Green tea is one of the beverages that is going to be the all-time favorite. The fans of this beverage are increasing with each passing day. It has made its way into the diets as well as the hearts of people who want to take care of their health.
The beverage has such a wide spectrum of health benefits that it can literally be dubbed as the elixir of life! Right from improving the function of the brain to preventing cancer, the benefits are indeed mind-blowing.
However, what kind of an effect does green tea have over the sleep? Have you ever thought about it?
The answer to this question may not be so simple! Before finding the answer to the question above, let’s know what all green tea contains!
What does green tea comprise of?
This ancient beverage has bioactive compounds and is packed with polyphenols such as catechins and flavonoids. They are potent antioxidants that fight free radical damage.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is one powerful antioxidant present in green tea that can treat numerous diseases.
Apart from antioxidants, green tea also has minerals in it that are necessary for good health.
Caffeine is also an active ingredient present in green tea and is a well-known stimulant.
The caffeine content in green tea is a lesser than that of coffee but does its job well.
The stimulant improves brain function, memory and reaction time along with enhancing vigilance and mood.
Now, the best part about green tea is that it also has an amino acid called L-theanine that provides anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and alpha wave production in the brain.
Both caffeine and L-theanine together make a powerful combo that helps in improving the function of the brain. Even the presence of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) improves overall mental health.
According to research, L-theanine helps in improving sleep quality and reduces Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Green tea gives more stable energy in comparison to coffee and also improves productivity without any side effects.
With that being said, it is also important to note that the caffeine content depends on a lot of factors including how the tea has been harvested, the environment and growing conditions.
Does green tea make you sleepy?
Now, let’s come back to the main question i.e. the connection between green tea and sleep. If you want to make most of the benefits of green tea, you should drink it before going to bed.
Consider it to be a great way to end a long and busy day. You should have a bedtime ritual and what can be better than sipping on a cup of hot green tea?
Is drinking green tea before going to bed good for health?
Here is what drinking green tea before going to bed at night can do for you:
1. Relax and boost metabolism
The L-theanine in green tea helps in relaxing your mind, providing a soothing effect and de-stressing your body. This way you can be in a happy state of mind and get sound sleep.
When your sleep quality is good, your metabolism will get revved up! Green tea helps in stimulating that process and this is a huge pro!
2. Combat flu and remove toxins
Apart from helping you relax and enhancing your metabolism, green tea has a hand in keeping flu at bay. This effect is due to the presence of the antioxidant EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate).
So, if you want to keep cold and flu away, you need to drink green tea. The catechins in green tea are also effective in removing toxins from your body as you sleep.
In a nutshell, green tea helps you sleep well along with providing you with loads of other related benefits.
Can green tea make you feel sleepy and tired?
Now, there are some individuals that feel sleepy and tired at the same time after they drink green tea. Every human body is different and the reasons for feeling tired and sleepy could be as follows:
- The L-theanine in green tea increases GABA, a relaxant and mood enhancer in the body. Those who are extra sensitive to it can start feeling sleepy.
- Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome get more tired after consuming green tea.
- It can be a withdrawal symptom if you are switching from coffee to green tea. Especially if you have been taking an overdose of the former!
You can change the brand of green tea you are using and if your problem still doesn’t get solved, then it is due to the compounds present in the tea.
Can green tea keep you awake at night?
You may wonder whether the caffeine in green tea affects sleep quality if consumed before bed? Yes! Caffeine is a chemical compound that can keep you awake if consumed late in the evening.
However, green tea is different from coffee when it comes to the caffeine content. It has relatively low levels of caffeine and can affect the sleep of those who are caffeine sensitive.
Such people can face late night awakeness as the central nervous system gets stimulated.
Does green tea cause insomnia?
As discussed above, at times, green tea keeps caffeine-sensitive people awake at night.
The caffeine disrupts the circadian rhythm of the body or, in simple terms, affects the body clock and makes it difficult to fall asleep at the right time at night.
If you drink green tea in huge quantities (that amounts to 10 cups a day or more) that too late in the evening, there can be chances of suffering from insomnia.
The chances are more if you suffer from caffeine hypersensitivity as already mentioned above.
Since the excess of everything is bad, you should not go overboard with green tea. It does have a lot of goodness in it, no doubt, but crossing the limit can do more harm than good.
What is the best time to have green tea?
You can drink green tea the following times during the day:
- After eating your breakfast
- Half an hour before working out to burn fat
- Two hours post a meal or prior to a meal
- Throughout the day just like detox water
Is decaffeinated green tea a good idea?
If you don’t want to consume caffeine, you can go in for decaffeinated green tea though it won’t be completely free of the compound!
This variant of green tea has lesser amounts of antioxidants in it than the regular one but it does provide health benefits. There are many decaf varieties of green tea available online. Choose the one that suits your needs.
Try to opt for a trusted tea brand that promises very low caffeine content and are well-suited as an evening beverage.
You can buy less oxidized green tea but that would not mean that it has less caffeine in it. The main aim is to ensure that the green tea does not harm your sleep.
Method of preparing green tea to reduce its caffeine content
You can reduce the caffeine content of regular green tea by making changes in the way you prepare it.
You can add the tea bag or loose tea leaves to hot water and discard the brew within 10 seconds of steeping.
Now, the leaves can be steeped normally with more hot water.
This way you can reduce the caffeine content of the tea.
So, enjoy your cup of green tea and if you are not caffeine sensitive, you can happily consume it at bedtime for blissful slumber!