'Since childhood, I've had difficulty sleeping. Then I discovered a $3.50 hack.'

I have a new evening companion, and it’s a cute brown teddy bear in a red sleeping cap.

No, I’m not regressing to cuddling soft toys while in my 30s (although it does seem comforting), but rather, I’ve found an insomnia remedy that is natural, cheap and also delicious.

Sleepytime Tea by Celestial Seasonings has an adorable illustration of a sleeping brown bear on their packaging, and it was this vintage drawing that first caught my eye.

Since childhood, I’ve had difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. I’ve tried many different remedies, but usually with no luck or unpleasant side effects.

Some herbal treatments have given me weird dreams and taste horrible. Other methods are time-consuming, such as meditation, or just plain strange (ever listened to the Sleep With Me podcast at 2am and then questioned your entire life?).

I’ve also tried prescription medication, and maybe my brain is stubborn, because they haven’t worked, either.

So, I’m sure you can understand that after I bought a box of Sleepytime Tea ($3.29 for a box of 20 at IGA), it stayed unopened in my cupboard for months, because I just didn’t believe it would work.

Finally, after a particularly bad bout of insomnia, I decided it was Sleepytime, and brewed a cup of the tea.


A lovely surprise was that Sleepytime Tea smelt good as it brewed, and it actually tasted delicious, too. Although it contains chamomile (which to me always tastes like rotten dirt), it has a sweet, fruity and fresh flavour, thanks to the ingredients of spearmint, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms and rosebuds.

The overall sensation of drinking the tea is one of cosiness and peace.

And lo and behold, a dreamy, dozy sensation stole over me. Yes, I actually felt sleepy at night. As an insomniac, this was a triumph, as usually I want to bound around drawing rainbows, eating lollies and listening to Ariana Grande.

These two elements of the Sleepytime Tea – the ritual of brewing and drinking it, and the drowsiness – combined to send me off into the Land of Nod.

The Sleep Health Foundation recommends establishing a relaxing sleep routine before going to bed, as a good sleep habit. It made sense, then, that my experience of brewing Sleepytime Tea felt like a positive step towards a decent kip.

Video by MWN

It’s a routine that you may have noticed in your favourite movies or TV shows, as Sleepytime Tea scores mentions in everything from Gilmore Girls to Scott Pilgrim vs The World. It was the original celebrity tea, with the added bonus that it has nothing to do with weight loss and everything to do with self-care.

That warm, sleepy feeling may have been due to the herbal blend of the tea.

Chamomile, mint and lemongrass are popular home remedies to induce relaxation, though studies still remain inconclusive as to whether they actually work.

Whatever the case, I’m just happy to feel sleepy and ready for bed.

This is not a sponsored post. Carla just really, really likes Sleepytime tea. 

What are your best remedies for falling asleep and staying asleep?

Carla Gee is a writer and illustrator, living in Canberra. You can follow her on Instagram, @bycarlagee.