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Green Tea Before Bed: The Best Bedtime Drink?

Did you know that green tea is the second most popular drink in the world after water? No wonder - whether it’s a hectic Monday morning or a relaxing evening with friends, green tea fits pretty much every occasion. But should you be having that cup of green tea before bed?

While some people can enjoy green tea as a treat during any part of the day, others prefer to have it at a specific time of their routine. These preferences can depend on many factors, starting with habit and ending with medicinal reasons and even superstitions.

And yet, the question of whether green tea before bed is good or bad for you still persists, largely due to so many different preferences and opinions.

Well, if you’ve ever wondered if that cup of green tea at night is doing you more harm than good to your sleep schedule, you’ve come to the right place, as everything will be revealed in this article.

So, grab a cup of green or any other tea, get yourself comfortable, and let’s jump in!

Is Green Tea Good For You?

Like most of the world, you probably enjoy a cup of green tea every once in a while. And sometimes it just so happens that we drink green tea later at night than other times. And while most of the time we don’t think twice about sipping on the brew, I know that I've at least once caught myself wondering “does green tea help you sleep?

There’s no denying that green tea is delicious. The subtle grassiness with a touch of nuts has earned it an honorable spot in many cabinets around the world. But when it comes to the question of whether drinking green tea, before bed and not only, is good or not, we must take a look at the dried leaves on a more detailed level.

Green tea, just like every other traditional tea out there, is made from the same plant - Camellia sinensis, more commonly known as the tea plant. No surprise there. The plant, originating in China, has been known and used to make delicious drinks as early as the first millennium BC

While the first records of tea being consumed for pleasure date back to the Shang Dynasty in China (618-907 AD), the brew being used for medicinal purposes dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). 

Green Tea Before Bed: Traditional green tea preparation.

As you can see, tea has been around for longer than many people could imagine, and its medicinal properties have been known to us for almost just as long

And not without reason. Green tea is jam-packed with antioxidants that give the brew exceptional health benefits.

One of the most notable of the bunch being tea catechins. These antioxidants, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)[1], account for up to 42% of the dry weight of green tea. These components are responsible for the bigger part of green tea’s health benefits[2], such as regulating blood pressure and cholesterol, preventing cancer, and even helps with fat loss.

Another key component of green tea is vitamins. Essential to our wellbeing[3], the C, B2, and E vitamins found in green tea help us maintain glowing skin by encouraging collagen production, as well as creating an antioxidant effect. 

Thanks to these vitamins, green tea can be found in various skin care products, or you can just use cooled-down green tea as a daily toner to keep your skin healthy.

Coming in next is theanine. Along with giving green tea its distinct flavor, theanine is an extraordinary calming chemical[4]. Most notably, it lowers blood pressure and creates a relaxation effect, making green tea a natural mild sedative that can help you wind down before bed.

Green Tea Before Bed: Person relaxing with a cup of green tea.

But wait, there’s more!

If there’s one component you shouldn’t forget while considering having a cup of green tea before bed, it’s obviously caffeine. Even though green tea has several soothing properties[5], the drink contains notable amounts of caffeine as well.

It’s important to remember that while the chemical has other effects, such as weight management and Alzheimer’s prevention, the most important - at least to our conversation - is its ability to increase alertness and help fight off sleepiness.

This is, of course, very important to keep in mind if you’re considering having green tea before bed. And even though the beverage has several soothing and relaxing properties, that doesn’t mean that the caffeine won’t end up on top and you won’t be kept awake for several hours after your bedtime.

Should You Have Green Tea Before Bed?

After taking a closer look at the main components found in green tea it’s safe to say that the drink’s benefits are undeniable. That being said, however, the presence of both relaxing and stimulating chemicals might leave us more questions than answers.

If you’re wondering what might happen if you drank green tea before bed tonight the result pretty much boils down to your caffeine tolerance[6]. If you’re more sensitive to the component, green tea before bed might not be the best idea if you’re looking for a sleeping aid. On the other hand, if it takes you several espressos just to open your eyes in the morning, a cup of green tea before bed might just knock you out in an instant.

If you’re up for some trial and error, you can always experiment with the potency and amount of green tea at night to see if it can help you fall asleep faster. But if you’re looking for solid, science-backed answers to know if you should or shouldn’t have green tea before bed, let’s have a look at the several studies conducted on the matter.

