“‘This will give you dreamless sleep,’ Maester Luwin said as he pulled the stopper from the jar. ‘Sweet, dreamless sleep.'” -A Clash of Kings

Sweetsleep Infusion Mixture

This post will benefit from a small bit of back story.

Several months ago, after suffering from bouts of fitful sleeping, I sought a remedy in the form of the huge bulk herb bins at a local co-op. I played around with a few combinations, finally settling on the one below. Then, being one of the biggest geeks I know, I started referring to it as “Sweetsleep”.

This version of Sweetsleep is true to its name, if not strictly like the concoction described in the books. The biggest difference: ours won’t result in death. I’d say that’s a pretty good improvement. It does, however, result in a nice knockout sleep (although not strictly dreamless), and is absolutely delicious with honey.

And for extra fun, why not get a fabulous IatC  Sweetsleep Jar to put it in?

Sweetsleep Recipe

Cook’s Notes: I usually just wing the amounts on this one, with a pinch here and there, going by intuition. However, that makes for a lousy recipe, so the measurements below should be just about right.


  • 3 Tbs. dried chamomile
  • 3-5 small dried rosebuds
  • 2 tsp. willow bark
  • 2 tsp. lemonbalm
  • 1 tsp. valerian
  • 1 tsp. saigon cinnamon, or a cinnamon stick to stir with
  • honey to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium teapot, then add 3-4 cups of boiling water. Allow to steep for several minutes, then pour through a strainer into serving mugs. Adjust sweetness to taste with honey, and enjoy!

Makes enough for ~ 3 small mugs.

Leave a Reply

  1. A bit of a nitpick perhaps, but I have to ask why you added willow bark?
    It´s a good against pain and fever – being the natural version of aspirin – but as far as I know it has no sedative properties at all. Then again, if the insomnia was caused by a head-cold it certainly wont hurt to ease that.

    And yet another one; most of the active substances in Valerian is destroyed by boiling water, so to increase the effect you might try leting it soak in lukewarm water during the day, thed add to the rest of the slightly cooled-down infusion in the evening.

    • I can see the addition of willowbark. For me, the minor aches and pains I don’t feel until I lie down for the night are one of the things that sometimes keep me from drifting off.

  2. How long should this be steeped for? “Several minutes” is a bit vague. I’m a big tea drinker and the temperature and length of time a tea steeps is a determining factor in how well a tea is properly infused (so that it doesn’t come out bitter or weak). For an herbal tea, usually with boiling water, between 5-6 minutes is appropriate. This recipe strikes me as being an herbal tea, but chamomile can sometime be a white tea, which is best with 175 degree water and only steeped for 2 minutes. What’s the right amount of time?

    • Since you sound particular in your tea/infusion preparations, I’d say to steep to taste. I’ve steeped it for just over a minute, but also let it steep overnight, topped off with new water, and enjoyed it just as much. It’s all about your personal preferences!

  3. A few folks (like myself) have a reaction to valerian–while we do sleep, our rest is plagued by bizarre and intense dreams. Not so sweet.

  4. Do you find, with this amount of Valerian, that it is still palatable? Is the smell or taste overpowering at all or is it masked well?

    • I don’t think that the valerian is especially strong. However, depending on the freshness and potency of yours, you may wish to cut back on the proportion to suit your taste.

  5. I really want to try making this. I love tea, and have always had terrible difficulty sleeping. I was surprised to find that a tincture of valerian actually did improve my quality of sleep a bit, since most things don’t, apart from prescription medications, and only certain ones.

    So I’m definitely going to try this when I can get my hands on the rest of the herbs I need, because it sounds nice. And also, I can pretend I am a Lady of Westeros when I drink it. ;)

  6. um.. question (and I’m sorry if it’s a dumb one, but I’m sorta knew to this whole making your own tea business): are the willow bark, lemon balm, and valerian dried as well, and if not, will it make a difference if I use dried instead of fresh?

    • You can probably use a smidge less of the measurements if you have access to fresh ingredients, but I used all dried when I wrote up the recipe. Let me know how it turns out!

  7. Is this recipe per cup or per batch? I’m thinking of making some for my sister in law who is having troubles sleeping.

    • I think that could be very nice and calming. Hops are a sedative, too, but I’d only add a little of those. :)

  8. Damiana can be added as well but can also substitute for the valerian for those who have reactions. Damiana has a sweet scent and taste and also works to relax in dream pillows.