Last Updated: July 26, 2018
It’s been a hard, long day and you’re looking forward to two things: getting home and a warm cup of green tea before bed.
The question is: should you really be drinking that cup of tea before heading off to the magical land of Sleep? Are there any negative side-effects to drinking tea at night? The answer is “yes and no”, it really depends on a few variables…
Black tea, green tea or white tea leaves all contain caffeine – a stimulant you probably want to avoid before bedtime. But drinking tea before bed can also be a great way to sooth your soul, relax your mind, and help you drift off to sleep – it’s just a matter of drinking the right kind.
Choosing a tea for drinking before bedtime
Between all of the main types of tea (green, oolong, black, white, puerh, yellow), they can all contain different amounts of caffeine, but the exact quantities can vary.
As a general rule of thumb, matcha will have the most caffeine because it’s more concentrated and you’re actually consuming all of the plant matter.
Herbal teas generally don’t have any caffeine, or may have just very tiny trace amounts if any at all, making them a great choice.
The difference, of course, is that they aren’t steeped using actual tea leaves, but rather (often) a blend of various herbs, spices, and plants. You can make tea out of just about anything.
Anyways, let’s dig in deep to over different teas that you could have before going to sleep that are less likely to mess with your sleep schedule or to keep you awake. Even better, what about teas that help you fall asleep? Let’s get right into it…
Which are the best teas before bed?
You may want to try herbal teas, such as chamomile or peppermint varieties which are more likely caffeine-free, and can also help with headaches. If they have regular tea leaves in the blend, there will still be trace amounts of caffeine, however it wont be as strong as pure leaf tea which has a higher caffeine count.
But if you absolutely want to stick to your caffeinated tea blend at night, there might just be a light at the end of the tunnel for you: dunk your teabag quickly in a cup of hot water, then dump that cup out and make another hot cup of water and use the same teabag once again.
A good portion of the caffeine is released early in the steeping process – so the quick dunk will help eliminate a portion of the stimulant leaving you with a slightly less caffeinated cup of tea.
Of course, this method isn’t perfect or ideal, and if you’re sensitive enough to caffeine that tea keeps you up at night, you’ll want to steep something that has been specifically created for nighttime.
Here are some highly-recommended teas for enjoying right before your bedtime, which have little to no caffeine, so they won’t keep you up. In fact, most of them have natural ingredients that can help relax, de-stress, and lull you into a peaceful slumber.
Recommendation 1: BE SLEEPY Tea with Kava Kava & Valerian Root
This tea has No Caffeine, and is blended to help you get a restful sleep.
Recommendation 2: Yogi’s Famous Bedtime Tea
Yogi is an organic tea brand, and this particular blend comes in packages of 16 bags…
Yogi makes some of the best selling bedtime teas out there.
Their ingredients include: organic licorice root, organic spearmint leaf, organic chamomile flower, organic skullcap leaf, organic cardamom seed, organic cinnamon bark, organic St. John’s Wort leaf & flower, organic rose hips, natural orange flavor, valerian root extract, organic raspberry leaf, organic English lavender flower, stevia leaf, and passion flower extract. The flavor is nice, mild, and deep.
If you want something a bit different, check out their Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea!
What about green tea before bed?
If an herbal tea isn’t to your liking, green tea might just be the solution after all. Although, as noted above, there are traces of caffeine in green tea, it is substantially less then coffee, of course.
Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which plays an important role in relaxation and sleep.
Another fact about green tea before bedtime is the potential weight lost effects, however it’s important to be realistic in your expectations when it comes to tea and weight loss, or any other health benefits.
We know how tough it can be to find good information about drinking green tea before bed, it seems like everyone has some huge list of green tea benefits for you but most of the items on the list aren’t even specific to bedtime, and many of them treat this drink like it’s the second coming.
The truth is a little bit different from that. Don’t get the wrong idea, green tea is an amazing drink – especially before going to sleep – but just make sure you’re enjoying it for all of the right reasons.
That’s not to say there aren’t benefits to drinking many different types of tea before bed, green tea in particular, but we aren’t going to pretend its going to fix every problem in your life, pay your mortgage, and sing to you at night while massaging your feet.
None the less, there are many reasons to drink this stuff, and maybe even some reasons not to, so we’re going to give them all equal airtime, we’re going to look at some of our favorite teas to drink before bedtime, we’re going to cover all of the most commonly claimed health benefits of enjoying a hot cuppa before ending the day, and more. Let’s get right into it!
