Sweet Dreams Tea Recipe

Heather Dessinger

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Sanity is a moving target when parenting little ones, isn’t it? Just when you convince your older child that creatively blending the words “frog” and “yuck” is not a good idea, you discover that your toddlers new favorite trick is to dip his older brother’s toothbrush in the potty. (I wish I wasn’t speaking from personal experience here, but . . . )

While it’s inevitable that some days will not go as planned, I’ve developed a secret weapon against frazzled nerves – a little evening routine that wipes away the spills and disasters of the day, both for me and the potami.

It’s super simple, and although there’s a glaring omission I’m sharing it anyway. Ready? Here it is:

After toys are put away and pajamas are snuggled into, I let the older potami pick out an essential oil blend to place in the diffuser (They love this one, this one, but this one is their favorite. I love it, too, and often wear it as perfume.) After that we brew up some relaxing sweet dreams tea and I make a small snack – usually something with a lot of fat to help stabilize blood sugar throughout the night. (Think crackers and cheese, or a little sweet potato smothered in butter and cheese.)

As I shared in my post on 18 Science-Backed Tips For Deeper, Longer Sleep, I’m a huge fan of herbal teas before bed, especially when they’re blended with a few sleep enhancing ingredients. Until recently this was something I just did for myself, but the potami started requesting their own blends. Ummm, YES I CAN DO THAT, I said. (Because as you know, the few moments you have alone at night when the house is still are sacred.)

And so I did, and it’s worked so well that I thought I’d share two of our favorite recipes with you.

About The Ingredients

Before we get to the actual recipes, though, I want to explain why I chose each ingredient.

Calming Herbs

Catnip, chamomile, and passion flower are all gentle, kid-safe herbs with mild sedative qualities. In addition to their popularity among herbalists and even children’s books (remember how Peter Rabbits mom used to put him to bed with chamomile tea?), these herbs are now making their way into research.

According to this PubMed review, the sedative effects of chamomile may be due to a flavonoid called apigenin, while this study found that passion flower improved sleep quality when taken as a tea before bed.

Though not considered a sedative, one study showed that lavender’s aroma improved sleep in individuals suffering from insomnia. When brewed as a tea, lavender buds release their aroma while adding flavor.

Herbs For Flavoring

My son loves the fruity flavor of hibiscus and my daughter loves the sweet taste of licorice root, so I incorporated these flavors into their blends.


Grass-fed gelatin is rich in several amino acids, particularly glycine, that are thought to calm the body and promote healthy sleep. Here’s the brand I use.


As mentioned in this study, some experts believe that “a major function of sleep is to replenish glycogen stores in the brain that have been depleted during wakefulness.” While not formally studied, some people believe a little honey before bed supplies the liver with a boost in glycogen that helps the body complete this task, thus increasing how rested we feel in the morning. Of course, it tastes good, too.


If you crave salty and crunchy foods when you’re stressed, there’s a good reason for that. According to this study, salt improves our stress response. There is even some evidence to suggest that it raises or oxytocin – aka the feel good hormone – levels as well. (source)

As you know, stress hormones impair sleep, so anything we can do to reduce our stress load is helpful.

Now, Back To That Routine . . .

After we finish our tea, teefies are brushed and I flip on the Sleep Genius (which is what I switched to after ditching my white noise machine) and an essential oil diffuser.

We either use a red light night light on a timer in their room or I turn on this salt lamp so that they can read in bed. (And now you see the glaring omission – story time fail! Right now my toddler is just not cooperating with storytime, so we’ve taken a break from it.)

They’re usually asleep within minutes, which means I can turn the lamp off and start preparing babypotamus for bed. He’s always the holdout. πŸ™‚

Then it’s my turn to relax, hang out with Daddypotamus, and eventually brew my own cup of Sweet Dreams Tea to sip on while I journal for five minutes or so. Then it’s off to sleep for me!

Now, how about those recipes?


Chamomile & Licorice Blend

This mild, licorice-flavored blend is my daughter Katie’s favorite. It incorporates three calming herbs: catnip, chamomile and lavender. Rather than give exact amounts, I’m sharing the proportions with you so that you can make as small or large a batch as you’d like. You can use a teaspoon of each or a tablespoon – all you need to do is measure equal amount of each.

