Matcha and Sleep: Here’s What You Need to Know

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We could all use some help in our sleep routine from time to time. Whether it’s trouble falling asleep or just never being able to finish a good dream, natural sleep aids like matcha are an attractive remedy. If you’re not already a green tea connoisseur, you might be interested to learn that adding a cup of home-brewed matcha tea to your day might improve your restfulness. 

Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between matcha and sleep and whether it’s worth adding to your bedtime routine. 

Note: The content on Sleepopolis is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t be taken as medical advice, and it shouldn’t take the place of medical advice and supervision from a trained professional. If you feel you may be suffering from any sleep disorder or medical condition, please see your healthcare provider immediately.

Long Story Short

  • Matcha is a powder made from finely ground green tea leaves, AKA a more concentrated take on green tea.
  • It’s rich in antioxidants (like catechins and EGCG), the amino acid L-theanine, and contains some caffeine, some of which are presumably responsible for its sleep support and potential other benefits.
  • While most studies are on green tea versus matcha specifically, there is some evidence that drinking matcha in moderation may help support calmness and brain health in ways that could benefit sleep.

What Is Matcha? 

Matcha is a finely ground powder made from specially grown and processed green tea leaves. Originating in Japan, matcha is best known for its brilliant green color, distinct flavor, and numerous health benefits. (1)

Unlike traditional green tea, where the leaves are steeped and discarded, matcha involves consuming the entire leaf. This provides a concentrated dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The matcha flavor profile can be described as a delicate balance of sweetness and bitterness, with an earthy, umami (savory) undertone. 

Matcha is commonly used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, but it’s gained worldwide popularity as an ingredient in drinks, desserts, and savory dishes. 

Can Matcha Help Me Sleep? 

Matcha is often associated with providing an energy boost due to its caffeine content, often ranging between 18.9 and 44.4 mg per gram. (1) However, there’s some evidence that it may also be used to promote better sleep for some people. 

In addition to caffeine, matcha also contains an amino acid called L-theanine as well as an abundance of antioxidants — compounds that help protect your cells from stress and damage that can lead to disease. (2) (3) Together, these compounds may contribute to better restfulness. 

Still, just as some swear coffee doesn’t affect them while others can’t drink it after 10 a.m. if they want to sleep that night, matcha affects people differently. 

Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, notes, “For those more sensitive to caffeine, it is best to have your matcha earlier in the day, ideally before 2 p.m.”

For reference, the average 8-ounce (240 mL) cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine. A typical serving of matcha is around 1 teaspoon (2 grams), which equates to 40-90 mg of caffeine. (1) (4)

What the Research Says

Note that most of the studies available on this topic use green tea versus matcha. However, there are a couple worth considering. 

One 2022 study published in the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, composed of 99 randomized older adults with cognitive decline or mild impairment, took place over 12 months and involved giving half of the participants two grams (1 teaspoon) of matcha per day, while the other half received a placebo. 

The authors measured changes in brain function and sleep quality. At the end of the study, they concluded that matcha consumption can improve certain aspects of brain function as well as sleep quality in elderly adults with cognitive decline. (5)

Additionally, Mitri says, “According to a research review of 33 studies, drinking two cups of matcha tea two to three hours before bed is seen to have a sleep-supportive and stress-reducing effect.” She continues, “This effect is thought to be from L-theanine, which can promote sleep through its effect on neurotransmitters (i.e. nerve signalers) in the body.” (6)

How Matcha Works

The most likely reason matcha and sleep may go together is the unique combination of compounds, including: (7)

  • L-theanine: Abundant in matcha, L-theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier — a layer of cells that selectively keep harmful substances out of your brain. It induces a sense of calmness by triggering alpha waves, which are a type of brain wave associated with relaxation and focus. L-theanine also alters the way caffeine acts in your body. (8) (9)
  • Caffeine: Present in matcha in smaller amounts compared to coffee, caffeine provides a gentle energy boost without the jittery side effects of a larger dose, complementing the calming effects of L-theanine.
  • Antioxidants: Matcha contains a group of plant antioxidants known as catechins— like EGCG — which have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. These compounds may support overall health, stress reduction, and restful sleep. (10) (11)

Other Health Benefits of Matcha

Matcha has been used in traditional medicine for a long time, so it’s no wonder that it has a long list of other potential health benefits. Again, the majority of its benefits are credited to its three main compounds: caffeine, L-theanine, and antioxidants (like catechins). (7)

May Enhance Memory

L-theanine promotes relaxation and focus. Plus, the antioxidant properties of matcha may help protect your brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, potentially preserving memory. (1

And, its moderate caffeine content may stimulate the activity of chemicals in your brain involved in forming and retaining memories. So much so that some researchers think moderate consumption may even help prevent age-related decline in brain function. (12)

May Support Heart Health 

Matcha is rich in catechins, which are antioxidants associated with lower levels of LDL — or  “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL are associated with a higher risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. (13)

The L-theanine in matcha may also help lower blood pressure and promote relaxation, both of which are good for your ticker. Plus, matcha contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which may help reduce inflammation around the heart. (1

May Support Metabolic Health

Metabolism refers to how efficiently your body converts the food you eat into energy, maintains proper blood sugar levels, and manages fat storage. Having optimal metabolic health, then, indicates that these processes are working well. 

