Posted by Elizabeth Kovar
Need help getting to sleep? Most Americans struggle to get enough sleep and some even have nightly staring contests with the ceiling. But now there’s hope and research shows that we drink can help or hinder our nightly zzz’s. If you’re in the market for better sleep, pick up these top drinks that will help relax the mind, muscles and body.
Tart Cherry Juice
Cherries contain antioxidants and melatonin, which is the natural hormone the brain secretes in our circadian rhythm. Melatonin secretion is what makes us relax at night. A small study published in 2010’s Journal of Medicinal Food found that drinking tart cherry juice (once in the morning and two hours before bed) significantly decreased insomnia.
Lemon Balm Tea
Seep lemon balm leaves in hot water to brew a glass of relaxation. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and promotes better sleep and reduces anxiety. This tea has been used since the Middle Ages, thanks to the research of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
This old-school method is still an important beverage in new age. The milk contains high amounts of amino acid, tryptophan, to promote better rest. Research has not proved whether the body relaxes because of the tryptophan or due to the placebo effect, meaning that the mind thinks warm milk aides in better sleep.
Non-caffeinated beverages such as chamomile, kava kava or valerian root leaves are sleep’s best friend. It aids in the relaxation of the mind and body. However, try to drink a couple hours before bed so you are not waking up to go to the bathroom.
Pure Coconut Water
Coconut water contains high amounts of potassium and magnesium. These nutrients aide in muscle relaxation. Drink the water throughout the day, as the Vitamin B is known to reduce stress.
For years, Celestial Seasoning brand has sold the Sleepytime Tea. The tea contains a combination of chamomile, linden flowers, lemongrass and spearmint. Some “branches” of Sleepytime Tea include vanilla for extra flavor or valerian root for extra sedation. These ingredients promote relaxation from the digestion tract to the muscles and the mind.
Bananas are overall a healthy food, but help with sleep as it contains relaxing nutrients such as magnesium and potassium. Combine this with cherries and milk for a slammin’ sleep-induced smoothie. Do not add other ingredients like sugar, which does not help sleep.