The Best and Worst Beverages to Drink Before Bedtime
Getting a good night's sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. However, many of us make choices throughout the day that can disrupt our sleep, including what we drink. Some beverages can help us fall asleep and stay asleep, while others can make it more difficult to get a good night's rest.
In this blog post, we will discuss the best and worst beverages to drink before bedtime. We will also highlight the benefits of melatonin, chamomile, and ashwagandha, three ingredients that have been shown to promote sleep.
Best Beverages for Sleep
- Water. Water is essential for good health, and it is also important for sleep. Dehydration can make it difficult to fall asleep and can also lead to restless sleep. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.
- Herbal tea. Herbal teas are a great way to relax and unwind before bed. There are many different herbal teas that can promote sleep, including chamomile, lavender, and ashwagandha.
- Milk. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Milk also contains calcium, which is important for muscle relaxation.
- Warm liquids. Warm liquids, such as hot tea or milk, can help to soothe the body and mind and make it easier to fall asleep.
Worst Beverages for Sleep
- Caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks in the hours leading up to bedtime.
- Alcohol. Alcohol can make you feel sleepy initially, but it can disrupt sleep later in the night. Alcohol can also interfere with REM sleep, which is an important stage of sleep for memory and learning.
- Sugary drinks. Sugary drinks can cause a spike in blood sugar, which can lead to restlessness and difficulty sleeping.
- Diet drinks. Diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners, which have been shown to disrupt sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin helps to regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle. Levels of melatonin naturally rise in the evening and fall in the morning. However, exposure to artificial light at night can suppress melatonin production.
There are a number of ways to increase melatonin production, including:
- Exposing yourself to natural light during the day. Natural light helps to synchronize your body's internal clock.
- Avoiding artificial light at night. Turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before bed.
- Creating a relaxing bedtime routine. A relaxing bedtime routine can help you wind down and prepare for sleep. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music.
- Taking a melatonin supplement. Melatonin supplements are available over-the-counter. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking a melatonin supplement, especially if you are taking any other medications.
Chamomile is a herb that has been used for centuries to promote sleep. Chamomile contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile also contains apigenin, a compound that has been shown to bind to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Chamomile tea is a popular way to get the benefits of chamomile. Chamomile tea can be made by steeping chamomile flowers in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Chamomile tea can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Adaptogenic herbs help the body to adapt to stress. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and increase energy levels.
Ashwagandha can be taken in supplement form or as a tea. Ashwagandha supplements are available over-the-counter. Ashwagandha tea can be made by steeping ashwagandha root in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
The beverages you drink can have a big impact on your sleep. By avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks, and diet drinks, and by choosing sleep-promoting beverages such as water, herbal tea, milk, and warm liquids, you can improve your sleep quality and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.