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How Long Does It Take for Chamomile Tea to Work?

Chamomile tea is a popular drink to have in the evening. Many people find that it helps them to relax and to fall asleep. That’s certainly been the case for us. Generally, we’ll have a cup somewhere between 1 and 2 hours before bed and often as we’re watching TV or reading. But you don’t have to wait an hour. So how long does it take for chamomile tea to work?

How long does chamomile tea take to kick in?

Chamomile takes around 45-minutes to kick in.

It’s worth bearing this in mind when you settle down in the evening. Some people prefer drinking it shortly before they retire to bed. Others will drink several cups throughout the evening.

We mentioned our routine above. Sometimes we’ll have two cups spread across an entire evening. We find it relaxing and comforting but it’s never sent us to sleep on the sofa.

Chamomile has a sedative effect but it’s not super strong. You won’t take a sip and then pass out. Think of it more as a calming tea to help you relax and get into the mindset for sleep. It has zero caffeine so you can drink it as late as you’d like to.

Is it safe to drink chamomile tea every night?

Chamomile is popular throughout the world.  It’s suitable for most people, but there are some exceptions.

  • Pregnant women should avoid chamomile during the third trimester of their pregnancy.
  • Consumption of chamomile can cause low birth weight and premature birth.
  • Chamomile can conflict with certain medications, too. Cyclosporine and warfarin, for example.

The National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health advice is to speak to a medical professional before drinking chamomile if you’re taking medication.

  • Avoid chamomile if you have an allergy to plants in the daisy family (marigolds, ragweeds, etc).

We’re not medical professionals and the above does not constitute medical advice so always check with your doctor or a trained healthcare practitioner if you’re on medication or believe you may be susceptible to side effects.

How does it work?

Chamomile is caffeine-free.  That’s one reason why it’s such a popular drink in the evening. It also contains an antioxidant called apigenin. Apigenin binds itself to the brain’s receptors to reduce anxiety and aid sleep.

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence about chamomile as a sleeping aid but relatively few studies prove it.  Although, there is a clinical link between chamomile and anxiety reduction.

Chamomile clearly helps people relax and that makes sense. Relaxation is important if you want to fall asleep. It’s worth a shot. That’s our opinion, anyway. Black teas like chai contain caffeine which can interfere with restful sleep so we tend to stick to herbal teas.

Unless you’re in an at-risk group, chamomile isn’t harmful. It has several benefits beyond its sedative properties. It can reduce inflammation and prove pain relief and it’s good for the skin. Some people also drink chamomile in the morning because they like its calming effect and find it beneficial for focus at work.

We’ve found that chamomile helps us relax and get to sleep faster in the evening. We don’t really care if it’s just a placebo or not because it’s the end result that matters.

Whether you’re steeping loose leaf tea in a teapot or dropping a bag into a mug, there’s something meditative about making chamomile (or any tea). The waiting for the tea to brew and the warmth of the cup or mug in your hand. The sound of the spoon tapping against the lip of the cup as you stir it. And of course, the beautiful aroma! This can also help people relax and feel more susceptible to feeling tired and ready for bed.

The best way to find out how long it takes for chamomile tea to work is to try it yourself. Make a cup between 45 and 60 minutes before bed and then adapt it to your nightly routine.