A good night's rest is often overlooked as a major health factor and contributor. Experts recommend that adults ages 18 to 60 get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Sleeping too little or too much is associated with an increased risk of depression, diabetes, heart disease, and even death. But getting at least a full 7 hours every night is not always easy. Fortunately, a variety of drinks can help us induce sleep. In this article we will talk about 8 drinks that can help you fall asleep naturally.
Cherries are very nutritious fruits. They can be sweet, tart, or sour and even have different colors, including yellow, red, and purple. Cherry juice provides a wide range of health benefits, including improving the quality of sleep thanks to its tryptophan content. Tryptophan is an amino acid precursor to the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate when you fall asleep and wake up. Although both sweet and tart varieties of cherries contain melatonin, the tart types contain it the most.
A 7-day study of 20 people found that drinking concentrated tart cherry juice every day significantly increased melatonin levels, compared to a placebo drink. A similar study in 30 participants found that consuming a cherry-based product twice a day improved rest at night, and also caused higher levels of melatonin in the urine first thing in the morning.
Finally, one study noted that drinking 2 cups (480 ml) of cherry juice per day for 2 weeks increased total sleep time by 84 minutes and helped treat insomnia symptoms in adults 50 and older. If you dare to drink cherry juice to sleep, you can opt for amounts similar to those used in these studies. Drinking 2 cups (480 ml) per day has not been linked to any side effects.
Chamomile is a daisy-like flower that is part of the Asteraceae family.
The infusion made from this plant has been consumed for centuries. It has multiple health benefits, including relieving cold symptoms, reducing inflammation, and improving skin health. The tea is prepared by infusing chamomile flowers in hot water.
Some research suggests that chamomile can improve the quality of sleep. A study in 60 older adults found that taking 400 mg of chamomile extract for 28 consecutive days safely improved sleep quality.
Chamomile can help with anxiety and insomnia, which may also improve sleep. Two review studies investigated the relationship between chamomile intake and insomnia. However, none found sufficient evidence to support these claims. Therefore, more studies are needed.
To make chamomile tea at home, add 4 tablespoons of fresh flowers (or 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers) to 1 cup (237 ml) of boiling water. Let the flowers soak for about 5 minutes before using a strainer to drain the liquid from the flowers.
It is safe to drink chamomile tea on a daily basis, and ingesting chamomile in the form of tea or other supplements has not been linked to negative side effects. Chamomile tea can help with insomnia, although more research is needed on its valuable properties.
Ashwagandha is reputed to be a powerful medicinal plant. It is sometimes called Indian ginseng or winter cherry. Extracts made from the plant's root, berries, and leaves have been used to treat conditions such as stress, anxiety, and arthritis.
Ashwagandha is traditionally used in Ayurvedic practices. The root contains compounds that can induce sleep when isolated and consumed in large doses.
Triethylene glycol, an active component in ashwagandha leaves, promoted the sleep phase during which the body regenerates tissues and bones.
In human studies, ashwagandha has shown its potential to help the body relax and prepare for rest, as well as to improve the overall quality of sleep. You can get ashwagandha in supermarkets where they have an organic section or on the internet.
Another way to drink ashwagandha is in moon milk. Moon milk is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for insomnia made from ashwagandha, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg in any type of milk, whether it is also those of plant origin.
Although ashwagandha tea is safe for most people, some people need to be cautious. This includes people with autoimmune disorders, pregnant or lactating women, and people taking medications for blood pressure, blood sugar, or thyroid disease. And always go to a doctor to check if you are suitable for its consumption.
Valerian is a perennial plant that blooms sweet-smelling pink or white flowers and is part of the honeysuckle family. Similar to ashwagandha, the root of the valerian plant is used as a medicinal herb that promotes sleep and relieves insomnia.
Valerian is particularly promising for treating insomnia and improving the quality of sleep in menopausal women. One study found that 30% of postmenopausal women who took a 530 mg valerian capsule twice daily for 4 weeks reported improvements in sleep quality.
While a large body of research has concluded that valerian can treat insomnia, researchers have concluded that more studies are needed before specific recommendations on dosage and treatment regimens can be made.
To make valerian root tea, use 2 to 3 grams of dried valerian root in 1 cup (237 ml) of hot water. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Valerian is considered a safe insomnia management strategy that does not alter your circadian rhythm, your body's daily pattern that decides when it is time to sleep and wake up. However, one study found that large doses increased anxiety levels.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend that pregnant or nursing women, as well as children under the age of 3, avoid valerian. In addition, the root can improve sedation and should never be mixed with alcohol or drugs such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines.