Reasons NOT TO Drink Tea Before Going to Sleep?
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you’ll want to stick to something herbal before bed and perhaps avoid green tea in the evening.
Granted, tea will generally have less caffeine than a cup of coffee, those who are sensitive to it could still have trouble falling a sleep, unless they’re drinking a type of tea that doesn’t have caffeine, a good example for the evening would be one of these.
If a little bit of caffeine isn’t going to keep you up all night, there are some very compelling to reach for green instead of other teas, although some of these benefits are going to be apply to some, most, or even all other types of tea as well (Just something to keep in mind!)
Also, we don’t want to get too personal, but depending on how the ole bladder is doing, some people find that having a cup of tea before bed causes them to have to wake up to use the restroom. At the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone else, so listen to it.
A solution to the bladder issue and many other reasons one might have for avoiding drinking teas at night is just to have it a bit earlier. Instead of drinking right before bed, try an hour before bed or two hours before bed, it may take you a couple of nights to hit that sweet spot but it’s a good exercise in getting to know your body.
Other options are to get decaffeinated green tea, and just have a few sips, not a full teacup. There’s probabally a certain threshold of either strenght of the tea, or time, to where it won’t bother you
Reasons You SHOULD Enjoy Green Tea At Night
Now, here are some broad and general reasons that we love this drink at nighttime. This applies to most types of tea including herbal teas, and after this section we’ll discuss green tea in particular.
- Calming properties: The ritual of preparing the tea, and then the mindful experience of sipping it, can do a lot to help you wind down after your day is done. It’s almost like a “coming down” phase, where you can leave the stresses of the day behind you.
- Train your brain: L-Theanine is an ingredient in green tea that can help with focus and cognitive function, in particular when it’s used with caffeine, so this tea could help with cognitive performance if you usually start to lag a bit in the evening, it could possibly give you that final wave to make it through the end of the day.
- Good habits: Most of us know how bad it is to stare at our screens at the end of the day, but it can be tough to log-off early and replace that time with something better. That’s where some tealeaves, some warm water, and your favorite cup come into play. Make some time at the end of the day for a relaxing cup of tea it can help to spur other good habits in return.
- It’s affordable: As far as rare and expensive teas go, green tea is among the most affordable and widely produced types of tea. There are many, many different brands that sell it, in a variety of qualities to meet any budget. From simple bags, to fine leaves, we encourage you to try a few different options to really help determine your favorite – and at such low prices, that’s a very practical thing to do. We have decided to put together a bit of a “starter kit”, with some items that will appeal to season tea steepers, and other ones that are for those who are just getting started on their journey.
There’s something for everyone in our starter kit, from really great tea infusers, cups, kettles, accessories, sweeteners, and of course – the teas themselves (both bagged and loose leaf.)
Bedtime Tea Starter Kit
Now, what you need will depend on what you’ve already got and how you want to prepare your tea. You can go with tea bags, then all you’ll need is a cup, and a way to warm up the water. If you would rather go with loose leaf tea instead, you’ll need all of that plus something to steep the tea inside of, since it’s not in a teabag.
Here’s an excellent tea steeper: It’s quite basic, but also very affordable and does the job just fine. Of course, you can also look into some fancier options too.
That tea infuser/strainer is a nice choice because it’s affordable and does what you need it to do. If you already have a tea cup with a bit of height to it (So that the depth of the infuser fits inside), it’s a good choice. However, if you want to pick up a beautiful tea cup and steeper combo, here’s a great option:
Like a little sweetness to your tea? You can opt for a zero-calorie sweetener of your choice, or try something like organic cane sugar. Finally, it can be nice to squeeze the juice freshly out of an orange, if you’re looking for a little twist.
We’ll give you our top picks for green teas to try out in just a moment, but first we want to circle back and go over some of the other reasons that green is probabally the best tea to drink before bed.
Why does green tea make you sleepy?
Whether they enjoy it earlier in the day or at night time, some people get a certain sleepy feeling from this type of tea, and that’s usually because of something called theanine which can help relax the body.
Generally, the calming effects of theanine are outweighed by t he caffeine in this tea, but once again, they can impact everyone’s body slightly differently, so for some people this drink will tip the scale towards the sleep side, whereas those who are very sensitive will find it too stimulating to sleep immediately after drinking it.
