The right drink before we head to bed can make all the difference to how well we sleep. Unfortunately the ‘right’ drink is probably not what we are drinking before bed (apparently wine isn’t the same as a Horlicks?). Every family has their own remedy for getting in a good amount of Z’s… so we’ve done a little research, looked at the facts, and here’s what we should sip before we sleep.
Chamomile tea and honey
Chamomile is renowned for its natural soothing qualities so is a first choice for many. One component of the Chamomile is called Apigenin and this creates a response in the brain similar to anti-anxiety medication (yes – really). This creates drowsiness and encourages a sense of calm… the perfect conditions to ensure we drift off nicely. At night our brains use up sugar in our bodies, having a little honey will make sure our brain stays active all through the night… you never know you could have your ‘lightbulb moment’ whilst in the land of nod.
If you’re more into fruit than tea then your first option should be cherries. Fruit juices are known to be high in sugar and therefore can have a negative effect on our sleep, but cherries are the rare exception. Drinking a glass of tart cherry juice before bed and first thing in the morning will help keep your sleep consistent. They’re rich in melatonin, the chemical operating our internal clock, so one little glass will keep you sleeping like a log.
An old wives tale and our grandmother’s favourite… with good reason! The calcium in the milk aids relaxation and soothes us before bed. There’s no added extras in a glass of milk, no added sugar and no additives that are often the cause of waking in the night. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia and childhood memories that help us drift off, but with so many people swearing by this bedtime ritual it must work.
Better known for being a drink to give energy, coconut milk has also been proven to be great at winding us down too. Coconuts are full of potassium and magnesium, both contribute towards helping our muscles relax and therefore aiding better sleep. There’s also a little Vitamin B to be found in coconut water, which lowers our blood pressure (great for those of us feeling life’s stresses) and will improve our circulation throughout the night.
Decaf Green Tea
The second tea to crop up on our list. Green tea is the marmite of the tea world, you find those that swear by it and others who wouldn’t even give it a go. If you are still on the fence, be assured that it gets better the more often you drink it, you’ll soon be converted. Green tea reduces stress and promotes restful sleep, no more tossing and turning. If this is your tipple of choice always go for decaf, you don’t need us to tell you that it might have quite the opposite effect if you get that wrong.
Hot Chocolate or Cocoa
A drink high in sugar and fat, yet it’s one of the UKs favourite bedtime drinks… but does it work? Drinking a hot chocolate could have negative effects on your sleep, hot chocolate drinks are full of sugar and cream making you more alert however a cup of cocoa might be a better idea. Cocoa has had 90% of the fat removed that we love to be included in chocolate so is much better for helping us nod off, and can even help improve our long term memory!
Water might not be our first choice for a bedtime treat but does have such a long list of benefits to our health and sleep that we couldn’t ignore it! Drinking water balances our bodies. By indulging in a little H20 before bed, you’re balancing your hormones (yes… really!), energy levels and your muscles and joints. Make water part of your evening routines and you’ll soon see the benefits to your sleep and a little added bonus… your skin will be clearer than ever.