As the sun sets and the evening draws to a close, many people reach for a cup of hot tea to wind down and relax.
But is it a good idea to drink green tea before bed?
The Effects of Caffeine
Green tea does contain caffeine, a natural stimulant.
Caffeine can have several effects on your body, including:
- increasing alertness
- increasing heart rate
- increasing blood pressure
These effects can last for several hours after you consume caffeine.
These effects are not problematic for most people and may even be helpful in small doses. But if you drink caffeine too close to bedtime, it can make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
If you are going to drink something caffeinated, green tea is probably a better choice than coffee, soda, or energy drinks. Green tea contains less caffeine than these other beverages, and the effects of green tea may not be as strong or long-lasting. Water is likely an even better choice.
The other risk of drinking green tea before bed involves a condition known medically as nocturia.
Nocturia is a condition in which you wake up frequently during the night to urinate.
While this may not seem like a big deal, it can significantly disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling tired and groggy the next day.
When you drink green tea before bed, you’re not only consuming liquids that can increase your need to urinate, but green tea specifically can have diuretic effects that may further promote the production of urine.
So, if you find yourself waking up frequently during the night to use the restroom, it may be best to avoid green tea, or any beverage, before bed.
How Green Tea May Improve Your Sleep Quality
While drinking green tea before bed may not be the best idea, enjoying a cup or two earlier in the day may improve your sleep quality.
Research has shown that green tea contains compounds that can have a calming, relaxing, de-stressing effect on the body.
These antioxidant catechins and an amino acid called theanine may help improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and reducing daytime tiredness and fatigue.
More than just helping you sleep, green tea can have many other health benefits as well, such as:
- reducing inflammation
- improving heart health and reducing your risk for cardiovascular events
- promoting weight loss
- lowering the risks associated with type 2 diabetes
- improving brain health and helping protect against neurodegeneration
- possible protection against some types of cancers
Overall, green tea is an excellent choice of beverage. Just be sure to enjoy it earlier in the day so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.