What have you heard about tea and sleep? Well, it can actually help or hurt. Here’s the skinny!
You probably already know that caffeine is not a good idea right before bed. That is true, but it can also be harmful to sleep when consumed earlier in the day. If you do choose to have caffeine, less is more, and the earlier the better.
Okay, now that we have that covered, what about decaffeinated vs. caffeine free?
Decaffeinated, or decaf, means the caffeine has been removed. So that means it’s gone, right? Wrong! Isn’t that the same thing in the end? NO! By law, it means the product contains less than 2.5% of the original amount. Yes, that means decaffeinated tea does have caffeine! That may sound insignificant, consider how much it had to begin with, and the recommended serving size. Let’s say you choose black tea that started out with 90 mg per 8 oz cup. After the caffeine is “removed” it has 2.25 mg per 8 oz cup. The average mug size is 12 oz, so that’s 3.375 mg. You want two, so that’s 6.75 mg. Wasn’t the point of this to get you to fall asleep? I think my math is doing a better job than consuming 6 mg of caffeine before bed. While it’s not an enormous amount, it won’t help put you to sleep.
Caffeine free is the way to go before bed! Look for herbal teas.
Chamomile is believed to induce sedation, or help with sleep. Although there is not enough scientific evidence for the use to be widely accepted by the medical community, it has been used for thousands of years. Many reports show increased relaxation and sleep.
Try it, and let us know what you think!
What about adding other things to tea?
- Milk – may cause gastrointestinal discomfort (upset
stomachabdominal region), especially in adults–this makes it more difficult to sleep, and decreases the quality of sleep.
- Sugar – sleep aside, adding refined sugar to anything is not advised.
- Honey – if you need something sweet, a small amount of raw honey is a better option.
- Lemon – this one is pretty controversial–everything from energizing to relaxing, upset stomach to stomach settling. Listen to your body for the thumbs up or down.
What did we miss? What do you like to put in your tea?
The benefits of drinking tea before bed go far beyond the contents of the cup.
Making it a habit helps to form a good routine. When you’re ready for your nightly tea, it’s one more signal to your brain and body to power down for the night.
The warmth of holding the mug in your hands, breathing the steam, and drinking the liquid can be relaxing, soothing, and cleansing. Tense muscles relax, nasal passages clear, lungs expand, and eyelids feel heavy.
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