kava bar in Portland

Drinking Kava: Sleepy or Relaxed

Perhaps kava’s biggest selling point to those newly acquainted with the healthy benefits offered by drinking kava is the antianxiety properties it possesses. Kava’s ability to help those who drink brewed kava tea or use supplements relax can provide relief to individuals suffering from anxiety, stress or hypertension.

However, a question many people new to using kava have is whether kava really provide a calming effect or does it just make you sleepy? This is an excellent question that deserves a closer look.

Does Drinking Kava Make You Feel Relaxed?

Kava’s reputation for helping to fight anxiety is well deserved, as a little kava can go a long way towards improving your day. Drinking a shell at Bula’s kava bar in Portland helps lower the inhibitions of many of our customers, just like drinking alcohol does at more traditional bars. However, unlike alcohol consumption, drinking kava lowers inhibitions without clouding your judgment or making you feel nauseous the way alcohol can, especially when drank in excess.

You can see a noticeable shift in many of our customers after their first drink, as they slowly let slip the tension and stress they’ve carried around throughout the day. Once the weight of these day-to-day burdens have been removed, it becomes a lot easier for most of us to start opening up and communicating more freely with those around us, whether to an old friend or new acquaintance.

Feelings of dread or unease that many of us experience due to anxiety have a tendency to drift away, leaving us more comfortable in social situations we would otherwise try to avoid. This typically occurs while you feel alert and energized by kava’s affects.

So to answer the question whether kava actually helps you feel relaxed versus just tired, the verdict is certainly the former over the latter.

So Does Drinking Kava Help You Sleep?

It might seem contradictory to say that kava helps you feel alert and social while also saying it can help you sleep, but kava can surprisingly help in both areas.

In much the same way it helps to reduce anxiety, kava helps you feel more relaxed and capable of letting go of built up tension and stress. Both of which are commonly associated with trouble sleeping.

It only stands to reason that if you feel more relaxed before heading off to bed you’re going to have a much easier time falling asleep than if tossing and turning over feelings of stress and anxiety.

And while kava can make you feel more alert, drinking kava isn’t like having a cup of coffee late in the evening. Kava doesn’t contain any caffeine like compounds that keep you artificially stimulated and awake. If your body feels tired, kava can help you relax and drift away naturally, unlike over-the-counter or prescription sleeping aids that sedate pharmaceutically.


So when new customers come into our kava bar in Portland, we try to highlight the dual benefits kava can offer. If you’re looking to feel more relaxed in the evening we might recommend one strain of kava, while looking to engage in conversation and socialize may receive a different recommendation. But no matter which direction you want to go, kava can help you get there.

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