Green Tea Before Bed: Cup of green tea with lemon.

When it comes to green tea’s sleep-promoting properties, theanine is the leading actor of the show. Known to reduce stress-related hormones and excessive brain activity, theanine has been found to help with stress-induced sleep trouble.

One study suggests that drinking 3-4 cups of green tea (around 750-1000ml) can potentially reduce fatigue and levels of stress[7], thus improving sleep quality and even helping with insomnia.

A different study found that green tea also contains other amino acids, such as arginine, which is known to reduce stress levels[8]. Because of these findings, green tea is often recommended as a sleeping aid to those with a high caffeine tolerance.

On the other hand, if you are someone that can start running on the ceiling after one sip of mocha, drinking green tea before bed doesn’t necessarily have to be a guarantee of a sleepless night. It all depends on how the green tea is prepared

Good news to those who can’t give green tea up, even if it makes it impossible to sleep well. Just like there is a way to prepare decaf coffee, lower-caffeine green tea is also possible. For this, you will need fresh tea leaves and shower them with close to boiling (95℃ to be exact) water for around 3 minutes. 

Green Tea Before Bed: Elderly woman being given a cup of green tea.

This method helps “evaporate” caffeine from the leaves. In order to prepare the low-caffeine green tea, the soaked leaves should be steeped in room temperature water for around 5 minutes, which then should be heated up separately from the tea leaves.

Green tea prepared in this way was given to the study participants - senior citizens with high caffeine sensitivity. Afterward, improvement in sleep quality[9] was reported by most participants, suggesting that lower-caffeine green tea before bed could be an effective sleeping aid. 

With that being said, however, this preparation method does get rid of some of the components that can help you with sleep. So, even low-caffeine green tea doesn’t really have what it takes to be recommended as a sleep aid.

However, there is a whole world of various teas out there, most of which can be great natural ways to improve your quality of sleep. So, what should you brew today instead of your usual green tea before bed?

Green Tea Before Bed Alternatives

While green tea has many notable benefits, some might not want to risk a sleepless night after having a cup of green tea before bed. And that’s perfectly fine! You can still enjoy the tea during other times of the day and enjoy its healing properties. 

Green Tea Before Bed: Woman with insomnia drinking tea before bed.

With that being said, if you still find yourself craving a warm cup of tea at night but don’t want to throw off your circadian rhythm with unwanted caffeine, you might want to consider trying out some herbal teas.

Because they are made from various plants other than the tea shrub, they contain close to no caffeine, which means there are no risks in having them at night. In addition, you can choose teas that are well known as natural sleep aids.

Valerian root

You’re probably not surprised to see valerian root at the top of the list for best sleep aid teas. Known and used to cure sleep disorders for ages, valerian is one of the best alternatives for that cup of green tea at night.

Valerian root is highly recommended not just to those that are having trouble sleeping. The herb can also help manage stress, anxiety, depression, and even heart palpitations, all of which can stand in your way to a good night’s rest.

Green Tea Before Bed: Young woman with sleep anxiety.

This is thanks to natural sedatives[10] that can be found in valerian root, which are shown to have better effects than green tea

So, if you’re still wondering if drinking green tea before bed is the best way to fall asleep faster, try some valerian root and have the best night of sleep in your life.

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Chamomile

Chamomile tea has been raved about as one of the best herbal teas for sleep for a very long time, so no wonder it is a close second to valerian root. And with it tasting so similar to green tea, it could be your go-to substitute for that green tea before bed you’re so used to. 

While looking at the chemical composition of chamomile tea it’s clear to see that the main component that contributes to the herb’s sleep-aiding properties is apigenin. The mild tranquilizer bonds with the brain receptors that are responsible for promoting sleep, allowing us to drift off much easier.

Green Tea Before Bed: Woman reading in bed with a cup of tea.

Chamomile tea can be exceptionally beneficial[11] to expectant mothers. Pregnant women are not recommended to drink too much green tea, at night or any other time of day, as the caffeine present in the drink is enough to potentially cause pregnancy complications.

In addition, chamomile tea has been shown to help fight off depressive episodes and reduce sleep issues in postpartum mothers, making it a great choice for those long nights with the little one!

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Lemon Balm

In my personal opinion, lemon balm is one of the tastiest herbal teas out there and one of the closest dupes of that cup of green tea before bed. You’ve probably seen the name of this citrusy plant on a bottle of essential oil before, however, lemon balm tea is just as popular and readily available.

