Diuretics spur the body to expel water as urine, waking us up in the middle of the night. And of course, since tea is mostly water, it just tends to move through us quickly.
This is why I tell clients to drink their final tea for the day by 7 p.m. As my teacher and mentor, the herbalist Michael Moore of the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, told us time and again: “You have to meet the herbs halfway.”
Although any tea has the potential to wake you up, years of working with clients have taught me that chamomile tends to do so the most—and it’s ubiquitous in sleep tea formulas. Other calming herbs, such as lemon balm, rose petals, tulsi, and oatstraw are mildly diuretic but they are less likely to wake you up at night.