In these crazy days, I’m sure I’m not the only one not sleeping well. I’m don’t like to take sleeping pills and found I needed something else other than straight chamomile tea. This recipe for sleepy time tea, which dates back to Colonial days, has become my new favorite nighttime tea. It takes more work than straight chamomile tea, but it’s worth it. This recipe is similar to one that Sarah Munro (the heroine in ONE DARK WISH, the second book in the Deadly Force series) found in her collection of 18th century herbal remedies. I just updated it with ingredients that are more widely available. I hope you enjoy it!

This is a loose-leaf tea made from dried ingredients that can be found on Amazon or in local health food stores. I included links to Mountain Rose Herbs, my favorite online herbal store.

Chamomile has been used for centuries to promote sleep and to settle nighttime tummy troubles. Note: if you’re allergic to ragweed or asters you may have a reaction to chamomile. So please talk to your doctor first.

Valerian is one of the most-tested herbs used for promoting sleep. It helps with stress-induced restlessness and calms the nervous system. It’s available in different forms (tincture, capsule, and dried herbs). I prefer it in loose-leaf tea form.

Lemon Balm has been used to help with sleep issues since the Middle Ages. It’s super easy to grow in the garden and has a pleasant, mild lemon flavor. You can steep the freshly-cut leaves as well as the dried leaves.

Hops has been proven to receive anxiety, insomnia, and nervous restlessness. A few studies have concluded that hops can also help reduce hot flashes in menopausal women that disrupt sleep. Hops are bitter, though, which is why it should be brewed with stevia or honey.

Catnip, with compounds similar to valerian, has been used for over 2000 years as a sleep promoter and sedative. Catnip also aids in settling indigestion but it is not recommended during pregnancy.

Sarah Munro’s Sleepy Time Tea


  • 2 Tablespoons dried chamomile
  • 1 Tablespoon valerian
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon balm
  • 1 Tablespoon hops
  • 1 Tablespoon catnip
  • 1 teaspoon honey or stevia

Combine all of these dried herbs in a small tea pot and 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for twenty minutes. Pour tea, through a tea strainer, into a mug. Add honey or stevia, if preferred.

Important disclaimer about wild plants, foraging, and making herbal remedies:

I am not a medical professional and nothing written on this blog is medical advice. None of my statements have been evaluated by the FDA (I am legally required to give you this disclaimer).

It is important to do your due diligence before foraging, harvesting, and/or consuming any type of medicinal plant.

  • If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about any potential drug interactions.
  • If you are allergic to anything, make sure whatever you are foraging is not in the same family. Example: While dandelions are typically considered safe, those who are allergic to ragweed, latex, daisies, or any other plants in the same or similar families, may not be able to consume dandelion.

Always research potential side effectsdosage recommendations, and how to properly prepare and consume each medicinal plant.

Always make sure you are foraging what you believe to be. Fully prepare and study the anatomy before harvesting wild plants.

Always make sure your kitchen/work area is clean and that all materials are sterilized.

Do not forage plants from areas that have been sprayed within the past 2 years at the very least.

I am not legally or morally responsible for the health of any of my readers. Please do your own research!

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