We think about sleep and associate mattresses, pillows, and blankets. The temperature of the room and essential oils help the ambiance as well. But sometimes it is what we eat or drink that can be the right ingredients to quality sleep.
Yes, water is the best drink for the body; however, right before bedtime stimulates your kidneys keeping you awake. But there are other options to drink 90 minutes before bedtime.
A lot of options go with milk both dairy and dairy-free at bedtime. Though it is best to drink a small amount so you are not up all night in the bathroom, there are multiple options for milk at bedtime.
Warm milk is one of the oldest rituals for people to sleep well. Although it may sound like only for the elderly since the remedy is older, milk contains significant amounts of tryptophan.
Like eating turkey on Thanksgiving, tryptophan is converted to the natural hormone melatonin in the body. This can help regulate your sleep. Skimmed milk has less calories which gives your body less sugar and fat to process.
For a dairy-free option, try warm almond milk. Serotonin can help initiate sleep which is naturally found in cow's milk and almond milk. But with almond it is high in magnesium which is a nutrient that can improve your quality of sleep.
Although caffeine is best to stay away from at night, milk-based hot chocolate can be the small sugar crash you need at bedtime. The creamer alternative differs from hot cocoa mixed with water so be certain to keep it with milk.
You can also combine the idea of warm milk and teas to create a British remedy.
With decaffeinated tea, a small cup can become a perfect nightly ritual for a relaxing full night's rest. Green teas are a popular healthy choice to promote weight loss, but it also is a sleep inducing solution as well. Make certain it is a decaffeinated green tea so the amino acid known as theanine brings rest without the high caffeine it can provide in the morning.
Chamomile tea is the most common around the world for a natural sleeping solution as an anti-inflammatory. Experts recommend chamomile to aid with insomnia and is also caffeine-free.
Many people use magnesium supplements along with chamomile or you can add almond milk to your tea to enhance the effects for ultimate relaxation.
Mint teas are quite popular at bedtime as a sleep aid with the most common in peppermint teas. Similar to chamomile, the flavor is more enticing and has the added benefit of helping with any digestion or stomach pains at bedtime.
For any tea option, you can add lemon balm, also called balm mint, to your tea for the maximum natural caffeine-free sleep aid. You can add 10 lemon balm leaves into a teapot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Do not let it cool for the best effect for insomnia.
Valerian root is a natural sedative used for centuries around the world. It is known to be a good stress-relief especially for those suffering with insomnia. Normally adding hops or other sedative herbs is an extra solution to cause drowsiness; however, Valerian can become addictive so use with caution.
No, honey is not a beverage, but it is a common supplement for teas. It also is a helpful remedy to have a teaspoon of local honey to help with a stuffy nose that could be causing insomnia or restless nights. But as a supplement to tea, the natural sugar in honey raises your insulin levels to encourage the tryptophan to enter your brain quicker and easier.
Banana smoothies blended with almond butter or milk provide a late night snack, but it contains magnesium and potassium that promotes muscle relaxation.
A 2010 study from the Journal of Medicinal Food suggested a cup of tart cherry juice in the morning and about two hours prior to bed decreases insomnia in those who participated in the study. With a balance of a morning and evening cup, it helps create a regulated sleep cycle.
It isn’t even milk but it is trending on social media like wildfire. According to Men’s Health, “moon milk is a warm drink containing herbal ingredients like turmeric, Indian ginseng, almonds, nutmeg, and black pepper.” The ritual of moon milk is the main sleep aid since it is so new and studies are not as prominent.
Whichever drink you try, remember there are also drinks to avoid at bedtime besides water like caffeine in soft drinks and alcohol. Both can cause low quality sleep or insomnia.
If you are suffering from any sleep disorder, including insomnia, call our board-certified sleep specialists today at Alaska Sleep Clinic. Also, click the link below to download our FREE e-book about insomnia.