Formally known as Lamiaceae, herbs in the mint family are well known for their culinary uses. Mint has a powerful flavor and is versatile in its uses. Peppermint has been used in traditional medicine for many years. Peppermint infusion is believed to contain antiviral, antimicrobial, and even antiallergic properties. Peppermint can also help with gastrointestinal (GI) conditions like indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
It has been shown to help ease an upset stomach at night, further clinical trials on peppermint tea. Peppermint tea is easy to make. Simply boil 2 cups (480 ml) of water and add a handful of mint leaves. You can adjust the number of leaves depending on how strong you like your tea. Let the leaves sit in the hot water for at least 5 minutes.
Peppermint tea is generally safe, but it can interact with certain medications for blood pressure, indigestion, and diabetes. If you are taking any medications, you should consult a doctor before drinking peppermint tea or using peppermint essential oil.
There is some evidence that warm milk alone can help you sleep better at night. Because milk contains tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin, it can help increase melatonin levels. Melatonin is the main hormone that regulates the body's sleep-wake cycle. Although there is also the vegan option that contains quite similar properties.
Turmeric is rich in compound curcumin, which can alleviate some effects of sleep deprivation, reduce inflammation, and safely treat symptoms of anxiety and depression.
However, treatment with 10-20 mg of curcumin extract for 5 consecutive days promoted weight loss and improved anxiety. To make golden milk, combine 1/2 cup (118 ml) of non-dairy milk (your favorite), 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 small piece of ginger, and 1 teaspoon of agave or maple syrup. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
In general the ingredients in golden milk are generally considered safe. Still, people taking certain medications, including blood thinners and medications to reduce stomach acid and control diabetes, should use caution with turmeric and ginger.
Almonds are tree nuts that are a source of healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Almond milk is a creamy, delicious and plant-based alternative, being also an excellent substitute for cow's milk that is made by mixing almonds with water and then straining the pulp.
Whole almonds can improve the quality of sleep. Violet oil made from almonds or sesame seeds has even been used in traditional Iranian medicine for many years as a treatment for insomnia.
In a study of 75 people with chronic insomnia, participants reported significant improvements in sleep quality after self-administering 3 intranasal drops of pure or violet almond oil every night for 30 days.
In another study in 442 college students, the number of participants reporting insomnia decreased by 8.4% after consuming 10 almonds a day for 2 weeks.
Since almond milk is made from whole almonds, it can also promote good sleep. Almond milk is rich in hormones and minerals that promote sleep, including tryptophan, melatonin, and magnesium. In fact, 1 cup (237 ml) of almond milk contains almost 17 mg of magnesium.
In recent years, magnesium has shown potential as a treatment for insomnia, particularly in older adults.
Almond milk can probably be found at your local grocery store. It comes in a variety of brands and flavors. You can also make it homemade and it is much better and healthier.
Since almond milk is made from whole almonds, people with nut allergies should avoid almond milk and products made from it.
Bananas are another food rich in magnesium, tryptophan, and melatonin. They are also rich in potassium. Potassium and magnesium are two minerals that relax muscles and can help us relax at the end of a long day.
By combining bananas and almond milk in a smoothie, you can actually provide us with significant doses of tryptophan and melatonin that could help reduce insomnia symptoms.
To make a banana and almond smoothie, mix:
It is a super simple recipe and you can also add ingredients that are rich in magnesium and potassium, such as green leaves, orange juice, dark chocolate, yogurt or avocados.
As long as you're not allergic to bananas or almonds, a smoothie like this is a healthy and delicious way to end the day. And you can even add a scoop of Falcon Protein.
Banana and almond smoothies contain many compounds that promote sleep. Almonds have tryptophan and melatonin, while bananas have potassium and magnesium, which work as muscle relaxants.
Sometimes deep sleep can be easily interrupted or difficult to achieve. Fortunately, many drinks can serve as natural sleep aids. Some beverages that promote sleep are rich in compounds like tryptophan and melatonin, while others promote sleep by relieving pain and discomfort at night.
Most of the drinks that help us promote sleep can be made with just a few simple ingredients in 5 minutes or less. Consider trying some of the drinks above to find out which ones help you sleep better. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, talk to your GP to get to the bottom of what may be causing sleeping difficulties.
If you want to discover more tips that will benefit your health, remember that you can explore our Birdman Blog and you will surely find something that catches your eye!
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