Catechins and caffeine have been linked to increased metabolism and fat oxidation, potentially supporting healthy weight management. Plus, the combination of L-theanine and caffeine in matcha may support stable energy levels and reduce cravings. (1

May Have Anti-cancer Activity

There’s no single food or ingredient that can prevent cancer — it’s your overall lifestyle habits that play the biggest roles. (14) (15) However, matcha is full of antioxidants that help fight disease-promoting oxidative stress, and some studies show that EGCG may help stop cancer cells from growing and thriving. (1) (16)

May Help Protect Your Liver 

The antioxidants in matcha may have particular benefits for your liver, the organ responsible for removing harmful substances from your body, metabolizing nutrients, helping in digestion, and storing vitamins and energy for later use. 

Some animal research suggests that catechins in matcha may help lower the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition of fatty buildup in the liver, which can lead to inflammation and organ damage. (17) Green tea catechins may even help prevent the growth of abnormal (potentially cancerous) cells in the liver. (18)

May Support Mental Health 

L-theanine is known for its calming effects on the brain, which may help you better manage feelings of stress and anxiety. Pairing L-theanine with caffeine in matcha helps promote a state of relaxed alertness — because L-theanine can balance out the stimulating effects of caffeine. (1) (19)

Adding matcha alongside other mental health-promoting practices like meditation, yoga, and nature walks may be a helpful practice for keeping stress and anxiety in check. 

Potential Side Effects of Matcha 

Matcha has plenty to offer, but it may have some potential downsides, especially when consumed in large amounts. 

While matcha contains less caffeine than coffee, it still has some. Caffeine is known to trigger side effects like insomnia, increased heart rate, anxiety, and jitteriness among sensitive individuals — which would defeat the purpose of using it for better sleep. (20)

It’s also possible that some batches of matcha could be contaminated with heavy metals or pesticides depending on where it comes from and how it’s grown. (21) (22) This speaks to the importance of choosing high-quality, organic sources and consuming matcha in moderation. 

Overall, matcha is generally considered safe for most people, but like anything else, it’s important to be mindful and intentional about adding something new to your health routine.  

How to Use Matcha for Sleep

Interested in trying matcha for sleep? Here are some quick steps for preparing it: 

  1. Gather your supplies: You’ll need high-quality matcha powder, a bamboo whisk (chasen), a matcha bowl (chawan), a bamboo scoop (chashaku), and hot water (not boiling).
  2. Sift the matcha powder: Use a small sieve to sift 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of matcha powder into your matcha bowl. This step helps break up any clumps and ensures a smooth, frothy texture.
  3. Add hot water: Heat water to around 175°F (it should be hot but not boiling). Pour a small amount of hot water into the matcha bowl over the sifted matcha powder.
  4. Whisk the matcha: Using your bamboo whisk, briskly whisk the matcha and water in a zigzag motion until the mixture is smooth and frothy and there aren’t any clumps left. 
  5. Adjust to taste: Taste the prepared matcha and adjust the water-to-matcha ratio according to your preference. Some people prefer a stronger or milder flavor, so add more or less water as desired.

If you’re hoping to enjoy your cup of matcha as part of your sleep routine, avoid doing so too close to bedtime to prevent the stimulating effects of caffeine from keeping you awake. 

It’s best to avoid caffeine for at least a couple of hours before going to bed, but you may want to give yourself more time if you’re caffeine-sensitive. It takes your body 4-6 hours to work through half of its caffeine intake. (23) It may be better to incorporate green tea at breakfast or lunch versus dinner time. 

“For extra flavor and a comforting aroma, you can add a bit of lavender syrup to your warm matcha,” says Mitri. 


Can matcha keep you up at night?

It depends on the person, but yes, matcha contains caffeine, which can potentially keep you up at night if consumed too close to bedtime or in excessive amounts. It’s best to moderate intake and avoid drinking matcha close to bedtime to minimize its stimulant effects on sleep quality.

What does matcha taste like?

Matcha has a unique flavor often described as grassy or earthy yet also mildly sweet. When it’s properly prepared, matcha has a smooth and creamy texture.

How much caffeine is in matcha?

Matcha contains around 18.9 and 44.4 mg of caffeine per gram. This translates to approximately 40-90 mg of caffeine per serving prepared with 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of matcha powder.

How do you prepare matcha?

To prepare matcha, start by sifting 1-2 teaspoons (2-4 grams) of matcha powder into a bowl to remove any clumps. Then, add hot (not boiling) water and whisk vigorously until frothy and the powder is well combined. Adjust the water-to-matcha ratio according to taste preference and enjoy!

The Last Word From Sleepopolis 

While more research is needed to fully understand matcha and sleep, its potential is promising — and delicious. With the combination of an ever-so-caffeinated focus with the calming properties of L-theanine and the antioxidant benefits of catechins, a morning or midday matcha may be just the thing you need to catch more Z’s tonight. 

As with any other natural sleep aid, there’s no guarantee it will work for you, but at least it can warm your belly and calm your mind. If you’re having ongoing trouble sleeping, enjoy a cup of matcha — and speak with your healthcare provider for other options. 


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Mitri, Melissa. Personal Interview. April 2024.

Lauren Panoff

Lauren Panoff

Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD is a Colorado-based health and nutrition writer who has been published with a number of trusted wellness platforms. She is a dietitian who specializes in plant-based living, as well as a mother of two humans and a dog.

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