We all know the power of coffee, and how it’s a crucial part of millions of people’s morning routine as a trusted source of energy. But what about the night owls who struggle to fall asleep when bedtime rolls around, are there any existing concoctions that induce sleepiness? Aside from unnatural sleep remedies you should avoid sleeping pills which sedate you rather than aid you, there are several pre-bedtime drinks that promote a better night’s sleep. Some are well-known, but others might actually surprise you!
1.) Chamomile Tea
Combining dried daisy-like chamomile flowers with hot water gives you a relaxing, sleep inducing tea that has been used for thousands of years, dating back to the time of ancient Romans and Egyptians. Aside from its sleep aid benefits, it also helps ease cold symptoms, improves the look and feel of your skin, and reduces inflammation.
2.) Peppermint Tea
This is a great tea for all seasons, but if you’re like me (Slumber Yard member McKenzie), I especially love drinking this tea around the holidays to compliment the candy cane garments on my Christmas tree.
Other than the fact it ties the Christmas vibe together in your home, the taste and smell promotes relaxation before bed and helps ease stress. It also aids your immune system, and can help relieve an upset stomach or indigestion if you’re trying to go to bed after eating a big dinner.
3.) Valerian Tea
The valerian plant is a part of the honeysuckle family, and the root is often used to relieve insomnia and help people receive a better night’s sleep. It’s been shown to especially benefit menopausal women who struggle with insomnia, as 30% of postmenopausal women claimed to sleep better after taking a 530 mg dose of valerian (in capsule form) twice a day for 4 weeks. The National Institutes of Health, however, suggests that pregnant women or those who are nursing should steer clear of valerian.
4.) Decaf Green Tea
Non herbal tea like black tea and regular green tea aren’t the best before bed because they contain significant amounts of caffeine, one of the main things you should stay away from if you’re looking to get some shut eye. Decaffeinated green tea, on the other hand, is perfectly suitable and allows you to take in the benefits of theanine, an amino acid found in green tea that helps promote better sleep and relieve stress.
5.) Warm Milk
This is certainly one sleep remedy you’ve heard of before, whether you’ve given warm milk to the toddler you were babysitting before their bedtime, or you saw it in a movie once. Why is warm milk such a common sleep remedy? You can give credit to a few of milk’s main ingredients calcium and tryptophan, which your body then converts into melatonin — the hormone in your body responsible for making you feel sleepy.
6.) Almond Milk
This drink is an ideal pre-bed option for those who are lactose intolerant, or trying to stay away from dairy. Almonds contain fiber and other beneficial nutrients like vitamins, and minerals like tryptophan, melatonin, and magnesium. We went over the sleepy benefits of tryptophan and melatonin, but magnesium is also known as a sleep-inducing mineral and helps treat insomnia as well.
7.) Hot Chocolate
Who knew that everyone’s favorite winter time drink can actually help you fall asleep at night. The key is to mix hot chocolate powder with milk rather than water so it’s a creamier, more velvety mixture, with all the added benefits of heated milk.
hot chocolate also makes you feel all warm inside, which doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to get cozy and sleepy.
8.) Cherry Juice
Cherry juice is another not so common, but very beneficial sleep aid because they also contain healthy amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that our body naturally turns into melatonin. Tart cherries in particular are rich in tryptophan, and in a 7-day study involving 20 participants, those who drank tart cherry juice had higher melatonin levels than those who drank a placebo. This makes cherry juice a top contender for pre-bedtime drinks that make you feel sleepy.
9.) Coconut Water
You might be questioning this addition to the list, since coconut water is more widely known for its energizing qualities, not its sleep inducing ones. With that being said, pure coconut water contains magnesium and potassium which helps your muscles feel relaxed, and vitamin B which can relieve stress. This is helpful for the folks out there who have trouble falling asleep because they can’t shake late-night stressful thoughts from their heads.
10.) Banana Almond Smoothie
A banana and almost smoothie is like coconut water in that it helps relax the muscles, thanks to its healthy amounts of potassium and magnesium. With the added benefits of almond or almond milk, this drink is a refreshing, yet soothing beverage to unwind with before bedtime.