When You Drink Tea Before Bed, This Is What Happens

If you're hoping to get a good night's sleep, you'll want to avoid drinking green, black, or white tea before bed. That's because tea is a major source of caffeine — a natural chemical that stimulates both the brain and the body to prompt feelings of wakefulness (via Healthline). Just a cup of green tea contains around 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is about 33% of the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Consuming caffeine just a few hours before bed can keep you up at night and disrupt your sleep patterns, making it increasingly difficult for you to fall and stay asleep at night. That's why it's important to stop drinking tea or any other caffeinated beverage around four to six hours before bed (via Verywell Health). This is roughly the same time it takes for your body to metabolize nearly half of your daily caffeine consumption. If you're extra sensitive to caffeine, however, it might be better to stop drinking caffeinated tea in the afternoon.

Herbal teas can induce feelings of sleepiness

Fortunately, this doesn't mean that you have to completely avoid drinking tea at night. There are plenty of caffeine-free herbal teas that can keep you warm without disrupting your sleep cycle (via Insider). For instance, chamomile tea is an herbal tea that has a calming effect on the body and can actually promote feelings of sleepiness. That's because chamomile contains apigenin — a compound and antioxidant that binds to the GABA receptors in the brain to create a sedative effect, making you feel tired.

"Chamomile formulations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation," Dr. Michael Breus, a psychologist and board-certified sleep specialist, told Insider. "They are commonly used as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer." If you're in need of a natural sleep aid, Breus recommends drinking a cup of chamomile tea about 45 minutes before bedtime." That will give your body enough time to metabolize the tea, and the chemical compounds that cause those sedative feelings to kick in," Insider confirmed.