We’ve all been there – tossing and turning all night, unable to switch off no matter how tired we are. Then anxiety hits as you worry about how on the ball you’ll be when the alarm clock rudely awakens you, and you lie there helpless, counting down the number of hours sleep you’ll actually get.
We’ve all heard about the age-old remedy of a warm cup of milk to help you off to the land of nod, but does it actually work, or is it just an old wives’ tale?
Here are five drinks that will help you drift off, plus advice on what not to eat before bed for a better night’s sleep…
There is actually plenty of scientific proof to support milk as a great bedtime drink. Milk is particularly high in the amino acid tryptophan, which is also present in foods high in carbohydrates, which is why you feel drowsy after a big meal. Once tryptophan is consumed, it is converted in the body into the natural hormone melatonin, which regulates the body’s sleep state. So drinking milk before bed boosts our melatonin, and therefore our sleepiness.
A surprising remedy to induce sleepiness, as coconut water is often regarded as an energy-boosting beverage. However, don’t necessarily believe every advert, because it also has plenty of contents that can help you sleep better. Coconut water is rich in potassium and magnesium, which are well known to help relax muscles. This drink also contains a pinch of vitamin B, which is known for helping reduce stress – a pretty good combination if you ask us.
Another fruit making an appearance in the list is the banana, which can be made quite easily into a delicious and sleep-aiding night-time drink. Bananas are very high in potassium and magnesium, meaning they are fantastic if you want to relax. This is why you will often see athletes or people in training eat them shortly after exercise.
Decaffeinated green tea
While suggesting regular green tea would be counter-productive, decaf green tea is a great drink to help you off to sleep. Green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which has been proven to help reduce stress and in turn promote good sleep.
Best known in the UK as Horlicks, malted milk is essentially germinated cereal grain that has been dried out. The extract of malt is the main ingredient. Its snooze-inducing powers are well known, with Horlicks marketed as a drink that’s perfect to drink before bed, and this is certainly the case. Malted milk contains a good source of vitamin B, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. This concoction of minerals is great in helping your body relax, so a great choice in helping you wind down.