The Pros and Cons of Drinking Tea Before Bed

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 it before heading off to the magical land of sleep? Are there any negative side-effects to drinking green tea at night, or having theanine in the late hours? The answer is “yes and no”: it really depends.

Black, white or green leaves all contain caffeine – a stimulant you probably want to avoid before bedtime. But drinking green tea before bed can also be a great way to soothe 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

source: pinterest.com
source: pinterest.com

Between all of the main types (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 options 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 leaves, but rather (often) a blend of various herbs, spices, and plants. You can make tea out of just about anything.

What About Green Tea Before Sleeping?

If an herbal choice isn’t to your liking, green tea might just be the solution. Although, as noted above, there are traces of caffeine in green tea, it is substantially less than coffee.

Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which plays an important role in relaxation and sleep quality, and is also packed with antioxidants.

Another fact about green tea before bedtime is the potential fat burning effects; however it’s important to be realistic in your expectations when it comes to weight loss, or any other health benefits of green tea.

We know how tough it can be to find good information about drinking green tea before bed. While it may seem like everyone has some huge list of green tea benefits, if you look at them a little closer, none of them really directly relate to bedtime. 

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 hot drink before bed, green tea in particular, but you should not expect miracles.

Nonetheless, 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. In this article, we’re going to look at some of our favorites to drink before sleeping,  as well as some of the more commonly claimed health benefits of enjoying a hot cuppa before ending the day and more. Let’s get right into it!

Reasons Why You Can Enjoy Green Tea at Night

Now, here are some broad reasons that we love this green drink at night time. As well as having many healthy compounds in green tea, you can enjoy potential fat burning and weight loss, together with blood sugar regulation.

  • Calming effect: The ritual of preparing the green tea, and then the mindful experience of sipping it, can help to wind down. It’s almost like a “coming down” phase, where you can leave stresses behind you.
  • Train your brain with L-theanine in green tea: 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 L-theanine rich drink could help with cognitive performance and could possibly give you that final mental boost to make it through to the evening.
  • It’s affordable: As far as rare and expensive hot drinks go, green tea is amongst the most affordable and widely produced. 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. 
  • As well as antioxidants, you can benefit from anti inflammatory properties as well, together with blood sugar regulation.

Are There Any Reasons to NOT Drink Tea Before Going to Sleep?

Do you 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, green tea will generally have less caffeine than a cup of coffee, but those who are sensitive to it could still have trouble falling asleep, unless they’re having a decaf variety or a herbal tea, like one of these.

If a little bit of caffeine isn’t going to keep you up all night, there are some very compelling ways to reach for green instead of other teas. However, do bear in mind that if you have your drink too close to bedtime, you’ll likely wake up during the night to use the toilet. There’s just no way around that.

Bedtime Green Tea Starter Kit

There’s something for everyone in our starter kit, from really great tea infusers, cups, kettles, accessories, sweeteners, and of course – the green tea itself (both bagged and loose leaf.) 

What you need will depend on what you’ve already got and how you want to prepare your drink. If you prefer to use bags, then all you’ll need is a cup, and a way to warm up the water. If you prefer loose leaf tea instead, you’ll need all of that, plus something to steep the leaves inside.

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 if you can’t help going for the premium stuff.

Yoassi Tea Steeper
  • Made of 8/18 Food Grade Stainless Steel. Odor Free. Contains NO harmful...
  • Two Handles. Perfect 5 inch Width & 3inch Height. It can rest properly on the...
  • Extra Fine Holes keep even very fine-leaved tea in (such as Rooibos, Herbal tea...

This infuser/strainer is a nice choice because it’s affordable and does what you need it to do. If you already have a 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:

Tea Forte Kati Steeping Cup
  • TEA CUP WITH INFUSER includes a double-wall ceramic tumbler, stainless steel...
  • STEEP THE PERFECT CUP of tea using your favorite loose leaf tea, use the lid to...
  • EXTRA FINE TEA INFUSER made from stainless steel is sturdy, easy to clean and...

Need a kettle? We’ve reviewed a very fancy one, and some more affordable kettles.

