The Chinese are known for their collection of natural and plant-derived teas that offer numerous health benefits. One such tea is oolong tea!
Even though oolong tea is mostly popular amongst the Chinese, it is now becoming widely accepted in other parts of the world due to its numerous health benefits and relaxing properties.
In this article, we will be looking at the effects you can expect when you drink oolong tea before bed, as well as the general effects oolong tea has on the body.
But First: What is Oolong Tea?
Oolong tea is made from the dried and twisted leaves of the Camellia sinensis, which is commonly known as the tea plant. This plant is also used to make green and black tea.
There are different types of oolong tea, and each of them have different tastes. Among the most popular types of oolong tea are the Da Hong Pao and Bai Jiguan, produced in China’s Northern Fujian.
The taste that each variety of oolong tea produces depends on the style of production and cultivation. There are generally 2 styles of producing and twisting the oolong tea leaves. Some are wrapped and curled into a small bead-like shape, while others are curled and rolled into long leaves.
The flavors can range from sweet and fruity to woody and aromatic or green and fresh!
Oolong tea also contains many minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that can help nourish the body. It also contains antioxidants and polyphenols such as theaflavins, thearugbins, and L – theanine. It’s these nutrients and antioxidants that have made this tea particularly popular.
But are there any effects on your sleep and body when you drink oolong tea before bed or at night? That’s what we explain next.
Oolong Tea Before Bed: The Surprising Effects
The antioxidants present in oolong tea are primarily responsible for its health benefits and the effects it might have on the body.
Below are some of the effects you might experience when you drinking oolong tea before going to bed. Some may surprise you.
1. Reduce Insomnia, Anxiety & Stress
Oolong tea contains an amino acid called L- theanine. A recent study carried out in 2020 confirmed that L-theanine has relaxing and sleep-inducing properties.
The study also concluded that using L-theanine decreased the stress and anxiety levels of people with acute stress.
Usually, sipping a cup of tea is bound to make you feel relaxed and a bit drowsy. This is further enhanced if the tea contains minerals like L-theanine that can induce relaxation and sleep.
So drinking oolong tea before bed and at night may ease insomnia symptoms.
2. Weight Loss
Oolong tea contains a significant amount of caffeine with a cup of brewed oolong tea containing about 38mg of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant in oolong tea that has been confirmed to help break down fat by almost 20%. Yet even though caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns, a study carried out at the University of Tsukuba in Japan discovered that the caffeine present in oolong tea worked only to burn fat even while asleep.
They discovered that out of the other groups who took placebos, those who took oolong tea didn’t have their sleep disrupted and that the breakdown of fat continued even while the users were asleep.
In the words of one of the leading professors of the study:
“Like all teas, oolong contains caffeine, which impacts energy metabolism by increasing our heart rate. However, studies suggest that tea consumption may also increase the breakdown of fat, independent of the effects of caffeine.”
There isn’t conclusive evidence to back this study, but for those looking to lose weight through natural and easy ways, it seems oolong tea may help you burn fat while you’re asleep, and might just be the solution.
3. But Caffeine Might Disrupt Sleep Patterns
Even though oolong tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine, that amount can still cause some undesirable symptoms for people who are sensitive to caffeine.
Consumption of caffeine at a level that your body isn’t comfortable with can cause a series of side effects that might make it difficult to fall asleep. Side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn, convulsions, and so on.
General Effects Oolong Tea Has on The Body
1. Drinking Oolong Tea Might Increase Focus and Mental Alertness
Oolong tea comprises several nutrients and minerals that can help improve brain functions and alertness.
To start with, the caffeine in oolong tea increases the level of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are essential in brain functions, mood regulation, focus, and attention.
Other nutrients such as polyphenols and antioxidants like theaflavins, thearugbins, and EGCG also contain properties that can boost brain health.
2. Oolong Tea May Protect and Improve the Heart
Antioxidants are important elements that help cardiovascular health. Oolong tea contains various antioxidants that can improve the heart’s condition, among other things.
Many studies that have been carried out on the effects of tea on the cardiovascular system all concluded that regular tea drinkers had reduced cholesterol and blood pressure level. They also had a reduced risk of getting heart diseases.
Other studies carried out on oolong tea also confirmed these claims. A study concluded that men who drank 1 to 2 cups of oolong tea per day had a 61% lower heart disease risk.
3. Oolong Tea Helps With Weight Loss
We already mentioned this property of oolong tea earlier in the article. Numerous studies have shown that the antioxidants in teas have the potential to reduce weight.
However, oolong tea takes this a step further. A study in Japan showed that oolong tea also actively works during sleep to keep up the body’s metabolism and increase the calories that the body burns while at rest.
4. Oolong Tea May Help Against Some Types of Cancer
The antioxidants present in oolong tea may have the ability to prevent cell mutation and multiplication, which is the primary cause of cancer.
Different studies have been carried out to derive a connection between tea consumption and reduction in the risk of lung, liver, pancreas, colon, rectal, and esophagus cancers.
While some of the research looks promising, there is still no conclusive evidence yet, as the statistics that back these claims up are still significantly low.
Drinking Oolong Tea Before Bed: Our Final Thoughts
Oolong tea is like a mixture of green tea and black tea; thus, the health benefits of both types of tea can also be attributed to it.
Teas are generally known to have a relaxing and soothing feeling to help induce sleep. When you combine this with some primary elements in oolong tea that have been proven to reduce stress levels and induce sleep, and the potential that drinking oolong tea at night bed help weight loss, then it doesn’t seem a bad idea to drink oolong tea before bed.
However, care should be taken, especially for people who are very sensitive to caffeine. They should watch out for any side effect symptoms.
Besides that, a cup of oolong tea offers you immense health benefits when taken before bed or as an everyday relaxing beverage.