Does Tea Keep You Awake?
Finally, a definitive answer to that age-old question of whether tea keeps you awake at night. Does a calming cuppa help you ease into a deep sleep? Or will a little caffeine hit keep your mind turning until the early hours of the morning?
At the Indian Tea Company, we don’t want any of our fellow tea lovers to have to agonise over whether boiling the kettle post 8pm, so it’s time to put this debate to bed, so to speak.
It depends on the type of tea you’re drinking
The first point to make is that some tea will have more of an impact on your sleep than others. Green teas, for example, generally contain less caffeine than others types of tea. In fact, studies have shown that a cup of green tea before bed can actually help improve sleep quality and increase the length of time you sleep.
One of the main ingredients, theanine, is thought to counteract the effects of caffeine, helping you to relax and destress, which would suggest that it would help you sleep.
Aside from the chemical make-up of tea, there is a growing trend in people drinking decaffeinated tea, in order to help them sleep.
This way you can enjoy all the normal benefits of tea, the warm, familiar embrace of a mug of tea, without having to worry about the fact that there might be a hint of caffeine buzzing around your brain as you try to sleep.
Take a look at a selection of some of our green teas and decaffeinated teas, so that you can enjoy your next late night tea, safe in the knowledge that you’ll not be kept awake by it.
Science is on the side of caffeine
Whilst many might think that a hit of caffeine before bed, even if it’s just in tea, can keep you awake, then a recent study by Florida Atlantic University might take us by surprise.
In the journal Sleep, by Doctor Christine Spadola, it’s shown that, despite what we may assume, when compared to substances such as alcohol and nicotine, caffeine is pretty harmless when it comes to keeping us awake at night.
Where nicotine was shown to take away around 42 minutes of your precious shuteye every night, the difference caffeine made was shown to be pretty negligible.
Sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley said in an interview with the Independent, “Some people are very sensitive to the effects of caffeine and for these people it’s important to avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine too close to bedtime – but there is no golden rule about this, just listen to your body.”
This takes us neatly to our final last point…
Do whatever suits your body
For some people, you might find there’s a correlation between a cup of tea late at night and a struggle to get to sleep. And that’s fine.
On the other hand, you might find that you’ve been having double espressos at 11pm every night for the last 5 years and been sleeping perfectly, which is also totally okay.
Everyone processes things in different ways, so if you start drinking tea at night and find that your sleep is interrupted, try changing your tea drinking habits and see if you are still being kept awake.
However, the science shows that even in a cup of normal caffeinated tea, it shouldn’t be keeping you up any more than normal, so great news for all the tea lovers out there!
And with the weather looking cold for a while and a wide selection of teas available at the Indian Tea Company, now might just be the right time to stock up the cupboard with a selection of comforting brews to help you sink into another winter evening.
So, does tea keep you awake at night?
In a word, no, it shouldn’t. Natural chemicals in many teas actually counteract the energising, stimulating effects of caffeine, meaning that even if you make a tea the last thing you drink before clambering into bed, you shouldn’t be kept awake.
In fact, even if the caffeine wasn’t counteracted, studies have shown that the stimulant that many point to as the course of poor sleep is actually far less impactful than originally thought.
Of course, the here at the Indian Tea Company, we understand the importance of a good night of sleep and how vital it is for good physical and mental wellbeing. So our final word would be to choose the habits that work for your body.
If a recent late-night tea drinking habit is causing you to stay awake longer than you used to, try leaving a few hours between that last brew of the day and your bedtime.