Sleep is one of the most important parts of your physical and mental health, but it seems to elude many people. If you struggle to get enough sleep every night, you are not alone. However, you may be wary of trying pharmaceutical sleep medications, given the dependency issues and side effects that they can cause.
Luckily, there are plenty of natural ways you can improve your sleep, sleep longer, or fall asleep more quickly. In fact, just choosing the right drink before bedtime can do wonders for your sleep routine.
How These Drinks Can Improve Your Sleep
These drinks all work in different ways to improve the quality of your sleep. Some include melatonin, the natural hormone found in your body that regulates your sleep and wake cycles. Others include scents that can trigger your sleep reflex and help you drift off without fighting. Try these different drinks to find out which one works best for you.
1. Milk, Honey, and Nutmeg
Warm milk has been used for hundreds of years to get sleepy children back in bed. When you consume warm milk, it raises your internal body temperature, which helps you relax and get sleepy.
Honey has tryptophan, a natural chemical that induces sleepiness and relaxation. Nutmeg has an entire variety of sleep-improving compounds that can help you sleep deeper at night.
- Warm 8 ounces of milk in a coffee mug or tea cup.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Sprinkle a tiny bit of nutmeg over the drink.
- Sip slowly before bedtime. Repeat each night.
2. Chamomile and Lavender Tea
If you look at any herbal remedies for good sleep, you will undoubtedly find chamomile and lavender on the list. Chamomile has an effect similar to Xanax, helping to take the edge off of anxiety, put away your worries for the day, and physically relax.
Lavender is one of the most trusted scents for sleep, which is why many people spray it on their pillowcases, use lavender bath wash at night, or diffuse lavender oil in their bedroom.
- Boil 8 ounces of water and add to a tea cup.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of lavender buds and 1 teaspoon of chamomile buds.
- Let the tea steep for at least 10 minutes, but up to 30 minutes.
- Use a tea ball or leaf strainer to strain out the chamomile and lavender buds.
- Add honey to taste.
Drink this tea each night about 30 minutes before bed for best results.
3. Cherry and Vanilla Drink
This drink brings two of the most effective sleep ingredients together in one glass. To mix this drink, you will need tart cherry juice and vanilla extract.
- Pour 5 to 8 ounces of tart cherry juice.
- Drink this juice each morning. Remember, melatonin regulates your sleep and wake cycles, so it is also an important part of your wake cycle.
- Pour the same amount of cherry juice at night, about half an hour before bed. This time, add one or two drops of vanilla extract. Vanilla extract helps you relax and wind down.