A good night’s sleep is one of the most fundamental pillars to better well-being. A good night’s sleep does a lot more than leave you feeling well-rested: it also improves focus, mood regulation, athletic performance, and even your immune system. Identifying drinks that help you get better sleep can be a great way to ensure you’re building a sustainable routine for your well-being.
To understand how your diet plays such a significant role in the quality of your sleep, and what you can do to make sure you’re staying on top of things, read on.
Your body requires a delicate balance of the right chemicals, including, amongst others, serotonin and melatonin, in order to achieve a good night’s sleep. Minerals present in some foods to help you sleep, including magnesium and tryptophan, can be digested in the body and used when it’s time to fall asleep.
Not all drinks can help with sleep, however. If you try to drink something with high amounts of caffeine or sugar, your quality sleep gets disrupted. The right drinks can have a transformative impact on your sleep, and it’s important you know why.
Thankfully, many drinks that help you sleep better are also a great and calming addition to your night routine. To fall asleep faster, here are some of the most popular options for improving your sleep hygiene:
This popular fruit makes for one of the most effective natural drinks to have when you’re trying to improve your sleep. Cherries contain high amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps stimulate melatonin production in the body. Certain types of cherry juice are said to be more effective than others: tart cherry juice, for instance, has six times the tryptophan as it’s sweeter counterpart.
Researchers in England found that drinking a glass of tart cherry juice on a daily basis could significantly bolster melatonin levels in the body. Other studies have revealed similar results, and some experts recommend drinking two glasses of cherry juice a day if you’re having trouble sleeping to reap the benefits of this drink.
There are several different types of non-caffeinated herbal teas that can be useful additions when you’re trying to fall asleep. There are a ton of varieties of herbal teas that are said to be helpful for a good night’s sleep, and thinking about why you’re struggling with sleep specifically can help you figure out which might be most effective for you.
If you’re struggling with sleep anxiety, for instance, chamomile tea is thought to be a soothing and calming addition to any bedtime routine. Chamomile tea is said to have a wide range of benefits, from relieving symptoms of a cold, minimizing inflammation, and improving your skin health.
Deal with a lot of interruptions during your sleep? Ashwagandha tea might be better for you. Popularly used in ayurvedic treatments, studies have shown that this tea is especially useful for improving non-rapid eye movement sleep, and improve its overall quality.
Decaffeinated green tea doesn’t just help you sleep better, but can also help with other aspects of well-being, including healthy weight loss and reduced stress. This is because green tea is particularly rich in the amino acid theanine, which has been said to have a calming effect on the body, and is a good option for those struggling with anxiety before bed.
Finally, older women who are struggling with symptoms of menopause might find a lot of relief through valerian root tea. In a study conducted at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, researchers found 30% of postmenopausal women found significant improvements in the quality of their sleep.
Most of us have grown up with our parents suggesting drinking milk before bed as a solution to our sleep problems, and there might be some truth to the claim. Different kinds of milk can have varying amounts of efficacy depending on your exact issue with sleep.
Traditional cow’s milk, for instance, constraints significant amounts of tryptophan, similar to cherry juice, which then converts to melatonin for a proper night of rest. If drinking warm milk isn’t your thing, opting for malted milk can be a delicious alternative that is equally sleep inducing. Drinking warm milk beverages such as Horlicks or Ovaltine can be comforting treats and help you fall asleep faster.
Malted milk contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium, all of which can help you wind down better in preparation for a good night’s sleep. Finally, if you follow a plant-based diet, warm almond milk has also been said to be a great and equally effective alternative for better sleep, thanks to high magnesium levels.
If you’re looking for a wholesome and filling option for a good night’s sleep, you can’t really go wrong with a banana smoothie. Bananas are naturally high in many of the amino acids and minerals necessary for a good night’s sleep, including potassium, magnesium, tryptophan and even melatonin.
Using almond milk and bananas to make yourself a delicious smoothie when winding down for the night can be a very useful way to minimize sleep deprivation and catch up on proper rest for your sleep.
While there are a ton of options when it comes to having drinks that help you with better sleep, there are a few beverages it’s best to avoid when you’re preparing for a good night’s rest.
A nightcap might promote sleep short-term, but it has a deeply disruptive effect in the long term when it comes to your sleep routine. If you are drinking, it’s best to do so at least four hours before you’re going to sleep. Experts advise staying under one drink a night for your best chance at a proper night’s sleep.
It takes a little over an hour for your body to metabolize a single drink, so spacing your drinks out on a night out and ensuring you’re drinking plenty of water in between can go a long way in ensuring you’re getting the best night’s sleep you can.
Coffee contains high amounts of caffeine, which can be deeply disruptive to your sleep. Coffee is a natural diuretic, which is why you often feel like peeing right after you’ve had your morning cup. This can also be an interruptive factor if you’ve had a coffee right before you go to sleep, making it best to avoid for the night.
Since coffee can last so long in the human body (it can take up to eight hours for you to metabolize a single cup of coffee), it’s a good idea to try and have your fix in the morning, and avoid it later in the afternoon or evening. It doesn’t make too much of a difference if you’re drinking caffeinated coffee - experts suggest decaf provides similar amounts of disruption.
While herbal teas can have a positive impact on your rest routine, black or green tea both tend to contain enough caffeine to disrupt your sleep overall. These teas also happen to be diuretics, just like coffee.
In order to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success when it comes to better quality sleep, your best bet will be to avoid such drinks before bedtime, having your last cup around four to six hours before you actually have to wind down.
Most sodas don’t just have a high amount of sugar in them, but also caffeine, both of which are inadvisable as you’re trying to catch up on a good night’s sleep. Spikes in your blood sugar can confuse your body, and cause potential disruption to your sleep cycle.
Apart from these unhealthy ingredients, the bubbles from any carbonated beverages can have physical side effects, including heartburn and indigestion, that can keep you from having a good night’s sleep.
There are a couple of other ways to naturally improve the quality of your sleep, and they can make a big difference to your rest cycle as a whole. The right sleep hygiene habits can make a world of difference to the overall quality of your sleep. Here are a few ways you can ensure you’re sleeping better than ever:
Though different drinks work for different people, some of the best drinks that help you sleep include cherry juice, chamomile tea and warm milk.
A healthy sleep hygiene routine is incredibly important if you’re trying to sleep better naturally. This includes ensuring you’re going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, maintaining a healthy diet that includes any drinks that help you sleep, and investing in a sleep setup that is ideal for deep rest.
Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and even soda, for your best chance at a good night’s sleep. It’s also important to try and avoid alcohol right before bed - this can disrupt your sleep cycle and prevent you from getting a full, healthy night’s sleep.
Once you’ve figured out a sleep hygiene routine that works for you, you’ll find that achieving a good night’s sleep doesn’t have to be too complicated. Whether it’s by figuring out the drinks that help you sleep better, or simply switching up the way you organize your bedroom, chances are there’s a solution you’re yet to try that will transform your rest routine.