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What You Should and Shouldn’t Drink to Sleep Better

What you eat or drink hours before bedtime can significantly affect the quality of your sleep. To help you make wiser choices, below are beverages you should and shouldn’t drink if you want to sleep better:

☒ Alcohol

Booze can sure make you drowsy, but it can’t bring you quality and restful sleep. In fact, alcohol can interrupt your body’s normal circadian rhythm or sleep pattern and cause you to experience sleep disruptions in the second half of your slumber.

More than disrupting your normal sleep pattern, drinking alcohol before bedtime can also get in the way of your body’s process of healing and regeneration during nighttime. Plus, alcohol can give you an annoying hangover the next morning.

☒ Caffeine

Caffeinated beverages like tea, cola, and coffee can effectively stimulate you as early as 15 minutes after taking your first sip. That’s good news if you’re still off to start your day in the morning and you need enough energy to do your tasks.

But, when you’re aiming for better sleep, or you’re struggling with putting yourself to bed, you must limit your caffeine intake especially in the afternoon. You must not drink any caffeinated beverage four to six hours before bedtime if you want to sleep.

However, not all tea varieties can be bad for your sleep. Drinking herbal teas like chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, and passionflower can promote relaxation, stress-relief, and sleep. They increase stress-calming neurotransmitters in the brain.

☒ Soda

Soda and other carbonated beverages must also be included in your not-to-drink-before-bedtime list. The carbonation soda contributes to bloating, heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which often flares up at night or during sleep.

If you want uninterrupted sleep, avoid soda like you would avoid other caffeine and alcohol. Soda is packed with sugar, a huge contributor to obesity which increases risks for sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that affects breathing while asleep.

☑ Milk

Milk, whether drank warm or cool, may not magically hypnotize you to sleep, but it can be a useful component in helping improve sleep. It has small amounts of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that converts into serotonin, a hormone that aids sleep.

Although the level of tryptophan in milk isn’t enough to make you drowsy, milk is certainly much better than coffee or alcohol before bedtime. Milk is a comforting beverage that can be added to your bedtime routine for a soothing way to end your day.

☑ Bone Broth

Bone broth doesn’t only provides a feast for the taste buds; it also helps improve sleep quality. Besides the warmth and comfort it brings, it is also rich in magnesium, a calming and relaxing mineral that is well known for providing relief to insomnia.

A good cup of bone broth is also packed with calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and glycine, an amino acid that improves sleep quality in people who find it hard to sleep. So, if you want a savory way to sleep, slowly savor a cup of it before bedtime.

To make your own homemade bone broth, you can use either chicken bone or beef bone. Allow the bones and the vegetables such as carrots and onions to boil in a crockpot on low heat for at least 24 hours. Season to taste. Let it cool and strain it.

☑ Cherries

If you want a fruity route to better sleep, tart cherry juice may be your match. Cherries contain anti-inflammatory properties that help regulate the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle. It’s the melatonin and anthocyanin in cherries that aids sleep.

In one study participated by older adults suffering from insomnia, consuming two eight-ounce servings of tart cherry juice two times a day for a period of two weeks resulted in more minutes of sleep for the insomniacs, as compared to placebo.

To achieve better and more restful sleep each night, take note of the above beverages to and not to drink before bedtime. May the zzzz’s be with you!

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