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10 DIY drinks to help you get a good night’s sleep

In today’s fast-paced world, taking time out for oneself has become increasingly difficult. Meeting deadlines at work, coping with pandemic-related health issues and trying to juggle everything in between has led us to make unhealthy lifestyle choices, which lead to complications of irregular sleeping patterns, digestive problems, elevated stress and anxiety and much more.

However, a few tricks can help with some of these issues. Let’s begin with getting some sound sleep at night. A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Not only does it help you wake up energised and rejuvenated, but it also elevates your mood for the rest of the day.

But what do you do if you’re finding it difficult to go to sleep? A quick fix is having a comforting beverage before hitting the sack. What’s even better is that some of these can be easily made at home and are packed with health benefits.

To make things easier for you, we have curated a list of DIY drinks that will help you get better sleep quality at night. So, ditch sugary or caffeinated beverages you might be consuming every other night and be mindful of what you have before going to bed. However, you must consult a physician or a sleep therapist if you are having trouble sleeping.

Read on to know all about these DIY drinks that’ll help you get better sleep at night

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea
Image: Courtesy Vitolda Klein/@little_klein/Unsplash

Tisanes, or herbal teas, are known for their natural properties that help you relax after a tiring day. Rich in antioxidants, the components of the chamomile flowers have a soothing effect that induces sleep and relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Moreover, a 2009 study shows that taking daily doses of chamomile extract has lowered almost 50 percent of anxiety symptoms. Besides its medicinal properties, the tea also helps in keeping heart problems in check and lowers risks of cancer.

This DIY drink is easy to make. All you need to do is boil water in a kettle and add the tea to it. Let it brew for some time, and pour it into a cup. Inhale the earthy aroma, which will instantly calm your senses.

Feel free to add honey, ginger and apple mint leaves to create more variants of this soothing beverage. Other ingredients like lavender, cinnamon and a bit of maple syrup can also enhance the flavour and boost immunity.

Milk with turmeric

Milk with turmeric
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Since time immemorial, mothers and grandmothers have sworn by milk for its endless health benefits. Besides being a rich source of calcium, milk possesses generous amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, which turns into a hormone called melatonin on consumption and makes you sleepy.

On the other hand, turmeric, essentially used in Indian meals, helps in digestion and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Combining warm milk and turmeric makes a perfect night-time drink, giving a warm fuzzy feeling. However, if you are intolerant to lactose, choose plant-based milk like cashew, oats or almond.

The DIY drink couldn’t get any simpler. Add turmeric to warm milk and stir well. You could also add a pinch of cinnamon or some ginger to it. If you prefer it sweet, add honey as per taste and voila! The turmeric milk is ready.

Drink it as a creamy after-dinner beverage to improve metabolism and sleep quality.

Tart cherry juice

Tart cherry juice
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A pilot study conducted by the American Journal of Therapeutics shows drinking tart cherry juice reduces insomnia. Adults above 50 years have shown great progress in sleeping patterns after consuming 250 ml of cherry juice twice daily for two weeks.

These adults got nearly 84 minutes of extra sleep after consuming the tart cherry juice, the study shows.
Amino acid tryptophan present in tart cherries induces sleep and regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Although both sweet and tart cherries help in releasing melatonin in the body, the latter already has a high melatonin content which induces sleep.

If you are planning to add this drink to your nighttime routine, be sure to follow the study and drink two glasses of 250 ml daily for two weeks. However, it is best to consult a physician before doing so.

Valerian tea

Valerian tea DIY drinks for good night's sleep
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An age-old medicinal herb, the roots of the Valerian plant have long been used as a remedy against insomnia and sleep disorders. Rich in antioxidants, like hesperidin and linarin, the valerian root has properties that enhance sleep. Moreover, valerenic acid — another sleep-inducing compound present in the root — helps break down gamma-aminobutyric acids (GABA) in the brain that helps to calm down and gives a feeling of tranquillity.

The plant is easy to identify for its pink and white flowers. Its sleep-enhancing properties help maintain sleep patterns, especially among menopausal women.

The DIY drink is extremely easy to make. Like the chamomile flowers, two to three of the roots must be soaked in hot water for about 10-15 minutes and then strained to get the warm drink.

However, pregnant women and children must not consume this tea.

Ashwagandha tea

Ashwagandha tea DIY drinks for good night's sleep
Image: Courtesy formulatehealth/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericWikimedia Commons

Another medicinal herb known for its sleep-inducing benefits is Ashwagandha roots. A common and essential ingredient in ancient Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is used to treat insomnia.

Not only the roots but also the extracts from its leaves and berries are used to treat stress, anxiety and arthritis and have the potential to calm the body after a tiring day for healthy sleep.