If you 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, let’s look a little more closely at the relationship between tea and sleep.

Why does green tea make you sleepy?

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 leaf, and that’s usually because of something called L – theanine which can help relax the body.

Generally, the calming effects of L – theanine are outweighed by the caffeine in green tea, but once again, they can impact everyone’s body slightly differently. 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.

How does a cup of green tea help you with a good night’s sleep?

In addition to what we mentioned above about how some ingredients in green tea may 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 and staying in the moment as you go through the various stages of preparation. 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 what’s in the tea itself, but 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 calmly drift off to sleep. 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 so. In that case, either drink just less of it or have it earlier in the night.

Choosing your green tea to drink before bed

Need some green tea? Here are three great choices. Let’s preface these 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 Gunpowder Green Tea

Sale
Numi Gunpowder Green Tea
  • FULL-BODIED FLAVOR: Within hours of being plucked, this whole leaf organic green...
  • BRIGHT, FRESH GREEN TEA: Whether you're looking for jasmine tea, gunpowder green...
  • BAGGED TEA: Numi's organic full-leaf quality teas come in convenient tea bags...

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..

The advantages of drinking bagged teas are that they’re generally less messy and easier to clean up.  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. This is probably because they also sell some great loose leaf teas as well

The only ingredient is “Fairtrade certified organic green tea,” and that’s what we like to see.

Best Loose Leaf Green Tea: Vahdam Organic Himalayan

Vahdam Organic Himalayan
  • 100% NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Low Caffeine, Gluten Free Green Tea leaves are rich in...
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY TEA BAGS - (30 TEA BAGS) Long Leaf Mint Green Tea Leaves from...
  • A BRAND WITH A BILLION DREAMS - Vahdam Teas is an award-winning, vertically...

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.

Himalayan Green Tea by Vahdam
  • 100% NATURAL & GREEN TEA LEAVES - Exclusive Long-Leaf Green Tea rich with...
  • PERFECT GIFT FOR LOVED ONES - There is no better gift than the gift of good...
  • CARBON & PLASTIC NEUTRAL BRAND - Established in India by a 28-year-old 4th...

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 mention in this article to prepare loose leaf, and you’re in for a wonderful treat.

Best Value Green Tea: Bigelow Classic Green Tea Bags

Bigelow Classic Green Tea Bags
  • Delicate Green Tea: Our Classic Green Tea provides essential antioxidants making...
  • Flavor Matters: Foil pouches for peak flavor, freshness and aroma to enjoy...
  • Try Every Flavor: There's a tea for morning, noon, and night time relaxation....

If you’re looking for value, look no further. In this package you get no less than 240 tea bags at a great price, with the quality you’d hope for. And, by having such a stockpile you won’t need to buy green tea again for months.

Best herbal teas to drink before sleeping

If you’re not one for drinking green tea before bed because of the caffeine content, here are some herbal options to try.There are herbal 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 ones 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 one that won’t make it harder to sleep, and will actually help you get there.

  • Chamomile
  • Hawthorn Berries
  • Blackberry Leaves
  • Lemon grass
  • Spearmint
  • Tilia Flowers
  • Orange Blossoms
  • Rosebuds
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Lavender
  • Skullcap Leaf
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Rose Hip
  • Raspberry Leaf
  • Stevia Leaf
  • Passion Flower
  • Licorice Root

Here are some highly-recommended teas to improve your sleep , which have little to no caffeine, so they won’t keep you awake. In fact, most of them have natural ingredients that can help relax, de-stress, and lull you into a peaceful slumber.

Yogi’s Famous Bedtime Tea
  • Flavor: Yogi Bedtime tea combines Passionflower and Chamomile with Licorice,...
  • Benefits: This soothing herbal blend is purposefully formulated to support...
  • Organic: USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified

Bottom line? A good night’s sleep is more than possible

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, but hopefully by now you can see that drinking green tea helps with many different areas of being healthy, and comes with compounds such as L – theanine, antioxidants and more. As well as potentially helping with weight loss, it can actually help you get a better night’s sleep if you find the right balance. So go on, pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy sweet dreams!

Last update on 2021-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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