In addition, it could simply be the calming act of stimulating your sense of smell, taste, and even feeling the warm cup in your hands, especially on a really cold day.
How does green tea help you sleep?
In addition to what we mentioned above about how some ingredients in green tea help you sleep, it’s also worth talking a bit more about the less-defined calming aspects of the drink and ritual.
When we say ritual, it means taking the time to boil the water, stay in the moment, prepare the tea, add the water, waiting calming for it to steep, and then ultimately enjoying the beverage.
All of that can be a very mindful experience, especially if you’re used to jumping from task to task all day.
None of that has anything to do with whats in the tea itself, in some cases we’ve been convinced that the act of preparing the tea can be just as calming as actually drinking it.
What is your goal before bed?
At the end of the day, different people have different bedtime routines.
Some people like to do puzzles and stimulate their minds, others prefer to calm down and just zone out, relax, and finally drift off to sleep.
Somewhat focused relaxing can be more restful than just zoning out to a movie, but again – it’s whatever works for you.
In any case, green tea at night can definitely cater to those who want to calming drift off to sleep, in addition to those who want or need to stay more on-point during the later moments of their day.
If you’re not sure if a green tea sleep appeals to you or not, the best thing you can do is just to try it and see how you react.
One cup isn’t going to be enough to really ruin your sleep, even if you’re among those who are more sensitive to caffeine, unless you’re exceptionally sensitive to it that is. In that case, either drink just a little bit of tea, or drink it earlier in the night.
Choosing The Best Green Tea To Drink Before Bed
Need some green tea? Here are three great choices, we’ve categorize them based on a handful of different criteria. We’ve got the best bagged tea, the best loose leaf, and finally the best one for the money – which basically means it’s a ‘value’ option – a GREAT tea and an even better price for those who don’t want to spend too much to give this a try.
Let’s preface these tea recommendations by saying that it comes down to preference, some brands are going to taste different than others, so whether your favorite is regarded as a “super high quality” tea or not, if it’s your favorite that makes it the best!
Best Bagged Green Tea: Numi Gundowder Green Tea
Tea bags make life easier. The downside is that in cheaper bagged teas, you’re often not necessarily getting the highest quality leaves. They’re broken up into small little pieces, almost like dust sometimes, and can sometimes be “leftovers” or just lower-tier teas since you can’t really see it through the bag anyways.
This one, on the other hand, by Numi, is a high-quality bagged tea. The advantages of drinking bagged teas are that they’re easier, less messy, less to clean… and the downside is usually that you may be getting lower-tier tea, but not always.
Numi does a great job of offering the convenience of a bagged tea, with a quality you wouldn’t expect to find in a bag… Likely because they also sell some great loose leaf teas, too.
The only ingredient is “Fair trade certified organic green tea,” and that’s what we like to see.
Best Loose Leaf Green Tea: Vahdam Organic Himalayan
This is such a hard decision. We’re not saying this is the very best of all time, but this Himalayan Green Tea by Vahdam made our list because it’s solid, accessible, popular and has a ton of happy customers who swear by it.
At the end of the day – this tea is a great introduction to loose leaf before bed. Pair this with one of the steepers we’ve included higher up on this page to prepare loose leaf, and you’re in for a wonderful treat. The best part? It’s the type of treat that you can enjoy every. single. day.
Best Green Tea for the Money: Loose and Bagged
Let’s feature a value pick for both bags and loose leaf, shall we? When it comes to bagged teas, our best value for the money pick is Stash Tea’s premium green tea.
It’s about the same price as the Numi tea bags we featured a moment ago, however it comes with more than 5x as many bags. It’s still really decent tea, and definitely worth the try if you’re looking for a workhorse type of green tea in a bag.
When it comes to our top pick for choosing a green tea before bed in the loose leaf variety, we’ve got to go with Davidson’s Gunpowder Green Tea.
A pound of this stuff costs around $10, it’s less expensive than brands like Numi and other popular green teas, and it’s at LEAST just as good as a fair amount of them. Really, it comes down to your own personal tastes, too.
It’s not the worst idea to buy a more expensive tea and a less expensive tea, compare them, and then you’ll know for sure whether or not you have expensive taste in teas, or if you can’t really tell the difference and may as well stick to the more affordable stuff.