What makes lemon balm so comparable to green tea are its antibacterial and antiviral properties. But there are several fields in which lemon balm can knock green tea right out of the water. 

For example, lemon balm has been used as a herbal medicine for depression, anxiety, and, of course, insomnia. Even though there aren’t many studies done on the effects of lemon balm tea, however, the findings present are notably positive and promising[12].

Green Tea Before Bed: Woman drinking green tea late at night.

It’s safe to say that lemon balm is not only one of the best teas to fight off depressive episodes and anxiety, but has enough sleep-aiding properties that make it a much better choice than drinking green tea before bed. 

Additionally, if you experience stress and restlessness before sleep, you can learn how to deal with sleep anxiety in this in-depth article.

Lavender

Granted, lavender tea might be a little bit more difficult to find in your local grocery store than a value pack of green tea. That being said, lavender is much better known as an anti-stress herb than drinking green tea before bed.

Admittedly, just like many other herbal remedies, lavender has not had many studies done on its properties as a natural sleeping aid. However, the research that was conducted points out that lavender may only be useful for the short-term improvement[13] of one’s sleep quality. 

Green Tea Before Bed: Young woman preparing for bed with a cup of tea.

This is important to keep in mind if you’re searching for a long-term solution. Though green tea before bed is not going to give you much better sleep if consumed on a regular basis, lavender tea still comes out on top thanks to its stress-relieving properties.

Passionflower

Passionflower is one of the less popular herbs, but can still be easily found in tea form in most grocery stores. Working in a similar way to chamomile, passionflower tea encourages our brain to start signaling to our body that it’s time to go to sleep

Passionflower tea works so quickly that it can take as little as one cup[14] of it before bed to have a significantly better night of sleep than previously. This makes the brew very appealing to those looking for quick results, as opposed to the several nights of drinking green tea before bed, waiting to see some change in your sleep quality.

In addition, passionflower can be taken in tandem with other teas that help you sleep, such as valerian root, which can amplify both of the herbs’ effects, making them comparable to traditional sleep medication.

Green Tea Before Bed: Woman reading and drinking tea before sleep.

As you can see, if you’re looking for a tea to help you sleep better, you shouldn’t confine yourself to several cups of green tea at night. There are many great herbal options to choose from that have been shown to have significant benefits to one’s sleep, whether taken regularly or for one-time results.

In addition, the herbal teas mentioned don’t have caffeine in them. This allows you to avoid the trial and error phase of trying out a new tea, which would be inevitable with green tea. And if you have a high caffeine sensitivity, herbal teas are definitely the way to go!

But if you are looking to pair up that nightly cup of tea with or feel like just drinking herbal brews might not be enough to help you improve your sleep, worry not. There are many other things you can try out that can take your sleep quality from zero to hero!

Natural Ways To Have Better Sleep

Chances are if you’ve ever wondered “does green tea help you sleep”, ways to improve your sleep might have been a point of interest to you for quite some time. After all, continuous low-quality sleep can have significant negative effects[15] on your entire body, and especially on your mental and emotional state

Green Tea Before Bed: Woman having trouble sleeping.

And we all know how horrible we feel after one or two sleepless nights, let alone a week or more…

Understandably, not many find sleeping pills and over-the-counter medication appealing if they are being offered as a long-term solution. That's why many people try finding a herbal remedy to help them ease into sleep and stay there.

Even though trying to drink green tea at night to better your sleep isn’t going to tremendously help you with your troubles, there are several alternative ways that can make a world of difference.

As wonderful as the previously mentioned herbal teas are as an alternative to drinking green tea at night, one or two cups aren’t going to work wonders on their own if the rest of your sleep environment is working completely against you.

If you are looking to noticeably improve your quality of sleep there are some alternative methods to keep in mind that can work wonders - even more so if paired with additional, especially herbal, sleep remedies.

Mattress

Believe it or not, but the mattress you sleep on is perhaps the biggest contributor to your quality of sleep. In fact, no amount of green tea or other sleeping aids will help you have good, restful sleep if your mattress looks and feels as bumpy as a cobblestone road

Green Tea Before Bed: Young woman trying to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress.

