How long does chamomile tea take to make you sleepy and tired? If you are like me, drinking a cup of chamomile tea here and there, you’ve probably heard of the sleep benefits of chamomile tea, and you also wonder when to drink it to get the most out of it.
Luckily, you are on this site and I’ve done the research for you. When I tried to find out the answer to this I expected to just search for “how long does it take for chamomile tea to work?” and get an immediate and definite response. Well, that was not the case. Someone had to do this job, and here’s the result.
Quick Answer: It takes 1 to 1.5 hours for chamomile tea to induce sleep. This duration varies based on how much you drink and how fast your body handles the sleep-inducing substances.
But how did I get to this answer? My approach was to find out which are the main sleep-inducing substances contained in chamomile, find out how they work, and then find out how long the substances take to make you sleepy.
Of course, this is not a research study, but I tried to stick to current chamomile research papers and established health resources as much as I could.
In this article, we’re going to cover:
- How does chamomile tea work?
- How long does it take for chamomile tea to make you sleepy?
So let’s find out: How long does it take for chamomile tea to make you sleepy? First, we’ll take a look at the substances contained in chamomile tea. They are our candidates for further investigation. Let’s find out how they work.
How does chamomile tea work?
Here’s a quick list of the relevant substances chamomile tea interacts with that we’ll take a look at:
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a scientist to follow along. I’ll try to explain everything as good as I can. Interestingly, chamomile tea interacts with many more substances in our body but researchers didn’t investigate all of them yet. Anyways, let’s start with the first one.
How does Apigenin in chamomile tea work?
Chamomile tea contains apigenin. The natural plant flavonoid apigenin is a strong antioxidant, a substance that protects your cells against the negative effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules your body produces during the digestion of food.
Research has shown that there must be a balance between free radicals and antioxidants so your body can work properly. An overwhelming amount of free radicals in your body causes a condition called oxidative stress which causes various diseases. They alternate your cell structure and harm your DNA.
As a strong antioxidant, apigenin comes in handy. By drinking chamomile tea, you balance your antioxidant and free radicals.
One study I found interesting proposed a theory that states that free radicals are wiped out during your sleep. That means sleep functions as an antioxidant as well.
Sleep, antioxidants and free radicals are somehow connected. Another study investigated the interconnection and found that people with high sleep quality have balanced antioxidant and oxidative stress levels (caused by free radicals).
With all that knowledge, we can now understand the importance of Apigenin as a sleep-promoting substance in chamomile tea.
Chamomile tea reduces ACTH levels
ACTH is known to have an impact on your sleep. ACTH levels are high when your body is stressed. That is one of the reasons you can’t sleep when you are stressed out. Also, ACTH levels are 71% higher for poor sleepers. There’s a definite connection between ACTH and sleep. By the way: ACTH is the hormone that tells the adrenal gland to produce cortisone which causes insomnia.
Research has shown that chamomile decreases the ACTH levels in your body. It is good for your sleep quality and also acts as a stress-reducer.
The mixed effects of chamomile tea on sleep
When researching this in-depth, I found that lots of substances in chamomile tea and their consequences for your sleep are still unknown. It is crazy how long humanity knows chamomile tea (it must be thousands of years), yet we don’t know that much of it.
Some researchers state that chamomile tea has no effects on sleep at all. However, I guess they investigated the substances as pure extracts and missed the whole picture.
At a minimum, chamomile tea provides the sleep-inducing benefits of all teas:
- It relieves muscle strain and stiffness (it’s a warm liquid)
- It’s a great bedtime routine
- It hydrates your body
These three benefits of chamomile tea are completely missed by researchers because they get lost in the details of chamomile tea substances.
I love to drink chamomile tea as a bedtime routine. Because it became a habit, my brain automatically knows that whenever I’m drinking chamomile tea, I’m getting ready for bed and I’m becoming tired. Awesome!
How long does it take for chamomile tea to make you sleepy?
For all the sleep-inducing effects to kick in, you need to give your chamomile tea some time. As you’ve just learned chamomile tea induces sleep on different levels. Each of those levels needs some time to kick in.
So: How long does it take for chamomile tea to work?
We can find out the optimum time to drink it before going to bed by estimating how long each sleep-inducing factor needs to work.
Because chamomile tea is a liquid, you can digest it quickly. How fast exactly depends on the emptiness of your stomach. In general, the emptier your stomach is, the faster chamomile tea is digested. As a measurement of liquid absorption, we can use alcohol, which reaches your bloodstream within only a few minutes. This value is similar for all other liquids.
Here’s how long it takes for the single sleep-inducing factors of chamomile tea to make you sleepy:
- Instantly: Chamomile tea immediately hydrates your body
- 5 minutes: The heat of it soothes you and relieves muscle stiffness
- 30 minutes: The substances of chamomile tea start relieving stress and induce sleep
- Up to 1 hour: As a bedtime ritual, chamomile tea tells your body to become tired. This takes some more time but it’s the strongest effect.
After that time, chamomile tea makes you sleepy. So, it takes one hour for chamomile tea to work.
But before going to bed, you should give yourself some extra time to calm down and let the tiredness work in your favor.
Our recommended answer is: It takes 1 hour to 1.5 hours for chamomile tea to make you sleepy.
How much chamomile tea should you drink for sleep? For sleep, you can drink 1-2 cups of chamomile tea. The more tea you drink, the more sleep-inducing substances you get. However, drinking too much tea before going to bed will cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. If one or two cups of tea are not enough for you, and you want to avoid consuming too much liquid before going to bed, you can try using chamomile capsules (click here to check the pricing on amazon).
How much chamomile tea is too much? In general, chamomile tea is a safe tea. Too much chamomile consumption can cause problems for some people. Chamomile can cause allergic reactions for people who are already allergic to other grass-like plants. In general, 1-2 cups of tea can’t harm you.
Now you know how long it takes – The Outline
Chamomile tea is a great drink before bed! It relieves stress, is a soft natural tranquilizer and makes a perfect evening ritual.
In general, we can say that it takes 1 to 1.5 hours for chamomile tea to work. This time is an intelligent guess that you can make by looking at the different substances in chamomile tea and finding out how chamomile tea makes you sleepy. Then we could estimate how long each sleep-inducing effect of chamomile tea takes to make you sleepy.
While the tea gets absorbed by your body nearly instantly (because it’s a liquid), other factors take more time: The absorption and effects of the nutrients in chamomile tea take half an hour or more.
Drinking one or two cups one hour before going to bed makes sure that you get the right amount of healthy substances. If you feel like you need more of it, getting chamomile capsules is a better choice than drinking more tea.
There’s not only Chamomile – Find out more about other Natural Sleep Remedies
Hold on – for falling asleep there’s not just chamomile tea, there are a lot more herbs, fruits, and nuts, so-called natural sleep remedies, that help you fall asleep. I have compiled a complete list of 47 Natural Sleep Remedies You Have to Know that you need to take a look at!
I’ve explained every single natural sleep remedy and how it works! The ones that personally surprised me the most are St. John’s wort, tart cherry juice, and the kiwi fruit! But there are a lot more and I’m sure you’ll find a great natural sleep aid that suits you.
Nevertheless, I hope you found this article about how long it takes for chamomile tea to make you sleepy helpful!
Feel free to share it with your friends, your parents, your chamomile-tea loving grandparents.
Personally, I think that people miss out on natural sleep aids like chamomile tea way too often. Start drinking chamomile tea today!