Having a good night’s sleep is the key to looking and feeling our best, the question is, should you drink Tea before bed. Without enough rest, it might, in the short term, affect our mood, concentration and alertness. In the long term, it could cause far more severe consequences, such as an increased risk of several chronic conditions.

While fresh Coffee might make us feel more energised in the morning, should we drink Tea before bed? The short answer is that it depends on your perspective.

This article  will look at several factors to consider when it comes to drinking a cup of Tea before bed. We will answer the following questions: 

Does Tea Keep You Awake at Night?

Does Tea Keep You Awake at Night?

There are four primary types of Tea: Black, Green, White and Oolong. Although each one has something unique to offer, they all have one thing in common: caffeine. This is a naturally occurring stimulant that, once consumed, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. It then travels down to the liver where it is broken down and passed to other organs in the body.

Why does this matter? Because one such organ that receives caffeine is, of course, the brain. Here, it functions by blocking adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the mind while making you feel tired. In doing this, it essentially has the opposite effect: it makes you feel more energised and less sleepy. (Read more in our blog, “Effects of Caffeine on you”).

Not all types of Tea have the same amounts of caffeine, however. Black Tea contains, on average, around 40 milligrams per 8 oz cup. Oolong Tea, meanwhile, typically has between 35 and 37 milligrams (subject to its oxidation levels). Then there is Green Tea caffeine, which amounts to around 30 milligrams per cup. Finally, White Tea has the least amount with 15 milligrams.

If you opt for a Black Tea before bed, the chances of having trouble sleeping increase. Although it isn’t a guarantee of restlessness, it is most likely to affect those who’re sensitive to caffeine. Others might not have any problem at all. It very much depends on the individual! If you enjoy the taste of so-called ‘real’ Tea at night, your best option is White Tea.

Affect on the Nervous System

Affect on the Nervous System

The supposed risk of drinking caffeine in Tea before bed might be offset by its positive influence on the nervous system. Green Tea, for example, is one such beverage that contains L-theanine. This beneficial compound helps to increase the production of GABA and dopamine in the body.

GABA, or Gamma-aminobutyric acid, plays an essential role in behaviour, cognition and the body’s response to stress. Indeed, dopamine has a similar effect.

In other words, when it comes to “does Tea keep you awake?”, there are two perspectives. This is because it may, in fact, help you to drift off as opposed to keeping you up at night! 

Affect on Sleep Quality

Affect on Sleep Quality when Drinking Tea

A study conducted at Florida Atlantic University and Harvest Medical School found that Tea before bed doesn’t affect sleep quality. While, unfortunately, this isn’t true of everyone, the evidence looks indeed very promising.

American Researchers monitored 785 people for 5,164 days and nights, recording how much caffeine, alcohol and nicotine they consumed.

Ultimately, the study found that nicotine and alcohol disrupt sleep. A pre-bed cigarette, in particular, took 42 minutes off total duration of sleep for insomniacs.

Caffeine, in comparison, seemed to have little to no effect. This is good news for a lot of people. However, it likewise isn’t a guarantee of sleeping well. After all, and as mentioned previously, we’re all different.

Best Herbal Tea Before Bed for Sleep

Best Herbal Tea Before Bed for Sleep

Few Herbal Teas contain caffeine (one exception to the rule is Yerba Mate). Without this chemical compound, Herbal Teas such as Peppermint and Rooibos Tea are excellent choices before bed. In fact, they may even come with sleep-related health benefits.

One of the Camomile Tea Benefits, in particular, can have a positive influence on the neurotransmitters in your brain. By doing this, it can not only improve sleep but also enhance mood and relieve mild depression. Lavender Herbal Tea has a similar effect.

Other good options include (but are not limited to) Linden Flower Tea, Lemon Balm Tea and Rose Petal Tea.

Furthermore, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company stock a unique blend called Lullaby Tea. This contains apple pieces, linden flowers, lemon balm, lavender, rose petals, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms and mallow flowers.

Whatever you decide, regardless of the time of day, be sure to buy from us. We pack everything fresh to order, ensuring not only quality but also consistency. What more could you want from your morning, afternoon or evening cuppa? 

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.