If we’re talking about normal conditions, with no unusual wear and tear or unfortunate spills, mattresses should be changed every 6 to 8 years. And if you don’t remember how old your mattress really is, well, that’s a good enough reason to start looking for a new, high-quality mattress

Truth be told, choosing a new mattress might not be as simple as it might seem. So many brands, so many types, so many sizes… How are you supposed to not get confused while trying to decide between a queen memory mattress and a double innerspring mattress?!

Well, it all depends on your needs. This might take some time to research and maybe even test out some options, which might not be too appealing to some. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality mattress option that is almost guaranteed to fit anyone’s needs, memory foam might be the best choice for you. Its biggest advantage is the mattress’ ability to mold to anybody, and yet still provide proper spine support, alleviating back and neck pain.

And additionally, these mattresses are hypoallergenic, so you can forget worrying about dust mites having a party in your bed!

Green Tea Before Bed: Good mattress leads to good sleep.

If you are interested in memory foam, which is exceptionally beneficial for proper spine alignment in all sleeping positions and those with allergies, the Puffy memory foam mattress is one of the best options out there.

Pillow

Just like Batman needs Robin, you need a high-quality pillow that would work with your mattress as a team, not as enemies. In fact, you can be sleeping on the best mattress in the world, but if a rock is more comfortable than your pillow, a decent night of sleep might not even be in the cards for you!

If you are a little hesitant to jump in the deep end and immediately invest in a new mattress, don’t worry. Your sleep quality can be improved drastically by just choosing the right pillow.

A pillow's main task is to provide proper support to your head, neck, and shoulders, as these areas tend to hold the most tension in your body that can keep you up right through the night. Saatva offers one of the best pillows on the market at the moment, which is great for those looking for something for every occasion.

Green Tea Before Bed: A good pillow can change your sleep quality for the better.

In addition, some pillows are created to accommodate specific sleeping positions and even cooling pillows, such as the GhostPillow, designed to maintain the best temperature for a restful, refreshing night.

Surroundings

Speaking of the perfect temperature for sleeping, did you know there is a whole list of environmental factors that can influence the quality of your sleep? While we often focus on calming ourselves down from the inside with teas and other sleeping aids, we tend to neglect the equally important external factors that can have just as much of an effect on our sleep as anything else.

One of the most important things when it comes to creating the perfect environment for a good night’s rest is peace, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. But you might be surprised just how many distractions surround us every night

Between light pollution, various noises coming from outside your room, and the occasional mysterious things that go bump in the night, you might need to consider some noise-canceling earplugs and black-out curtains or a sleeping mask to fight off anything that might stand in your way of getting some restful sleep.

Sleep Hygiene

A term that has been recently gaining popularity is “sleep hygiene”. No, this does not mean you have to obsessively bleach your bedding and yourself along with it every night. To put it simply, sleep hygiene refers to “clean” sleep habits.

Let’s face it. Our sleep routines are more often than not simply nonexistent. We stay up late on our phones, then sleep in, and the cycle repeats. Sleep hygiene encourages us to maintain a stable and healthy nighttime routine that will undoubtedly help improve our sleep quality. 

Green Tea Before Bed: Woman sleeping with an alarm clock in the foreground.

One small, yet incredibly effective change you can implement into your evenings is simply unplugging from any screens for around an hour before your bedtime. This decreases the number of stimuli that can rev up our minds and keep us awake for much longer than what’s healthy.

And of course, even if we’re all sick of hearing this, a solid sleep schedule can make a world of difference to how well we sleep. Yes, fixing your sleep regime is not as easy as it sounds, especially with how common hectic lifestyles currently are. 

Perhaps the easiest way to get into a consistent regime is slowly adjusting the times you wake up and go to bed, allowing your body to adapt to each new routine. This will help you avoid oversleeping and not being able to fall asleep for hours, which would essentially cancel out all of your efforts to fix your circadian rhythm. 

As you can see, you shouldn’t worry about being doomed to a lifetime of sleepless nights if having a cup of green tea before bed doesn’t improve your sleep quality. There are many methods you can try out to find the perfect combination that will help you easily fall asleep and avoid any nighttime disturbances.

Conclusions

While green tea has many notable health benefits, its sleep-aiding qualities are still widely debated. As the beverage has both stimulant and sedative properties, there isn’t a definitive answer to whether or not you should drink green tea at night.

So, does green tea help you sleep after all?

