Maximize the Benefits of Sleep
The benefits of getting quality shuteye are plenty. From reducing your chances of cardiovascular disease to aiding in easier weight loss, getting good sleep at night is essential to long-term longevity.(1)
Many know that regular exercise and a balanced diet are key for better quality sleep. Believe it or not, choosing the right beverage plays an important role, too. The following six bedtime beverages help you fall asleep easily, get quality shuteye, and maximize all the benefits of better sleep.
Keep in mind…
You might be trying to figure out how to have more energy during the day, or maybe you’re interested in the weight loss potential of getting more sleep. Either way, it’s important to remember that when you go to sleep is as important as your length and quality of sleep. A sleep cycle calculator can help you figure out your perfect bedtime.
Milk is the perfect bedtime drink, no matter if you enjoy it hot or cold! It is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster. It is even used for insomnia treatment for more mild cases.(2)
Besides that, milk provides you with high levels of protein; casein, to be exact. Drinking milk or eating other high-protein foods before bed can prevent muscle loss during the night and even stimulate protein synthesis while you sleep. This is great news for anyone looking for a quick post-workout recovery.(3)
2. Ginger tea with lemon
The benefits of drinking ginger tea before bed aren’t directly related to helping you get better sleep. But drinking ginger and lemon together can activate your metabolism, helping you to shed pounds and improve your waist-to-hip ratio.(4)
Lemons are also chock full of vitamin C, a vitamin that has been used for centuries to help support a healthy immune system. When your immune system is strong, you have a better chance of fighting off a cold, making this a great bedtime drink for flu season.(5)
Best of all, you’ll enjoy all these benefits while being sound asleep.
3. Camomile tea
Chamomile is an ancient medicinal herb mostly used for sleep help. It’s kind of a wonder herb though, with many other benefits, including being a good food for reducing inflammation and soothing the belly.(6)
What makes chamomile the best sleepy tea is something called apigenin, which has been shown to decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression. But drinking chamomile tea is also great for alleviating menstrual pain and helping you recover from a cold more quickly.
You might be dealing with insomnia or want to reduce belly bloating and speed up your metabolism. Either way, you can’t go wrong with adding chamomile tea to your bedtime routine.
Kefir is made from fermented milk. It contains carbon dioxide and is packed with tons of probiotics, which are great for improving gut health. Drinking probiotics can help you reach a healthy balance of bacteria in your stomach and even improve your immune system.(7)
Additionally, kefir is rich in protein. A glass of this dairy drink before bed helps you feel fuller and provides your muscles with protein. More protein can help you build bigger muscles and help with post-workout recovery. Setting you up for a great athletic performance the next day.
Ashwagandha is a supplement that usually comes in powdered form. It can be added to warm milk or steeped in hot water to make a great tea for better sleep. It can be bitter, but combining it with ginger and honey makes it a delicious bedtime treat.
Ashwagandha is best known for its anxiety-reducing benefits, but that’s not all this herb is good for. Using ashwagandha can lower your cortisol levels while also improving your memory and even boosting fertility.(8)
This herb is sure to do the trick if you’re looking for something to help you sleep well. Best of all, it will provide you with plenty of other benefits while doing so.
6. Soy Milk
Soy milk is another one of the best drinks that help you sleep and is a perfect milk alternative for vegans. Like cow’s milk, soy milk is packed with the amino acid tryptophan, which lowers the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood. It’s also high in melatonin, a hormone that plays an essential role in sleep.(9)
Adding protein powder to your soy milk can also help you boost the weight loss potential of soy milk. Eating protein before bed stimulates your metabolism, helping you burn calories while sleeping. It also gives your body a boost of the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair.
Combining the weight loss potential of protein with the cortisol-lowering effects of soy by making a shake is a great idea. But drinking a warm glass of soy milk will also do the trick. Either way, you’ll be maximizing the benefits of a good night’s rest.
What Should You Not Drink Before Bed?
Finding drinks that help you sleep better is just as important as figuring out which drinks you should be sure to steer clear of before going to bed.
Some of these include
- Drinks with high sugar content, like soda
- Caffeinated drinks like coffee or green tea
- Anything alcoholic
Drinks that are high in caffeine can give you racing thoughts while you try to fall asleep, while sugary drinks cause you to wake up repeatedly throughout the night.
More research is being done to determine the connection between drinking alcohol and insomnia. Although alcohol can act as a sedative, helping you to unwind at the end of a long day, going to sleep drunk generally disrupts your sleep. Especially in the second half of the night.(10)
The time we spend sleeping has the potential to offer more benefits than helping us wake up feeling energized, and bedtime drinks are a great way to take advantage of this full potential.
Those of us suffering from sleeplessness might have looked to various teas to help us fall asleep faster at the end of the night. But even people who sleep soundly every night can benefit from a healthy nightcap.
You might decide to start drinking ginger tea before bed or try any of the other natural remedies for sleeping mentioned above. Whatever you do, changing your nighttime routine can help you maximize all the amazing health benefits of getting a good night’s sleep.