It can be hard for many of us to switch off our racing mind after a hectic day.  It can be a challenge to wind down and turn off your brain at bedtime after the stresses of the day. Between your work responsibilities, your daughter’s science project, and the to-do list growing by the hour, you may be struggling with de-stressing to fall to sleep.

Is tea good before bed?

You have many different options to help you relax and unwind after a long day. Including tea to your nighttime routine can be one of the healthiest ways to get ready for bed. Drinking tea at night helps you sleep better in two ways. First, the ingredients in tea can help you fall asleep. Also, the process of making your nighttime tea offers a way to destress and create a nighttime routine to promote high-quality rest.

“Tea is one of the most natural, healthful, and relaxing beverages one can consume.”

Be careful about the tea you drink at night because some teas contain varying amounts of caffeine. If you want to quickly fall asleep and sleep through the night, you can’t knock back tons of caffeine at night. We drink caffeine to improve mental alertness, and it makes sense that we should minimize it close to bedtime. Especially since it takes about one hour for the effects of caffeine to kick in after you drank a caffeinated beverage, the effects of caffeine can last up to five hours, depending on how much of it you have consumed. Many products include caffeine, but most of it is found in soda, coffee, and tea.

Although tea contains caffeine, it includes much less than a cup of coffee. The concentrated green tea powder called matcha is the strongest kind of tea and contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Both black and white teas contain smaller amounts of caffeine than match or coffee. Herbal teas have either very little or no caffeine. For better sleep, it is best to drink herbal tea.

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In this article, we are looking at tea types to drink before bed and tea’s effect on the way you fall asleep.

Can tea help you sleep?

Tea can help you sleep at night as long as you drink the right type of tea. Evening tea is great for bedtime. From making it to sipping it, tea has a relaxing effect. The ritual of preparing your bedtime tea can help you calm down at night.

For many people, a cup of tea is already part of their nighttime ritual. The process of preparing your evening tea is a tranquil, mindful experience. Making tea helps your brain and body wind down from your busy day. Preparing your tea is just as relaxing an experience as drinking it.

Another benefit of including tea into your bedtime routine is that it cuts down on screentime. While you are making your tea, you are not spending time looking at tablet or laptop screens. It helps you get into the mindset of sleep. When you take a few minutes to sip a cup of tea at night, you give yourself a chance to unwind and decompress instead of scrolling through your social media accounts and exposing your brain to harmful blue light before sleep. Having an evening tea routine can help get you in the habit of meditating and reflecting on your day, avoiding distractions before you go to sleep.

Green tea contains an ingredient (L-theanine) that can help you relax. Although many people prefer matcha or green tea during the day, taking advantage of theanine’s focus effects mixed with the benefits of caffeine to help them concentrate. But green tea is also beneficial at night. If you’re not extremely sensitive to caffeine, a little green tea in the evening might give you the boost you need to knock out the rest of your work and get through your kids’ bedtime routines, so you can finally get some rest, too. Also, theanine can help you feel calm and relaxed pre-bedtime. If you don’t like to consume caffeine after 2 p.m., you can buy caffeine-free green tea.

What is the best tea for sleeping?

It is best to limit your caffeine intake before you go to sleep. If you are going to have a cup of tea before bed, make sure it is something with little or no caffeine. To de-stress and relax before bedtime, choose a natural tea, preferably organic, tea. If you really want to drink tea that contains caffeine, you can pour out the first cup you make to make the tea less strong. If you use the same tea bag or tea leaves for another cup of tea, you will drink a much less caffeinated night beverage.

Herbal teas are best for sleep because they don’t contain caffeine. Peppermint and chamomile are excellent caffeine-free tea choices before sleep. Many people call them nighttime tea or sleepy tea because they are caffeine-free and contain ingredients to help you relax and fall asleep.

The Best Bedtime Teas

The best “sleepy teas” have ingredients to decrease stress and anxiety and ultimately promote sleep. There are many herbal teas known to help you get a better night’s rest.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is one of the best nighttime tea choices because it is regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer. Its calming properties may be attributed to apigenin, an antioxidant. Apigenin is responsible for binding specific receptors in the brain that may lessen anxiety and induce sleep.

It is caffeine-free and includes sleep-inducing ingredients. Chamomile tea can help decrease anxiety. In some ways, chamomile tea is comparable to benzodiazepine medications such as Valium, Librium, and Xanax because it can assist in high-quality sleep.

A study in nursing home patients found that those who took 400 mg of chamomile extract every day had better quality sleep than those who did not receive any. Another study found that postpartum women consuming chamomile tea for two weeks reported higher quality sleep than those who did not drink chamomile tea.

