Water, coffee, and tea are usually the three staples for anyone on an intermittent fasting diet. Coffee and tea should be unsweetened and without any milk if you want to play it safe, though some sweeteners like stevia could be allowed. In short, during your fast, you want to be as close to zero calories as possible.
Does that mean all teas are safe? For instance, does Sleepytime tea break a fast?
Sleepytime tea does not break a fast, as it has zero calories and zero carbs. Since it is an herbal tea, there are concerns some of the herbs could cause an insulin response or stimulate the gut. Of course, some people could be impacted by herbal teas. For most though, these teas are safe during a fast and they are even recommended.
Let’s explore this topic more and see how Sleepytime tea can affect your fast and when you should have it.
What is Sleepytime tea?
Sleepytime is an herbal tea aimed at helping you fall asleep faster and have a more restful sleep. Its ingredients include chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, blackberry leaves, and orange blossoms.
Does it truly do what it claims? As with all herbal remedies, this varies from person to person. In other words, it all comes down to how you react to the ingredients. Sleepytime has been on the market since 1972 and has sold millions of tea boxes since then. While this is no guarantee it will work for you, it does show people are happy with the results.
Most of its ingredients are herbs that promote rest and relaxation. They are also great for anxiety and boosting your mood. Unless you have an allergy to one of the ingredients, Sleepytime shouldn’t have any side effects. The worst that can happen is that it has no effect, but it should definitely not have a negative impact on your body or your sleep.
Does Sleepytime tea break a fast?
Sleepytime does not break a fast. It has no calories and no carbs so it shouldn’t cause an insulin response. Of course, you need to remember to stay away from sugar or milk. Some sweeteners may be ok, depending on quantity or your fasting goals. But if you want to be on the safe side, drink your tea without adding any other ingredients.
If you’re on a strict fast and are worried about possible gut stimulation, you should know that the risk is minimal. It is true though that some people report changes in bowel movement, for instance, after drinking chamomile tea. And since chamomile is the main ingredient in Sleepytime tea, there’s a risk it will break a fast that is aimed at gut rest.
Since you need to drink this tea in the evening, one solution if you don’t want to give it up is to drink it during your eating window. For most people this should be fairly easy as the preferred fasting method is skipping breakfast and maybe even lunch through the 16/8 method or even 18/6. In this case, you can have your Sleepytime tea after the last meal of the day and close your eating window with it.
Remember there’s no need to stress about it though, unless you have a known digestive reaction to one of the ingredients, or unless you’ve been advised to follow strict water fast. For most people, unsweetened herbal teas do not break a fast.
Can Sleepytime tea help intermittent fasting?
All teas are helpful when fasting and Sleepytime is no different.
It can help regulate the circadian rhythm
For most people, intermittent fasting means sleeping better. That’s because it can regulate the circadian rhythm, which will help you fall asleep faster and wake up well-rested. But sadly, this isn’t the case for everyone. Fasting, especially when you first start, can be incredibly stressful for the body. It can lead to an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, which in turn messes up your circadian rhythm. The result? You find it hard to fall asleep, and when you wake up, you’re far from well-rested. To make up for it, you may drink more coffee, which in turn messes up the circadian rhythm even more and you end up in a never-ending cycle.
Sleepytime tea can be just the remedy you need. It could help you relax in the evening, balancing the side effects of having too much cortisol. By doing this, you’ll be able to sleep better and wake up feeling rested.
It may reduce your appetite
Herbal teas can also help curb your appetite. So for instance, if you’re just starting with your intermittent fasting journey and you were used to having a snack before bed, ending your eating window many hours before that could be uncomfortable. Herbal teas such as Sleepytime come to the rescue! Herbal teas are known to help boost a feeling of satiety, curbing your appetite for unhealthy bedtime snacks.
Does Sleeptytime have any side effects?
Herbal teas have few side effects, which are generally related to allergic reactions or preexistent medical conditions. Sleepytime has two ingredients that may, in rare cases, cause serious side effects.
There is speculation that tilia flowers could cause cardiac damage when used in large quantities over extended periods of time. There is no definitive research to confirm this, and the amount of tilia flowers in Sleepytime does not qualify as a ‘large quantity’. However, if you know you have cardiac issues, you may need to talk to your doctor before using this tea.
Blackberry leaves are high in tannins, which may lead to digestive issues in some people. Again, this is a very rare effect and will usually only be seen in those who already have problems such as IBS or a stomach ulcer. So if you know you have such issues, pay attention to how Sleepytime makes you feel or talk to a doctor before drinking it. Also, taking it during a meal could reduce the risk of side effects.
The bottom line
Does Sleepytime tea break a fast? If you’re fasting for weight loss, blood sugar management, or autophagy, Sleepytime tea will not break a fast. Those fasting for gut rest may need to pay more attention to how they feel as it may stimulate the gut, though evidence of this is scarce and most people should be ok.