If you don’t like the tea’s flavour, there’s nothing to worry about. You can easily make what’s called ‘Moon milk’. Add cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ashwagandha to the milk to make a nice creamy night beverage. Feeling a bit more indulgent? You can add rose petals and tart cherry juice for a distinct taste.

Though available locally and in tea bags, Ashwagandha must be consumed after a doctor’s consultation, for it might adversely affect those with heart and thyroid conditions, breastfeeding women and those with autoimmune disorders.

Lemon balm tea

DIY drinks for good night's sleep
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An effective agent of reducing stress, anxiety and inducing a calming effect, lemon balm is used to ease insomnia, relieve indigestion and much more.

Lemon balm has a unique flavour profile of tart and sweetness. Along with a fresh citrusy taste, it is also minty.

There is no one way to make this DIY drink. The basic tea can be made with both dried and fresh leaves. Soak the lemon balm leaves in hot water for 10-15 minutes and then strain it. Add honey as per taste, and enjoy the warm drink.

Banana smoothies

DIY drinks for good night's sleep
Image: Courtesy Laura/Pexels

This is for the ones who love smoothies. Although smoothies are typically considered a breakfast choice, you can add some twist to your recipe and turn it into a nighttime snack.

If you have had a heavy, spice-laden dinner, you can avoid the heat burn with a banana smoothie. Bananas contain melatonin, serotonin, and potassium, which help your muscles uncoil for a night of sound sleep. You may use milk or yogurt to prepare your smoothie. According to a study, these ingredients are rich in magnesium which trigger your body to relax and induce sleep. Throw in a few almonds and flax seeds which are also good sources of magnesium, omega-3, and tryptophan, as proven by this research.

However, if you’re suffering from a cough or cold, avoid eating bananas as it might aggravate your condition.

Lavender tea

DIY drinks for good night's sleep
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Lavender is known for its soothing properties and hence, many consider drinking lavender tea for a good night’s sleep. Lavender tea is prepared by brewing the buds of lavender flowers which emanate a distinct flavour and aroma.

In 2005 a controlled clinical trial conducted by the peer reviewed scientific journal, Chronobiol Int found that people who inhaled the scent of lavender had slow-wave sleep with increased duration. Similarly, drinking lavender tea can relieve fatigue and stress while reducing insomnia.

Passionflower tea

DIY drinks for good night's sleep
Image: Courtesy David Mao/@itsdavo/Unsplash

Passionflower is an exotic vine flower with blue or purple tentacle-like petals. One variety of the flower, Passiflora incarnata, is a herbal sedative used to treat sleep disturbances, anxiety, and insomnia.

You can make passionflower tea by brewing dried flower petals. If that’s not available, you can buy tea bags which are available in supermarkets. If you prefer sweetness, you may add a few drops of honey to enhance the taste.

It is recommended that you drink the tea an hour before going to bed. If you continue the habit for 7 days, you will notice an improvement in your sleep quality.

Peppermint tea

DIY drinks for good night's sleep
Image: Courtesy David Mao/@itsdavo/Unsplash

You can jazz up your nighttime routine by drinking a cup of peppermint tea before bed. Peppermint has been proven to be beneficial for sleep, as it is caffeine-free and helps reduce tension in your muscles.

Peppermint contains about 20% menthol which relieves your mind of stress and induces sleep. It also leaves a cooling aftertaste in your mouth, making you feel refreshed. The tea is simple to make—simmer peppermint leaves in boiling water, strain the water, add a touch of honey, and you’re done.

Best time to drink

It’s safe to have your nighttime drink an hour before going to bed. But that could mean you’d have to take bathroom breaks in between sleep. Heavy drinks, like a banana smoothie, take time to digest. So, it’s best recommended to have your drink at least three hours before bed. That way, you’d have enough time for bathroom breaks and your sleep won’t be disturbed.

Hero image credit: Miti/@mitifotos/Unsplash; Feature Image credit: Dmytro Davydenko/@heroin_cccc/ Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What are the best drinks to drink before bed to sleep?

Answer: If you’re troubled by sleep disorders, make it a habit to drink sleep-inducing drinks like lavender tea, warm milk, banana smoothie, tart cherry juice, etc. We have listed a few more drinks in the article above for you to consider. These drinks help relax your muscles and calm your nerves, preparing you for a night of deep, sound sleep.

Question: What are the best home remedies to help you sleep?

Answer: Besides drinking sleep-inducing drinks, you can also incorporate a few other habits into your nighttime routine. A few minutes of meditation could do the trick. Many people also like to do moderate aerobic exercises before going to bed. A warm shower can also be soothing, helping you sleep better. Don’t forget to dim the lights to avoid visual disruption. You can also try to reduce your screen time and stop using gadgets at least an hour before you sleep.

10 DIY drinks to help you get a good night’s sleep

Trinetra Paul and Nikita Baruah

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