It may be tempting to indulge in a nightcap before bed, but if you have trouble sleeping it’s likely that alcohol will make things worse. As the body processes alcohol it stimulates the nervous system resulting in increased heart rate, sweating, intense dreams, and restless sleep. Do yourself a favor and opt for one of these five fantastic bedtime drinks instead.
Chamomile and Lavender Tea
Warm beverages help to relax the body, making caffeine-free herbal tea a good pre-bedtime choice. Chamomile is known to relax the nerves and encourage a body-wide calm while lavender relaxes the brain and causes drowsiness. Other calm-inducing tea ingredients include peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, and orange blossoms. Consider adding a bit of milk or honey for flavor and additional calming properties.
You may purchase a pre-made tea blend or make your own at home using a tea-ball or loose-tea strainer. Simply add a teaspoon each of chamomile and lavender buds as well as any other herbs you would like to include. Pour boiling water over the herbs and steep in a mug for ten to fifteen minutes.
Tart Cherry Juice
Cherries are very high in melatonin, an antioxidant that helps to regulate sleep cycles. Studies show that drinking an eight-ounce serving of tart cherry juice every morning and night helps to keep sleep patterns on track. For an extra soothing aromatherapy benefit, add one to two drops of vanilla extract to your night-time drink.
Warm Milk with Nutmeg
Warm milk is an age-old remedy for insomnia. It used to be believed that the high tryptophan content caused sleepiness. Although it’s been proven that this is not the case, drinking warm milk increases your body temperature and has a psychological effect that causes relaxation and drowsiness.
Adding a sprinkle of nutmeg provides additional benefits due to the content of chemical components that have a tranquilizing effect on the body. Over-consumption of nutmeg can have negative side effect, so only use a quarter of a teaspoon or less.
Valerian Root Tea
There are many medical uses for Valerian root including treatment for insomnia, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Valerian is a strong sedative and is a primary ingredient in many sleep-promoting tea blends that can be found in stores and online. Although Valerian root is powerful aid for occasional sleeplessness, excessive use can result in stomach aches, headaches, depression, and night-terrors.
Pure Coconut Water
There are many reasons to drink pure coconut water. Although often thought of as an energy-boosting drink, coconut water contains potassium and magnesium which helps your muscles to relax and a small amount of B vitamins which help to lower stress. It also contains arginine which helps to increase blood circulation while you sleep.
While each of these beverages have great sleep-inducing benefits, be sure not to drink too much before bed and try to stop drinking thirty minutes before bedtime. This will help to avoid your sleep being disrupted by middle-of-the night bathroom trips.