and true chamomile flower, a classic bedtime remedy. Used for centuries by herbalists worldwide to help calm the nervous system, reduce restlessness and ease digestion,* chamomile is one of the most accessible and pleasant-tasting herbs in herbalism. The ancient Egyptians adored this herb so much they offered it as a gift to their gods. Catnip also serves as an active herb in the blend. While catnip’s scent might stimulate your cats, it will put humans straight into relaxation mode.* Medieval herbalists of Europe would use this herb for a variety of purposes, including as an ingredient in soups and stews, which is why catnip is often called a “pot herb.”
In addition to passionflower, chamomile and catnip, Nighty Night also includes linden and hops to promote relaxation,* along with spearmint, lemon verbena, lemon peel and lemongrass for flavor. This tasty and beneficial herb combination is minty, mildly bitter and sweet with pleasant notes of citrus and spice.
Nighty Night Valerian
If you’re looking for something a little stronger, we also have Nighty Night Valerian, which can mellow you out to get quality sleep with the extra power of valerian.* Valerian is a popular herb that was first recorded as useful for occasional sleeplessness by Greeks in the 2nd century. Its roots are notorious for their musky smell and for attracting cats as much as catnip.
Valerian has been widely used as a gentle sedative since the 1700s and is considered one of nature’s great sleep aids.* In our Nighty Night Valerian blend, valerian works wonderfully together with fellow relaxing herbs passionflower and lemon balm, complemented by peppermint, caraway and licorice for a mildly bittersweet, earthy and minty taste. Similar formulas have long been used in Europe.
Treat yourself to a good sleep
Our two Nighty Night teas have different active herbs; since every body’s chemistry is different, you may find that one tea works better for you than another. In our modern era, practicing good sleep hygiene and getting a good night’s rest is paramount to good health. On those occasional nights when you find yourself staring at the ceiling and counting sheep doesn’t seem to work, turn to herbal allies like passionflower, chamomile, catnip and valerian to help.
For a deeper look into our herbal teas, check out the Tea & More section of Plant Power Journal.