The idea of drinking tea before bed, especially green tea, is something that gets asked about a lot. You’ll find people in one camp who are huge supporters of drinking green tea before bed, and other people who won’t touch it within hours of their bedtime.
Now, the main reason people WILL drink it is because, well, they love tea and it can be a very relaxing and calming drink.
The main reason people will AVOID drinking it before bedtime is because the caffeine can keep them awake and make it hard to sleep.
There’s not really a right or wrong answer here, and it really depends on what your goals are and how your body reacts to caffeine. The good news is that we’ve got a few solutions and recommendations lined up, regardless of which side of the aisle you land on.
If you want to drink tea before your bedtime, but you’re sensitive to caffeine…
There’s an easy solution. Just opt for an herbal tea, many of which have no caffeine at all since they’re not made from the leaves of the tea plant, they’re made from one or numerous other herbs and or spices.
If you are not sensitive to caffeine, drink green tea before bed:
Then it’s even easier, because you can go ahead and drink a cup of green tea before bed and not even really have to worry about it. Tea already has less caffeine that coffee, as a general rule of thumb anyways, so if you’re among the part of the population who can have a coffee before bed and still get to sleep just fine, tea shouldn’t be a problem at all.
If your reason for wanting tea in the evening is relaxation, there are plenty of herbal blends designed to promote relaxation. It can be due to the specific contents of the blend of tea, or a placebo effect, but whatever it is – if it helps, it helps. As we discussed earlier, there’s also something to be said about the whole process of preparing it, and mindfully enjoying the drink.
Calming teas are nothing new, and nearly any tea that’s sold as a bedtime tea is going to be free from caffeine and filled with herbs that are believed to help you become calm, relaxed, and eventually drift off into a comfortable slumber.
Best teas to drink before sleeping
If you simply want any tea to enjoy before bedtime, just drink your favorite. Boom, easy, especially if you aren’t that sensitive to caffeine. If you’re the type of person who can drink coffee at night and still get to sleep, you really won’t have any issues with tea.
Drink your favorite, and you won’t really need to concern yourself about the differences in caffeine between different types of tea or which tea has the most caffeine.
However, if you pick the right teas, you can actually find benefits like ones that will help relax you, calm you, and lull you into a peaceful sleep.
There are herbal tea blends for bedtime that are crafted specifically with ingredients like chamomile and other things that will help you reach a state of blissful slumber.
It’s rare for an herbal tea to contain caffeine, but there are also regular teas that have been decaffeinated as well, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Remember, tea already has less caffeine than a typical cup of coffee, but even still, here are a few herbs you can look for in your blends to find a tea that not only won’t make it harder to sleep, but that can actually help you fall asleep:
- Hawthorn Berries
- Blackberry Leaves
- Lemon grass
- Tilia Flowers
- Orange Blossoms
- St. John’s Wort
- Skullcap Leaf
- Rose Hip
- Raspberry Leaf
- Stevia Leaf
- Passion Flower
- Licorice Root
Some of these ingredients have properties to help you sleep better, others are just tasty or included for another reason. In any case, there’s just something about a warm drink that also helps relax. Except in the summer, in which case you might want to opt for an iced-tea instead.
Fresh Breath and Happy Tummy
Peppermint tea is a great option as a warm pre-bedtime drink. It is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that has great stomach settling benefits – which can always be practical after a heavy dinner or for an upset stomach. Nobody likes to go to bed with a rumbling tummy.
Tea and Pyjamas
A study carried out in 2012 by British bedlinen company Bedeck revealed that those who have the best night sleep finished dinner an hour and a half before going to bed, having their last cup of tea around 9:10 p.m.
The study looked at the habits of 2,000 people during the crucial, sometimes hectic time slot in between arriving at home and going to bed. Does tea really play an important part in the whole relaxing process? For these Brits, it sure seems so.
There isn’t a one size fits all recipe when it comes to tea or no tea before bed. We’re all made differently: our metabolisms, sleep habits and so much more goes into account when considering dropping or adopting the habit of a warm cup of tea before snoozing off.
We suggest you give it a try or maybe if you’re having trouble, think about switching types of tea – and enjoy a good, long night of sleep.
What’s your personal favorite tea to enjoy at bedtime? Are there any particular brands or styles that you like best, or do you like to mix it up? We’re always happy to chat tea, so let us know. If you have any recommendations, we’ll be happy to pass them on, from one tea drinking to another.