As your evening winds down, it is vitally important to create a quality sleep environment that will help drift you off to dreamland. Limiting allergens and irritants with mattress and pillow protectors, along with adjusting room temperature are both good places to start. But your diet can also have an important impact. While eating and drinking close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep patterns, there are several beverages that can actually improve your rest.
- Decaffeinated Green Tea: One of the oldest teas in existence, green tea contains the amino acid theanine – which has been found to have stress-reducing effects and promote more restful sleep. Be wary, though, green tea is also available in a caffeinated form – so make sure you get the decaffeinated option.
- Tart Cherry Juice: A 2010 study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food found that consuming 16 ounces of tart cherry juice – eight ounces in the morning and another eight around two hours before bed – resulted in significantly improved sleep quality. Not surprisingly, cherries contain melatonin, an antioxidant that can assist in maintaining a healthy sleep cycle.
- Chamomile Tea: One of the most commonly known sleep aids, chamomile tea is extremely effective in promoting sleepiness and reducing anxiety. For the best results, seep your tea in hot water for 10 minutes before enjoying.
- Warm Skim Milk: According to age-old wisdom, a cup of warm milk can help put you to sleep. And science is there to back up that claim. Milk’s soothing effect is thanks to its high calcium content – which can help you relax. In addition, it is also rich in tryptophan – a natural hormone in the body that can make you sleepy.
- Coconut Water: While it is commonly known to be an energizing drink, coconut water contains magnesium and potassium – which can relax your muscles and put you at ease just in time for bed.
- Peppermint Tea: Much like chamomile tea, peppermint tea has been proven to assist in stress relief. It is also very effective in calming upset stomachs – which, of course, can inhibit quality shuteye.
- Almond Milk: Similar to regular milk, this increasingly popular beverage is high in magnesium which helps the brain produce melatonin. To literally spice things up a bit, you can add nutmeg and cinnamon to your concoction before heating it up and enjoying.
Here’s to a good night’s sleep. We’d love to hear your feedback. Post a comment below if drinking any of these beverages has worked for you.