top of page
  • Writer's pictureHelen Gardiner-Parks

Sleep better, think more clearly, stress less: Heck yeah.

Matcha & Co on Unsplash

No, it’s not going to be overnight, but a combination of L-theanine, tryptophan, and EGCG has been shown to help with sleep-think-calm, so I’m going to buy in.

Are we talking about buying these things individually and having some kind of pill cocktail? Adding to the handfuls of supplements many of us already toss back each day?

Hallelujah, no. Each of these powerful actors is found in spades in matcha powder, a special, concentrated form of green tea.

I have dabbled in matcha powder in the past, but I’m going to make a concerted effort at having it every day for 8 weeks, as in this study, to see what effects I experience. It will not hurt, certainly, and it makes for a tasty drink, so it’s all wins as far as the eye can see. Or as far as the tongue can taste?

Because the tea is just ground up leaves, the quality can vary greatly. The good stuff is grown in shade and is generally pricey—fortunately, a little goes a long way: a serving is 1/2-1 teaspoon. Good matcha will be silky between the fingers, bright green in color and it will taste grassy rather than fishy.

Fishy?! Fishy tea is an option? Count me out of that one.

I plan to add a dash of green goodness to my morning shakes when I have them, and I will use it as my morning tea otherwise. Generally, matcha is made as a milk-based drink, but I like to keep things clear and simple in the morning as a way to allow the overnight accumulation of toxins to wash through and out, so I will make my matcha the way I make my usual cuppa: hot water and tea.

I am committed to having it early in the day because it does have a generous amount of caffeine, but here’s where matcha is particularly fascinating: half the caff of a coffee, double the caff of a green tea, but it's loaded with L-theanine and this modulates it. Who knew?

Well, I did, actually, but I forgot until I read this most excellent and comprehensive article.

So L-theanine to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, tryptophan to help us make serotonin and melatonin which support solid sleep cycles, and EGCG to reduce inflammation and stress which helps our body with, well, everything.

Boom. This stuff is sounding like a silver bullet and I’m aiming it at my sleep which is not great right now.

One specific aspect which caught my attention is L-theanine’s modulation of cortisol, the stress hormone. I know, through hormone testing, that my cortisol is off-cycle. It’s supposed be highest in the morning in concert with our highest levels of energy and then decline over the course of the day to its lowest level at midnight. I experience surges of cortisol at various times of the day and I know this is damaging to the organism I call home so I am determined to do what I can to restore harmony.

These cortisol surges usually result in warm or hot flashes, which I am a big, fat, No to, so I get to do all I can to reduce their access to me. If matcha can be part of that, then welcome to my self-care party.

I am super excited to bring matcha back into my pantry; I’ve got clear goals for it. How about you? Will you try it? Have you already done so?

Ooh, before I forget—apparently it also helps with constipation, which is always a good thing to avoid. We don’t want our toxic waste sitting around getting reabsorbed, No, no, we don’t.

Keep me posted and I will keep you posted, too!


Wondering where to buy matcha? I buy mine from Frontier Natural Products Coop and there are plenty of other good sources online or at your local health food stores.

Thanks for reading; if you have a topic you'd like to see me address, reach out and let me know.


A little news: My next RESTART sugar detox program runs May 3-31 meeting online 7-8:30pm ET. Reach out with questions or to register!

31 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page