Whether you’re seeking a health boost through detoxification or looking to unwind before going to bed, you might be wondering: can I drink detox tea at night?
Although some detox teas are labeled as “bedtime” drinks, you still need to watch out for any active ingredients that could disrupt your sleep quality.
In this article, we will dig into everything you need to know before you start drinking detox tea at bedtime.
The Best Time of Day to Drink Detox Tea
While some brands recommend consuming their detox products in the morning to kickstart the day with boosted energy levels and metabolism, others may suggest different timings for specific benefits.
However, it’s essential to note that there are general precautions to consider, regardless of the chosen time.
3 Precautions to Keep in Mind Before Drinking Detox Tea at Night
Before you grab a cup of detox tea at bedtime, check out these three vital precautions:
1. Check the Ingredients List
You might find cleansing or detox products on the market with sleep aid ingredients, like chamomile or valerian root extract. Yet, they may also contain other stimulating components best avoided at night.
For the most part, there are two crucial factors to consider: caffeine content and the presence of laxatives.
Regular tea made from Camellia sinensis leaves contains caffeine, but it also contains theanine, which has a relaxing effect. As a result, some people may consume regular tea a few hours before bedtime without any trouble.
However, detox tea may include higher caffeine levels, especially if it’s marketed as an energy booster. Naturally, this could lead to sleep disturbances.
On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to find caffeine-free detox teas. Those could be more suitable for nighttime consumption.
Just note that even if caffeine isn’t mentioned explicitly on the list, you still have to look for other potential stimulants, like guarana seeds.
Laxatives and Diuretics
Some detox tea manufacturers claim that their products aid in weight loss, but this effect may be mainly due to water weight loss caused by laxatives or diuretics.
Depending on the speed at which these ingredients act, you could have to take multiple trips to the bathroom during the night. These frequent disruptions can leave you feeling fatigued the next day.
You might even spot senna on the detox drink’s ingredients list. Sure, it’s an over-the-counter remedy for constipation that’s often taken at bedtime (it takes around 8 hours to work). However, you still don’t want to consume senna regularly.
Using senna for extended periods can pose serious risks. For one, it may cause severe electrolyte imbalances. Plus, it could leave your bowels dependent on laxatives.
So, if your detox tea has senna, we wouldn’t recommend making it part of your bedtime routine.
2. Pick Reputable Products Only
You need to be extra careful when using detox teas marketed as supplements, regardless of whether you’ll be taking them at night, first thing in the morning, or any time throughout the day.
Unlike medications, dietary supplements don’t undergo pre-approval FDA evaluations. The agency only regulates these supplements once they are already on the market, which means there could be potentially dangerous ingredients present in the tea bags.
For instance, in one case, the FDA found fluoxetine, an SSRI antidepressant, in a detox product.
This is such an unexpected ingredient that could have significant side effects and should not be taken without a valid medical reason.
3. Consult Your Doctor
Before incorporating detox tea into your nightly routine, it’s essential to consult your doctor, especially if you are taking medications or have any underlying health conditions.
For one, detox products may contain laxatives that can potentially interact with certain medications, affecting their efficacy or safety.
Additionally, your healthcare provider can help assess the safety of the herbal mix in the detox tea. While some herbs have known health benefits, others may have interactions or contraindications that could be problematic.
It’s also important to note that if you are experiencing sleep issues, relying solely on detox drinks might not be the most effective solution.
Instead, your doctor can help you determine if using approved sleeping aids and shifting to a healthier lifestyle is more appropriate for your situation. This way, you can address the underlying causes of sleep disturbances.
3 Alternative Bedtime Drinks to Consider
To avoid the added caffeine and laxative content found in some detox herbal tea products, you could try some of the following bedtime-friendly alternatives:
1. Chamomile Tea
However, it may not be an effective solution for those dealing with insomnia cases.
2. Mint Tea
While it’s not exactly known for its sleep aid properties, peppermint can help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). So, it could be a good pick if abdominal pain or spasms are what’s prompting you to try detox drinks.
Some people take peppermint oil capsules. Still, you opt for tea bags or fresh mint leaves and adjust the strength to suit your taste preferences.
That said, you might want to avoid mint teas and capsules if you suffer from reflux.
3. Warm Milk
It turns out that the age-old remedy of warm milk before bed has its merits. That’s because milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid known for its potential sleep-promoting properties.
For added relaxation, some individuals use ashwagandha to create a calming concoction known as moon milk.
Sipping detox teas at night might not suit everyone. If you do, make sure to pick reputable products with no excessive stimulants, diuretics, or laxatives.
As always, we’d recommend consulting your doctor before trying any new detox regimen.
After all, you don’t want to risk your sleep quality over a bedtime drink. Remember that sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and affects your immunity!
Read about this effect in our 7 Bad Habits That Weaken Your Immune System blog post.
John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others live a healthier life.