Does Tea Make You Sleepy ? About Tea Types And Drowsiness

Have you ever had a cup of tea and felt all warm and fuzzy all over ? Then you started getting sleepy from the tea ?

Was it the tea, though ? Can tea make you sleepy ?

You’ve probably heard advice from kindly grandmas, to drink a nice cup of tea before bed to sleep better. But does it work ? Let’s find out.

tea bed

So does tea make you sleepy ?

Yes, tea can make you sleepy. I am talking about tea in general here, be it a true tea or a herbal tea.

Even if your tea contains caffeine, the warmth from the infusion will make you relax and feel like you need to lie down and rest. Much like after you’ve had a nice, warm meal.

So in short, you can feel a bit sleepy even after a cup of green tea in the evening, but you will have trouble falling asleep if you drink caffeinated tea.

Some teas are better for falling asleep, some are better for just relaxing. And some should be avoided in the evening.

Does green or black tea make you sleepy ?

Yes, if you drank green, black, or white tea, and had too much of it, it can downright tire you out and you’ll want asleep within the hour.

Bear with me.

If you rarely ever drink anything with caffeine in it, then even the little amount in tea will be potent for you.

We each have our own resistance to caffeine, and that can be made stronger by ingesting more and more caffeine. It’s why heavy coffee drinkers can go to sleep after a cup of coffee, and end up drinking more and more coffee.

But if you drink too much caffeine in one go ? Like 3 cups of green tea in an evening ?

The that will overwork your system and you’ll end up tired, since your blood pressure and alertness were much too high for a short amount of time.

Its milder forms include sweating, heart flutters, and general anxiety.

Some people are more prone to these effects. I for one don’t get the shakes after too much green or black tea, but I had my fair share of staring at the ceiling, wishing I’d fall asleep already.

When it comes to green tea, black ta, even white tea, these contain caffeine.

This means that they will keep you up, but not as much as a cup of coffee since:

  • tea contains much less caffeine than coffee
  • L-theanine in tea makes caffeine work differently
  • tea is warm, and will relax you by warmth alone

When you brew yourself a nice cup of green tea, you’re ingesting antioxidants, caffeine, tannins, and L-theanine. Now, the way L-thenine works is that it binds itself to the caffeine molecules.

This means that the caffeine will keep you awake, but it won’t jolt you. L-theanine is a very good calming agent. Taken by itself it can lull you to sleep, just a bit.

So, green/black/white tea can make you sleepy, especially if you’re a heavy coffee drinker, or have absolutely zero caffeine tolerance and had too much tea that you’re tired.

Other than that, if you just had a cup of regular green tea (or any other Camellia sinensis tea) there won’t be any real reason for you to feel drowsy.

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Do herbal teas help you sleep ?

Yes, herbal teas can make you sleepy.

Some herbal teas (or tisanes) are meant to put you to sleep, or help you relax, or both.

Herbal teas great for bedtime often include:

  • chamomile
  • linden flowers
  • valerian root – very smelly, but a light, natural sedative
  • lavender
  • melissa

There are other teas that are good for bedtime, but these are the most commonly used ones.

For example chamomile tea can make you sleepy because it’s a very relaxing herb, and great for scars and cleaning wounds (not deep wounds, but surface scars).

Lavender is again a very relaxing scent, and drinking lavender tea will help put you in the right mindset to fall asleep, removing your thoughts from worries.

Valerian root is a natural sedative, and overdosing on it is very hard. It’s a very smelly kind of root, and you’ll often find it in powdered or crushed form in the tea bag.

And so on, with every herbal tea I mentioned above.

You’ll find these herbs mixed in with rooibos tea sometimes, since it adds a nice taste and feeling to the tea, with no caffeine at all.

And no herbal tea on this earth contains caffeine, unless it’s been added, and that must be mentioned on the packing.

