Millions of Americans suffer from poor sleep. Sleep disturbances can be caused by a variety of things including sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. Poor sleep can also be a sign of other health problems including high blood pressure and nervous system disorders.
Fortunately, tea is an excellent remedy for sleep deprivation and can help you get a good night's sleep. Here we'll explore the benefits of banana tea for sleep. The mineral and fiber content may help combat late-night sleep struggles. Plus, we'll offer a tasty recipe to brew this tea plus other clinically-proven sleep aid teas you can try instead.
Banana peels became famous as a sleep aid years ago when it was featured on popular talk shows including Rachel Ray and Dr. Oz (1)(2). Experts recommended chewing on the banana peels as a bedtime snack to help alleviate symptoms of insomnia and to improve sleep.
Like many fads, other experts came out suggesting that eating banana peels may not be the best idea (3). That's because bananas are among the crops that are most heavily sprayed with pesticides. You can avoid negative side effects from pesticides by using only organic bananas.
Some research shows that bananas may help improve sleep due to its magnesium and potassium content. Experts think magnesium and potassium work by decreasing inflammation in blood vessels and increasing relaxation.
One study conducted by the USDA found that 58 percent of patients who suffered from insomnia also had low levels of magnesium. These patients were consuming less than the Estimated Average Requirement of magnesium in a healthy diet. Researchers found a high probability of a connection between low magnesium and poor sleep (4).
A second study found that a combination of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc helped to improve sleep in a clinical trial. The study consisted of 43 participants who took a placebo or a mixture of 5 milligrams melatonin, 225 milligrams magnesium, and 11.25 milligrams zinc.
Participants took the substance every day for eight weeks an hour before bed. Researchers found the patients who took the supplement had significantly improved sleep and better focus the following day (5). Melatonin is a known sleep aid, so more research is needed to attribute these sleep benefits to the presence of magnesium.
A third study conducted in Germany and published in Sleep found that magnesium helped to improve sleep in people who suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS). The study was a small study consisting of 10 patients with mild to moderate RLS. Patients who took magnesium reported longer sleep time and better sleep (6).
While the research is not conclusive, there is some evidence that bananas and magnesium may help to improve sleep quality. Instead of eating the banana peel where most of the magnesium is located, try a banana tea. It's tastier and easier to digest than simply gnawing on the peel. Use the following recipe top brew up a cup of banana tea. All you need are a couple items you probably already have in your kitchen: water and whole bananas.
1. Rinse the banana and peel in warm water. Cut the ends of the banana off using a sharp kitchen knife.
2. Place the entire banana—including the peel—into a small saucepan. Pour water on top. Tap water may contain chemicals that can alter the flavor of tea and produce negative side effects so use only spring water or filtered water.
3. Bring the small pot of water to a rapid boil.
4. Remove from heat and steep the banana in the boiling water for 15 minutes.
5. Strain the banana and pour the tea concentrate into a teacup. Add the cinnamon and milk or a dash of agave or honey if desired.
If you suffer from severe sleep disorders including insomnia and depression, you should seek medical advice before trying tea as a sleep aid. For severe cases, sleeping pills may be a more effective treatment option.
Research is still inconclusive on whether banana tea actually works as a home remedy for sleep. While ripe banana peels do contain some of the best minerals including magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C, these compounds may not be as prevalent in brewed tea. If you're interested and want to make banana tea, we recommend drinking it for the mild and unique flavor rather than for specific health benefits.
For mild to moderate sleep problems, drinking tea may help to induce relaxation and promote better rest. In addition to banana peel tea, you can try lavender tea or chamomile tea, which have been clinically proven to offer natural soothing effects. Our Sleepy Time Mint Tea targets stress hormones to boost relaxation and improve sleep.
Peppermint tea and lemongrass tea may also be an effective sleep remedy since they help to decrease inflammation and reduce pain so you can get restful sleep. These teas can also help you wake up with more energy by increasing the time spent in deep sleep cycles. Boil water and pour yourself a cup of tea to boost relaxation. Settle into better sleep with one of these teas backed by medical research.