Sleep seems to be one of the basic needs that people can’t get enough of, especially in this day and age. We live in an era where people stay up later, wake up earlier and are so busy in between that they don’t get much rest. In addition, now more than ever, people are surrounded by things that actually inhibit getting a good night’s sleep, like the blue lights coming from televisions, computers, iPads and phones that suppress the secretion of melatonin and shift circadian rhythms (Harvard). Because interrupted sleep leads to brain fog and fatigue, people spend a lot of time trying different medicines, remedies and exercises to quiet the mind and to induce sleep. It turns out that one of the safest sleep remedies has been used to help people get a full night’s rest for thousands of years. Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used and well documented medicinal plants in the world and has been recommended for a variety of healing applications (Chamomile).
What is it About Chamomile?
Chamomile has been shown to ease anxiety and stress by calming the mind. The dried flowers of chamomile contain flavonoids (powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits), that contribute to its medicinal properties and aid in sleep. Chamomile is something that is versatile because it can be used at any age and in multiple forms.
As an Essential Oil
In infants and toddlers, using it as an essential oil, either diffused or rubbed on the bottom of the feet is ideal, though it is certainly beneficial in this form at all ages. Chamomile, as an essential oil, was used in a study on aromatherapy on patients in intensive care and it, combined with Lavender and Neroli, was found to reduce the anxiety levels and improve the sleep quality of patients in intensive care.
As a Tea
Drinking it as a tea provides comfort and a relaxing routine for those a tad bit older than a toddler, though it can be given cooled, as a tea, to those younger. Some parents have even cooled it and put it in a dropper to give to infants. One recent study done in February of 2016, found that drinking Chamomile tea significantly lowers physical symptoms related to sleep inefficiency.