Tools

Does Ginger Cause Insomnia? | Snooze University

by Dale Cudmore | Updated: Sep 06, 2020

Ginger tea and other ginger-based herbal drinks are often recommended for evening drinking as they’re supposed to be relaxing.

While it’s not all that common, some people report having insomnia symptoms after consuming ginger.

Is it just a coincidence, or is there more to it?

A Summary of Ginger Research

Ginger is a herb, so it’s not surprising that it really hasn’t been studied that much.

However, the few studies that have been done on ginger are mostly positive:

  • One study found that ginger inhibited spontaneous motor activity (i.e. muscle twitches), had pain-reducing effects, and prolonged sleeping time (1).
  • Another study found that ginger helps to prevent and reduce inflammation. It can reduce the severity of allergic reactions (2).
  • A small study found that taking ginger supplements regularly resulted in less muscle pain after working out (3).

And while it’s not as influential as published research, many cultures around the world consume ginger to improve digestion and nausea. Science doesn’t necessarily disprove these claims, there just isn’t a whole lot of research backing them up either.

SummaryIn general, ginger appears to have anti-inflammation and pain-reducing effects for most people.

Is There a Way That Ginger Could Cause Sleep Trouble?

I couldn’t find a single piece of research concretely linking ginger to insomnia.

At best, we can speculate.

Ginger doesn’t have a significant effect on any of the neurotransmitters involved in sleep as far as we know right now, so that only leaves the possibility of it causing a physical issue that could impact sleep.

Can ginger cause an allergic reaction? It’s possible, but extremely rare (4).

Can ginger cause a condition that could interfere with sleep (i.e. heartburn, stomach pain, etc.)? Yes, it is possible if you consume too much.

The general upper limit I’ve seen is to have no more than 4 grams of ginger per day.

Finally, while ginger is usually relaxing for most people, it can have an energizing effect in some. This could of course cause sleep issues.

Is Ginger Causing Your Sleep Trouble?

What we’ve seen is that it’s quite unlikely that ginger is causing any symptoms of insomnia.

Unless you find ginger particularly energizing, or you’re consuming a high quantity of it, there aren’t any likely ways that it can cause issues.

But there could be exceptions, or things we just don’t know about ginger yet.

The more likely explanation of any sleep issues from say, drinking ginger tea, would be the excess liquid before bed makes sleeping more difficult (i.e. having to urinate more). Or it could be a completely unrelated issue.

References

  1. Pharmacological studies on ginger
  2. Antiallergic potential on RBL-2H3 cells of some phenolic constituents of Zingiber officinale (ginger)
  3. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise
  4. Food allergy and IgE sensitization caused by spices: CICBAA data (based on 589 cases of food allergy)

Medical Disclaimer: The information on SnoozeUniversity.com is not intended to be a substitute for physician or other qualitified care. We simply aim to inform people struggling with sleep issues about the nature of their condition and/or prescribed treatment.


About the authorDale is the founder of Snooze University and a sleep researcher. I overcame my sleep issues and now I'd like to help you do the same by summarizing the latest sleep studies for you.