Well, yes and no. It all depends on your caffeine tolerance. If you’re sensitive to its stimulating properties, chances are that a cup of green tea will not help you get a restful night of sleep. But if you have impenetrable caffeine tolerance, green tea might just knock you out!

In the end, however, always remember that there are more sleep remedies available than just drinking green tea before bed. From herbal brews to a new mattress, everyone can find something to suit their needs, as long as your health is a top priority.

Thank you for reading my article on drinking green tea before bed for sleep and I hope you found it beneficial. I wish you good luck and that your green tea will never be bitter!


Scientific References

1. Eng QY, Thanikachalam PV, Ramamurthy S. 'Molecular understanding of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases'.

2. Higdon JV, Frei B. 'Tea catechins and polyphenols: health effects, metabolism, and antioxidant functions'

3. Graham HN. 'Green tea composition, consumption, and polyphenol chemistry'

4. Unno K, Noda S, Kawasaki Y, et al. 'Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep Quality Caused by Green Tea Are Associated with a Reduced Caffeine Content'

5. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. 'Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review'

6. Ammon HP. 'Biochemical mechanism of caffeine tolerance'

7. Unno K, Noda S, Kawasaki Y, et al. 'Ingestion of green tea with lowered caffeine improves sleep quality of the elderly via suppression of stress'

8. Unno K, Hara A, Nakagawa A, et al. 'Anti-stress effects of drinking green tea with lowered caffeine and enriched theanine, epigallocatechin and arginine on psychosocial stress induced adrenal hypertrophy in mice'

9. Unno K, Noda S, Kawasaki Y, et al. 'Ingestion of green tea with lowered caffeine improves sleep quality of the elderly via suppression of stress'

10. Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, et al. 'Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis'

11. Chang SM, Chen CH. 'Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial'

12. Miraj S, Rafieian-Kopaei, Kiani S. 'Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study With an Antioxidant Prospective'

13. Chien LW, Cheng SL, Liu CF. 'The effect of lavender aromatherapy on autonomic nervous system in midlife women with insomnia'

14. Ngan A, Conduit R. 'A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality'

15. Alhola P, Polo-Kantola P. 'Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance'


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FAQ

Can I have green tea before bed?

Short answer - yes and no. Because green tea has both sedative and stimulant properties, it all comes down to your caffeine tolerance. If you're sensitive to the chemical, green tea before bed might not be the best idea. However, if caffeine has close to no effect on you, feel free to enjoy green tea as late as you like, as it can actually be a natural sleeping aid!

What are the best natural ways to improve sleep?

Sometimes even the best tea for sleep isn't enough to help you if your sleep environment is working against you. A quiet, dark room and a comfortable bed are key ingredients needed for good sleep. So, if you're looking to invest in your sleep and health, Saatva and Puffy offer some of the best mattresses on the market that are sure to improve your sleep quality!

What is a memory foam mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are created mostly from polyurethane and have additional chemicals added that increase its viscosity and density. It’s also often called “viscoelastic polyurethane foam”. In order to create the air movement and let your body “breath” while you sleep, it has open foam bubbles. Memory foam mattresses are created in a way to adapt to your body curves and to also recover their original shape after you get up. Therefore, this kind of top mattresses offer you the feeling as if is created specifically for you.

Do top rated mattresses offer a money-back guarantee? Is there a catch?

All of the top mattress brands offer a money-back guarantee. The free trial usually starts from 90 to 100 nights, and if you don’t like the mattress, you can simply give it back. The majority of best mattress providers will not only give your money back but will also come to get it for free. If the mattress provider is reputable, there won’t be any catch - everyone understands that you have to try the mattress before knowing if it fits you.

What is off-gassing? Is it poisonous?

Off-gassing refers to the odor which comes from a new mattress. It’s the process that happens when volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) leak out of the mattress foam into the air. Those chemicals include both human-made and natural components, including formaldehyde, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), benzene, trichloroethane, and perfluorocarbons. Top rated mattresses will have zero or very minimal off-gassing. Many of them are sent to the customer already after the off-gassing. Is it dangerous, though? Even though the smell can be unpleasant, there’s usually only a very small amount of chemicals that can do no harm to your health.

How long do top rated mattresses serve?

The durability of a mattress depends on the provider and the quality of the materials used. Usually, you get a 10-year warranty, which will be valid in case of any defects. Normally, mattresses will serve you from 7 to 10 years, or even longer. Thus, when you buy the best mattress, you should take it as a long-term investment.