Does Drinking Chamomile Tea Really Help People Fall Asleep?

livescience.com | 8/18/2019 | Grant Currin
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Peter Rabbit had a rough day in Mr. McGregor's garden. As the bunny tried to fall asleep that night, Mrs. Rabbit, Peter's mom, knew just what he needed.

"His mother put him to bed and made some c[h]amomile tea, and she gave a dose of it to Peter! 'One table-spoonful to be taken at bedtime.'"

Author - Illustrator - Beatrix - Potter - Tale

English author and illustrator Beatrix Potter wrote "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" in 1902, but Mrs. Rabbit was far from the first mother to use the herb to try to help a child sleep.

Related: Why Can't We Remember Our Dreams?

Writings - Recordings - People - Chamomile - Treatment

"We've seen writings and recordings of people using chamomile as a treatment of sleep for hundreds if not thousands of years," Erik Zhou, a faculty member in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Live Science.

But does drinking chamomile actually make people sleepy? The jury is still out, scientifically speaking, but no matter what the clinical trials say, there may be reason to keep steeping.

Studies - Effect - Chamomile - Tea - Sleep

"Very few studies have analyzed the effect of chamomile tea [on sleep]. For insomnia, there are modest benefits," Zhou said, referring to a 2011 pilot study on people with chronic insomnia. Participants in the 28-day study took a capsule twice per day that contained either chamomile extract or a placebo. Though the study was small, it was randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled, so researchers are reasonably sure the results they saw were due only to the interactions between the chemicals in the chamomile extract and the participants' bodies.

The study didn't find conclusive evidence that chamomile helped participants sleep better than the control group. There were modest improvements in the time it took the volunteers who took the chamomile capsules to fall asleep and in the number of times they woke up at night, but the effect wasn't large, said study lead researcher...
(Excerpt) Read more at: livescience.com
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