Lavender Tea

It is made from the tiny purple buds of the flowering lavender plant. You can drink lavender tea if you need help to relax and fall asleep. Lavender can be beneficial both when you smell it and when you ingest it. Lavender tea is great at night to help you relax and calm down. It can also improve your sleep when used as an essential oil or sprayed in your room at night.

Although there is limited scientific proof that lavender tea improves sleep quality, its relaxing aroma might help you calm down, making it easier for you to snooze.

Passionflower Tea

Passionflower tea soothes your mind and stomach.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is an excellent nighttime beverage. It can help settle your stomach and has almost no caffeine.

Valerian Tea

Valerian tea can help people with headaches, nervousness, and insomnia. It was used in England during World War II to ease the stress and fear provoked by air raids. Today, valerian is a popular natural sleep aid around the world. Valerian is available as a dietary supplement in liquid and capsule form. But many people choose to consume it dried brewed as a tea.

There is no definitive research showing how exactly valerian works to induce sleep. One theory supposes that valerian increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter that can increase sleepiness if present in abundant levels in the body. Some anti-anxiety medications, such as Xanax, work similarly.

According to some small studies, valerian root might be a potent sleep aid. One small study concluded that 89 percent of people with sleep problems experienced improved sleep after taking valerian root extract. What’s more, participants did not report unpleasant side effects such as morning drowsiness. Subjects of another study of 128 reported a decrease in the time it took them to fall asleep after taking 400 mg of liquified valerian root. They have also reported an overall improvement in sleep quality than the study subjects who did not receive the extract.

Although valerian root tea may help promote sleep without adverse side effects, many medical professionals weigh the current proof as inconclusive.

Lemon Balm Tea

Another great “sleepy tea,” lemon balm tea, is known to lessen stress and anxiety. It is part of the mint family and is found in many places around the world. Many people use it for aromatherapy in extract form. Others use the dried leaves to make nighttime tea. People have been using lemon balm tea for reducing anxiety and enhancing sleep since medieval times.

Decaf Green Tea

The theanine in green tea can help you calm down at bedtime. Because regular green tea contains caffeine, it is best to drink decaf green tea in the evening.

Is it safe to drink chamomile tea every night?

Chamomile is a safe nighttime beverage that plenty of folks enjoy daily. You can enjoy its comforting aroma and delicious taste every night if you want. If you drink chamomile tea every night, you will sleep better.

Disadvantages of Drinking Tea Before Sleep

The biggest disadvantage of drinking tea before sleep is caffeine. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, it is best to avoid tea that contains caffeine before bed. Consuming too much caffeine can influence how fast you fall asleep and how well you sleep throughout the night.

Drinking tea before bedtime might result in a trip of two to the bathroom during the night. If you already have to go to the restroom during the night, adding more liquid to your nighttime routine may negatively affect the quality of your slumber. The same is true for eating a big meal before bedtime. Eating too much just before you go to sleep can load your digestive track and interrupt your sleep.

Adding tea to your nighttime routine is a personal choice. Experiment with different kinds of teas. Try low caffeine and no caffeine teas. Drink your tea at different times in the evening (after supper, right before bedtime, etc.). Everyone responds to the various chemicals and caffeine in tea differently, so keep trying until you find the best nighttime tea for you so that you get the highest quality sleep possible.

Brief History of Tea

The history of tea, first discovered in China, dates back to the 4th Century B.C soon after the popularity of tea expanded to Japan and the entire Far East.

In the 17th Century, tea reached the European markets and began its great expansion westward. The traditions associated with tea have spread and have been enjoyed and appreciated by tea connoisseurs worldwide.

Tea in Brief

  • Tea leaves belong to the plant – Camellia Sinensis
  • Tea is produced in more than thirty countries. The finest of teas are grown in India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, and Taiwan.
  • Tea contains polyphenols which can help protect against free radical damage.
  • Recent scientific research has shown green tea to be high in Anti-oxidants and may help prevent certain types of illnesses and diseases.
  • For hundreds of years, the Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea and have used green tea to treat many types of ailments.
  • 4oz. of loose tea will brew approx. 40-50 cups of tea.

Tea Storing Tips

The best way to store tea is in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place. Either place the tea in its original packaging in the airtight container or transfer the tea into a tin, jar, or canister with a tight-fitting lid.

Basic black tea leaf grading.

  • OP (Orange Pekoe) = Whole Leaf
  • BOP = Broken Orange Pekoe
  • FOP = Flowery Orange Pekoe
  • FTGFOP = Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
  • TGBOP = Tippy Golden Broken Orange Pekoe

Tea Caffeine Content

  • Black tea – 45mg
  • Green Tea – 20mg
  • Brewed Coffee – 80-135mg