Tea and Sleep
Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2011
Consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep, and insomnia and sleep loss can have major impacts on health and ability to function, including concentration, creativity, and immune system function. Michael J. Breus, WebMD's expert on sleep medicine, notes that caffeine can stay in your body's systems for up to 12 hours after consumption, and recommends avoiding caffeine within 4-6 hours of bedtime.
Tea has benefits for sleep, especially over coffee
Tea consumption may have some sleep benefits too. Certain teas have a high concentration of L-theanine, an amino acid which promotes relaxation and plays a role in healthy sleep. One study found that the antioxidants in green tea may prevent some of the damage due to sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, although it is not clear if tea has any potential to prevent or treat this disorder.
from Drink The Leaf
Herbal teas & sleepHerbal teas, coming from many different plants, have diverse effects on sleep, with some disrupting it, some enhancing it, and many having little or no effect. Most herbal teas (with the notable exception of Yerba Maté and a few other herbal teas containing caffeine) are caffeine-free, making them a good choice to drink later in the day. However, herbal teas can contain stimulants other than caffeine, which can interfere with sleep.
Herbs that show potential to help improve sleep and/or treat sleep disorders include valerian and kava, which have been researched more extensively, and other herbs such as chamomile, lavender, hops, lemon balm and passionflower, for which more research is needed to draw conclusions. Valerian and kava, however, are powerful drugs and are not necessarily safe for casual use as a beverage, whereas many other herbs like lemon balm and chamomile are generally safe to use in such a manner. Although its overall effects on sleep are inconclusive, chamomile, a favorite ingredient in teas consumed before bedtime, has been shown to promote relaxation.
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