I come from a family of terrible sleepers. My mom, my dad, my brothers, aunts, uncles, and just about everyone I know in my family are terrible sleepers. For a long time I thought this was normal and there was nothing I could do about it. And then, as a nursing mother with two babies, sleepless nights turned into exhausting days and I entered into this world of extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Brain fog, irritability, fragility, oh my! I found myself thinking, "If I don't start sleeping, I will go mad." (I was already mad by that point and so stressed that I was on my way to developing an autoimmune disease, but I didn't know that at the time.) So I decided to start researching sleep and was shocked to discover many people did NOT have sleep trouble. In fact, many people slept well every night. My one night a month of good sleep was not normal, apparently.
Still slightly skeptic, I started looking into what I could do to improve my sleep cycles. I found that dietary changes, light, noise, and nightly routines had the biggest impact on my sleep. Today, it is rare for me to go a night unrested. I no longer wake up at 2:00am or 4:00am, nor do I lie for hours staring at the ceiling. One of the first changes I made was to my diet and routine. I started experimenting with tea blends and seeing how much of a relaxing punch I could pack into my herbal blends. I also experimented with tastes and found I prefer earthy, vegetal teas to fruity or floral teas. This is the tea I have every night. I grow or forage everything in it.
Nightly Relaxation Tea
3 parts Lemon Balm
3 parts Catmint
1 part Reishi
1 part Tulsi
I like to use fresh herbs whenever I can, although I dry it to preserve it for the winter months.