I'm sitting in my dining room with two good friends and my husband. The excitement and anticipation in the room is palpable.
The new harvest green tea has arrived.
We've finished dinner and in this wash of enthusiasm and naivete, I brew up a batch of this beautiful, new harvest green tea. We sip together cup after cup.
That night, as I lie in bed willing myself to go to sleep, my calm, alert mind refuses to switch off until some horrendous hour of the early morning.
Next to me, my husband, who also enjoyed the same prolific flow of beautiful green tea, sleeps soundly.
Does Green Tea Help You Sleep?
The benefits of green tea are endless.
You've probably come across articles about green tea and weight loss, reducing risk of serious disease, and so on and so on.
You may have even heard that green tea helps you sleep.
Before continuing reading further, we urge you to resist any sudden urge to schedule in a nightly cap of green tea. This may not be for you.
Some swear by it. And there is reason to listen.
Green tea contains theanine, which is an amino acid that reduces stress, and promotes relaxation. It's the main sleep-promoting compound in green tea. It functions by diminishing stress-associated hormones and neuronal activity within your brain, enabling your brain to attain a state of relaxation.
Sounds like a sleep-deal, right?
Green tea also contains caffeine.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that makes you alert, focused, and keeps those pesky feelings of tiredness at bay.
Maybe not so good for sleep.
But all know that person who can drink five cups of coffee before bed and sleep like a baby, right?
If that's you, today is your day! Or night!
You can drink green tea before bed, and your sleep will thank you.
If not, there's a far better time of day to drink tea.
When is the Best Time to Drink Green Tea?
Before You Start Work
You already know that green tea promotes a state of alertness, reduced stress, relaxation, and focus due to the combination of theanine and caffeine.
This is the perfect state of mind to start your work day.
Those first few work hours of the day are the most precious. They set the scene and the pace for the rest of the day. You're probably feeling a little fresher than later on. Why not boost it even more with a cup of green tea?
Now I've just convinced myself to make myself a cup of green tea.
This article can't write itself!
Before You Exercise
Some studies indicate that drinking green tea before exercise increases the rate of fat burning.
In this study, consumption of green tea before exercise for males resulted in a 17% increase in fat oxidation levels, in comparison to the placebo group.
In this study, consumption of green tea by women participating in brisk walking also resulted in increased fat oxidation levels. How delightful! A cup of green tea and a walk is the new English tea and a biscuit! It is worth noting there were a limited number of participants in this study.
I wonder if the enhanced mental state from drinking green tea ensures a more effective workout?
There is also evidence that fatigued muscles recover faster after consuming green tea. Nice little bonus there.
What Should I Drink Before Sleep?
If you're anything like me, the tragedy of not being able to drink green tea before bed is palpable and constant.
Thankfully, there are other brews for lovers of sleep.
Personally, I drink Lavender Moon religiously before bed. Last night my sleep score was a whopping 87/100 with a delightful 1hr 41min of deep sleep (thankyou fancy Samsung smart watch for the intel).
Lavender Moon contains lavender and valerian root, both known herbs for promoting relaxation and sleep.
It's recommended to drink Lavender Moon for at least two weeks to experience the full benefits.
This article was inspired by research conducted by Healthline