8 drinks to help you sleep faster and better

Sleep-inducing drinks are a great way to signal your body that it’s time for bed. Here are some drinks to help you sleep!
A woman sleeping
Sleep is very important for physical as well as mental health. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 12 Dec 2023, 09:00 pm IST
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After a long and tiring day, all that one wants is sound sleep. Health authorities reckon that an average adult should sleep for 7-8 hours every day. In fact, a study, published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, points to the fact that inadequate sleep can lead to health ailments such as depression, diabetes and heart diseases. If deep sleep has been an issue with you, it might be worthwhile to try some drinks that help you sleep better.

How do drinks help sleep?

When it comes to promoting better sleep, warm drinks are often recommended as these help the body relax. Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile or valerian root, are known for their calming properties, which can contribute to a sense of relaxation before bedtime, says dietitian Garima Goyal.

When should you take your last drink of the day?

For optimal sleep hygiene, it is recommended to finish consuming most fluids, even your sleep-inducing drinks. especially those with potential diuretic effects, about an hour before bedtime. This allows the body enough time to process and excrete the fluids, reducing the chance of waking up due to the need to urinate.

Consuming large amounts of fluids close to bedtime can lead to disruptions in sleep due to the increased likelihood of waking up to use the bathroom during the night. This is particularly true for beverages with diuretic effects, such as caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. “The body naturally produces less urine during the night, promoting uninterrupted sleep. However, consuming liquids too close to bedtime can interfere with this process,” advises Goyal.

A glass of warm beverage
Hot drinks are great in relaxing the muscles before bed. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What drinks help you sleep?

Drinking the right kind of beverage is essential. Garima Goyal lists down all that is great for sleep.

1. Chamomile tea

Chamomile is a herb with mild sedative properties. Drinking chamomile tea before bedtime can help relax muscles, ease stress, and promote sleep. It contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which may contribute to its calming effects.

Health Shots Recommends: 5 best chamomile teas to relieve stress and improve sleep quality

2. Valerian root tea

Valerian root has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments, including sleep disorders. It may increase the levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain, promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality.

3. Warm milk

Warm milk is a classic bedtime drink. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted into serotonin and melatonin, both of which play crucial roles in regulating sleep. Drinking milk at night before sleep may have benefits and side effects.

4. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea, when caffeine-free, can help relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, potentially reducing discomfort and promoting a more peaceful sleep.

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Also Read: These 7 tried-and-tested tricks will help you sleep better at night

5. Decaffeinated Green Tea

Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that has calming effects on the nervous system. But remember to go for decaffeinated versions to avoid the stimulating effects of caffeine.

6. Golden Milk (Turmeric Latte)

Golden milk is made with turmeric, which contains curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This warm beverage may help reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being, contributing to better sleep.

7. Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is believed to have mild sedative effects. Drinking lemon balm tea before bedtime may help calm the mind and improve sleep quality.

8. Warm water with lemon

Simple warm water with lemon is a hydrating and refreshing option. While it doesn’t have specific sleep-promoting compounds, staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can contribute to a more comfortable sleep environment.

Also Read: 7 sleep hygiene habits to improve your sleep quality

What to avoid drinking before bed?

There are a few drinks that should never be had before bedtime.

Avoid caffeinated drinks before sleeping
Coffee should be avoided before bed. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Coffee

Caffeine has a stimulating effect by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine promotes relaxation and drowsiness, so when it’s blocked by caffeine, it can interfere with the natural onset of sleep.

2. Tea with caffeine

Teas like black, green, and white tea also contain caffeine. While they may offer antioxidants and other health benefits, the caffeine content can lead to increased heart rate, restlessness, and difficulty falling asleep.

3. Soda and energy drinks

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, while the sugar can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, potentially causing disruptions in sleep patterns.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can reduce the time spent in REM sleep, the stage associated with vivid dreaming and overall sleep quality.

5. Citrus juices

Citrus juices are acidic, and consuming them close to bedtime may trigger acid reflux or heartburn.

6. Spicy drinks

Spices and hot peppers in beverages can cause indigestion and increase the likelihood of acid reflux.

7. Highly sugary drinks

Drinks with high sugar content can cause a rapid increase and subsequent drop in blood sugar levels.

8. Excessive water

Consuming large amounts of water right before bed can result in frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.

 

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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