So, just like me, you have also kept up with the trend and become a regular kombucha drinker; and it’s crossed your mind if kombucha might be the reason you’re not getting a good night’s sleep? This article will clear all your doubts & misconceptions (if any) about kombucha and its relation to your sleep.
No, kombucha is not likely to be the reason for you keeping up at night. In general ready to drink Kombucha only has 1/3rd the amount of caffeine, as the tea it is brewed from. So unless you have a strong intolerance to caffeine, kombucha is not going to keep you awake at night.
Having said that, kombucha and sleep do have a correlation. So if you want to understand more about that, you have come to the right place!
Though unlikely, is kombucha actually keeping you up at night?
Let’s understand what constituents of kombucha could possibly keep you awake.
1. Caffeine in Kombucha
We all relate caffeine to coffee, a tool that we’ve all used to push through those all-nighters before exams. But, even tea has caffeine. Let’s breakdown the caffeine content in tea vs coffeePer Cup (8oz) (235ml)Caffeine content Green Tea15-30 mgBlack Tea60-75 mgCoffee125-150 mg
As stated above, kombucha has only 1/3rd the amount of caffeine than the tea it is brewed from. During the fermentation process, the bacteria and yeast actually consume some amounts of the caffeine, therefore, leaving a very residual amount. A general standard, if the tea you used in brewing your Kombucha has 30mg of caffeine, the final ready Kombucha will most likely have around 10mg of caffeine.
Also taking into consideration that most people make kombucha using a blend of black and green tea, the caffeine content in a ready to drink fermented kombucha drink is going to be too less to affect your sleep.
Personally, I completely quit coffee a few years ago. The caffeine crash just didn’t suit me. And yet now, I have made drinking around 250ml of kombucha a part of my nighttime routine, and yes, as soon as my head touches the pillow, I’m out!
So unless you’re extremely intolerant to caffeine, having a few hundred ml of kombucha isn’t going to affect your sleep at all.
2. B-Vitamins in Kombucha
Kombucha is abundant in B-Vitamins, specifically B1, B6 & B12. B vitamins are known to play a crucial role in synthesizing energy for our body by producing glucose from the food we consume. Some might think that the energy spike they get from consuming B vitamins might be keeping them awake.
However, that theory doesn’t hold true. Unless you take an excessively high dose of B vitamin such as a B12 shot, you’re not going to feel anything at all!
Kombucha Buzz, a term often used by new kombucha drinkers, describing the slight buzz or high they feel when they sip on some chilled booch!
This buzz is not just from the residual caffeine or alcohol in kombucha. Rather, it stems from a culmination of the pairing of L-Theanine with minimal caffeine. L-Theanine, an amino acid found in copious amounts in tea, is known for its calming and relaxing properties and also stimulating the brain’s alpha waves, which heightens creativity and alertness.
This combination of caffeine and theanine is actually widely used in the west as an alternative to caffeine. The main reason being, when caffeine is paired with L-Theanine, you get the calm focus and energy without the crash! Theanine is used to reduce anxiety, while caffeine is known to increase anxiety.
This contrasting combination of caffeine and theanine might not keep you up at night, but will definitely give you the sustained energy you need to start your Monday morning!
Can Kombucha Help You Sleep At Night? The Relation Between Gut Health And Sleep
I am pretty sure that there have been times where you have overeaten on a sunday dinner and felt uneasy, thus leading to poor sleep. We’ve all been there!
Having kombucha regularly, can help alleviate this problem to a certain extent. Kombucha is filled with live digestive enzymes that apart from helping with bloating and gas, will also help you digest your food better. And better digestion is definitely going to leave you with a better night’s sleep!
Read this blog post from someone who narrates her journey of consuming kombucha every day for two weeks and how it helped her sleep better!
Gut Microbiota and Sleep
Our gut is lined with trillions of bacteria, which collectively form the gut microbiome. The microbiome is one of the most underrated pillars of human health. Having more microbial cells than human cells in our body, it is high time we took care of it. The gut microbiome affects almost every single of our bodily functions ensuring optimal health.
Read more about the importance of our gut health and gut microbiome here.
Known as The Gut-Brain Connect, our gut, and the brain is bi-directionally connected to each other via
1. Physically, via the Vagus Nerve 2. Chemically, via neurotransmitters
This strong link has shown that many times, mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia can be due to poor gut microbiome. Read this study to know more about gut microbiome and insomnia!
Another way how gut health can lead to poor sleep is the impact of our guts on Hormone Regulation. A variety of neurotransmitters, that are linked to our mood, such as dopamine & serotonin are produced in the gut. In fact, 90% of our body’s serotonin, the happy-making neurotransmitter, is produced by our gut!
I’m sure you’ve stumbled across the term Melatonin. It is a hormone that is widely associated with sleep and influencing our circadian rhythm (Our 24-hour clock). And to sum it all up, serotonin is the precursor of melatonin. This means that melatonin is produced from serotonin, 90% of which is produced in the gut!
Gut Microbiota and Circadian Rhythm
Circadian rhythm, or our 24-hour body clock, is basically our sleep/wake cycle that is linked to the earth’s light/dark cycle through our brain. Various studies have given insights on how a disrupted gut microbiome Can negatively affect our circadian rhythm and body clock. Poor gut microbiomes can affect our body’s basic functioning such as metabolic processes. A disruption in our metabolism will directly affect our circadian rhythm and in turn, have an adverse effect on our sleeping patterns
Vitamin B12 and Sleep
While poor sleep has for long been considered one of the symptoms of a deficiency of vitamin B12, a small study examined two participants who had severe sleep-wake disorders. The study found that administering them with daily doses Vitamin B12 improved their disorders. In one of the participants, a 15-year-old blind girl, when the B12 administration was stopped, her sleep disorder was aggravated again! Read the study here.
P.S.- Kombucha is one of the very rare vegan sources that is abundant in B12.
Fix Your Sleep Issues With These Tips!
Well, since you’ve come here wondering if kombucha might keep you awake, why not I share some basic tools I’ve used in the past to get over my poor sleeping patterns
1. Exercise. It’s pretty obvious, an intense workout (like mine :p) is sure to put you to bed at night.
2. Healthy Diet, and correct eating times. A diet that is good for you gut microbiome will make sure you don’t have disrupted metabolic activities that will in turn affect your circadian rhythm and keep you awake at night
3. Avoid Blue Light for a couple of hours prior to bedtime. This means no devices like phones, laptops etc. Yes, this does sound almost impossible in this day and age. Instead, you can alter your phone setting to ‘Night Mode’ or ‘Reading Mode’, which reduces the blue light from the device.
4. Limit caffeine post 6pm. Simple, caffeine keeps you awake. We all know that. Limiting caffeine consumption post 6pm will make sure it’s not keeping you up at night.
5. Avoid Work Stress. Remember, you must have a separation of your work life and personal life. Make sure to deal with work stress in your working hours!
6. Meditate. This is bound to make your mind calmer, something which I personally feel is crucial for good sleep. You don’t want a thousand things running in your head when you’re trying to sleep!
7. Setting your body clock. Once you manage to get your sleep schedule back on track with the above tools, make sure you consistently sleep and wake up at the same time for a few weeks to make sure your body gets used to it.