So if you were to drink a cup of linden flower and valerian root tea, it would get your very relaxed and sleepy. Of course, the stronger the brew, the stronger the effect.

I wouldn’t recommend pushing it with the dosage, since they work well enough without adding too much.

Is it good to drink tea before bed ?

Yes, drinking tea before bed will help in many ways. 

However it depends on what kind of tea you’re drinking, and what you’re aiming for.

If you’re looking to fall asleep, you should steer clear of any caffeinated tea.

This means green, black, white, oolong, Pu’er tea are all off limits. Unless you have a very, very high tolerance to caffeine and can completely ignore the one in these teas.

Drinking tea before bed can help in several ways.

First, it’s a way to relax and unwind after the day is over. You can go through everything that happened during the day and put your thoughts in order.

Trouble falling asleep often takes root in restless thoughts.

Second, drinking or eating something warm before bed will make you feel drowsy, since you’re warming yourself up from the inside. And, as you’ve noticed, when you’re feeling extra-warm, your body starts to slow down and become sluggish.

It’s basically why drinking warm milk works so well, as you’ve maybe heard when you were a kid. It’s not the milk, but the warmth of the drink than helps.

Third, if you drink a herbal tea that’s meant to help you unwind, then drinking tea before bed will definitely help. You”ll be in a more relaxed and calm state of mind, which means you won’t have too much trouble falling asleep.

And fourth, there is the placebo effect to speak of.

If people close to you have talked about drinking tea before bed, and how much it’s helped them, you’ll be much more inclined to feel the same way when drinking tea before bed yourself.

Even if it wouldn’t normally put you to sleep. If you believe it, really believe it, it’ll help.

The only think to remember, if you do drink tea before bed, is that you’re going to wake up about an hour after you had your tea. You’ll need to use the bathroom.

What kind of tea helps you sleep ?

There are many teas out there that can help you fall asleep. We each have our own preferences, and some of us react better to some teas or others.

Generally herbal teas are going to work best when looking for a tea blend that’s meant to help you fall asleep.

Those teas will usually contain one or more of the following relaxing herbs: valerian root, lavender, chamomile, linden flower, melissa, rooibos.

Personally, I favor valerian root teas. They’re a bit smelly, yes, but they get the job done. Anything else added to that tea is going t help even more.

However not many teas can provide that, and you’re better off looking for a valerian root supplement from the drugstore.

A good alternative is a tea blend that’s specially formulated for bedtime, relaxation, calming the mind, or anything along those lines.

For example this one from Yogi is a wonderful blend for a bedtime tea, and it contains many of the herbs I was talking about before.

It’s got rooibos, which is going to give it a nice caramel flavor, and it’s got chamomile. Two of the most calming and soothing flavors and smells out there.

There’s skullcap, which is a relative of the mint plant. It’s not minty, but it helps with inflammation, insomnia, and indigestion.

This tea blend also has a bit of vanilla flavor, which is going to smooth everything over, and blend very well with the rooibos.

And to top it all off, it contains L-theanine separately. Remember when I mentioned it before ? It helps calm down the nervous system, and relax. You’re bound to have a good night sleep.

As with all Yogi teas, most ingredients are organic. And the tea also contains cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper.

So the taste will be a sweet and spicy one, as is often the case with this brand. I’ve been a fan for several years now, and I think each ingredient added has its purpose.

This is a 6-pack offer they have on Amazon, and each pack has 16 teabags. So you’re getting 96 teabags with this deal.

It’s caffeine free, sweet, spicy, and a great way to make your bedtime just a bit special. In the little while it takes you to drink a cup of tea, you can have those minutes for yourself after everything you’ve done all day.

You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well.

Final thoughts

I hope I managed to help you out with sleepiness after drinking tea.

I know I get very relaxed after drinking tea, and there is no reason you should ever fear drinking it before bed.

Just make sure you do not drink decaffeinated tea before bedtime, since you’ll have a hard time falling asleep.

If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?