Two delicious recipes for herbal tea that encourage restful sleep #sleepytea #herbaltea

Passion Flower & Lavender Blend

This aromatic, slightly fruity blend is my son’s favorite. I usually make this blend using a tablespoon as my measurement, so that would be two tablespoons passion flower, one tablespoon lavender, two tablespoons catnip, etc.

2 parts passion flower (where to buy passion flower)
1 part lavender blossoms (where to buy lavender blossoms)
2 parts catnip (where to buy catnip)
1 part chamomile (where to buy chamomile flowers)
2 parts hibiscus flowers (where to buy hibiscus flowers)

Sweet Dreams Tea Recipe

I’ve found that consuming some form of healthy fat before bed is helpful for balancing blood sugar throughout the night, which seems to decrease night waking for me. I sometimes add butter to my chamomile blend, but I’m not a fan of it (or coconut oil) in the passion flower blend. On the nights we sip on Micah’s favorite (passion flower), I make sure to add a small snack such as raw cheese to the menu.

Sweet Dreams tea
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Sweet Dreams Tea Recipe

Calories 0kcal
Author Mommypotamus


  • 1 tsp chamomile & catnip blend (or passion flower & lavender blend)
  • grass-fed gelatin (I use about 1 tbsp per cup, both the regular gelatin which dissolves in hot liquids & hydrolysate which dissolves in cold liquids will work)
  • raw honey
  • pinch sea salt (I use a scant 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup water


  • Boil water and pour it into your mug. Add 1 teaspoon of your tea blend to a tea ball and place it in the mug. Allow to steep for 5-7 minutes, then add the other ingredients and enjoy.


Calories: 0kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

What helps your children relax before bedtime?

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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20 thoughts on “Sweet Dreams Tea Recipe”

  1. This sounds like a wonderful idea. My kids feel so special when I let them drink tea with me- and they love bedtime snacks- so this may form a new routine at our house. πŸ™‚

  2. Do you find that they become dependent on the tea or essential oils to sleep? I have always had routines with my kiddos that provided security and relaxation to their little minds and hearts. But was wondering if you use these other things if they become a necessity in order to sleep?

    • That’s a great question. I think the answer depends on how much structure a particular child seems to need. Mine are pretty flexible, so if we get home late and skip some of our routine they are fine as long as there are extra hugs and kisses before bed πŸ™‚

      The herbs themselves are not habit forming, so no worries there.

  3. Hi, how young can I start doing this tea blend? My son (2) is curious every time we drink tea now and I was wondering if I can start this? Maybe it can help him calm down before bed πŸ™‚

  4. There is something I don’t get, do you sleep with your cell phone in your bedroom? What about EMF disruption of the brain and especially developing brains? How can this be a good solution long-term? I’m confused about how healthy this is… would love to know what you think about EMF, especially in this case.

    • Hi Lala, here’s an excerpt from the article you may have missed: “Another thing to consider is that the speaker system is completely wired, which means it emits no radio-frequency EMFs. If your going to use the phone app, I suggest turning it to airplane mode before going to sleep.”

      While in airplane mode a phone is essentially the same thing as a wired speaker set. Like all electronic devices including alarm clocks, it does emit some emf’s. However, they are not the RF ones associated with cell phones and wifi. Still, to minimize exposure I keep our Sleep Genius on the opposite side of the room from where we sleep. Everyone will have a different comfort level, but for us the benefits far outweigh the downsides.

  5. Such sweet memories you are creating with your kiddos. I will be going to my local tea store tomorrow.

    Funny I am reading this at 1:12 am

  6. In your instructions did you realise it state boil water and pour it into your bug? Lol just thought you would like to know πŸ™‚

  7. Just curious…is this the same catnip that we give our kitten? That’s what I got when I clicked on the link you provided. Tea sounds great! Tks

  8. Hi Heather…
    Just curious about the use of gelatin in this preparation. What is the reason for this addition to the tea?
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! We have been looking for something safe and non-medicinal for my 82 yr
    old mom who is starting to have trouble getting to sleep at night. This looks like the perfect thing to try.