7 Natural DIY Drinks to Help You Sleep Better

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Trouble falling asleep? While you know the importance of sleeping, it can be easier said than done.

Here are natural DIY drinks to help you achieve quality sleep to help you feel energized in the morning.

A lack of restful sleep is the number one reason for feeling grumpy, irritated and unmotivated, but quality sleep is also needed for healthy digestion, detoxification and maintaining a healthy weight.

If you’re part of the ⅓ of the adult population that suffers from poor sleep, these natural DIY drinks will help you fall into a happy slumber to improve your overall health.

1. Valerian Root Tea

Valerian is known for being used in herbal medicine as a sleep aid and to help relieve stress and anxiety.

Valerian extract can be found in tinctures and capsules, and, of course, sleepy-time teas. While some people swear by the sedative effect of this little pink flower, studies remain inconclusive as to whether or not valerian truly improves sleep quality. Some studies suggest valerian is most powerful when taken for at least 28 days, while others experience better sleep right away.

What we do know, however, is that valerian is safe and gentle to use, has few side effects, and has a calming effect on the nervous system.

How to Drink It:

To make valerian root tea, all you need is 1 teaspoon of loose leaf dried valerian root, a kettle and boiling water. You can also use an infusion device, such as a tea ball, to put the loose herbs in.

Add valerian root to your mug and cover with boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes and remove the tea ball, or if you used loose leaf valerian in your cup, strain it and discard.

Valerian has a strong, bitter taste, so you may want to add a touch of Manuka honey or coconut sugar to sweeten it. Some recommend drinking valerian root in the evenings, approximately 30 minutes before bed if you’re using it to help you sleep.

2. Golden Milk

What was once only used as a healing remedy by Ayurvedic doctors, golden milk is now on the menus of most health food stores for its anti-inflammatory and digestive health benefits.

Since golden milk is said to improve digestion function (and therefore the absorption of essential nutrients that help promote restful sleep, such as calcium and magnesium), sipping on a warm, soothing mug of golden milk before bedtime may help you rest easier.

Few studies back up the specific health claims of turmeric and golden milk, but there is evidence of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, having anti-inflammatory properties. Since chronic inflammation can promote sleep loss, getting extra anti-inflammatory nutrients in your diet is never a bad idea.

How to Drink It:

You can make golden milk at home by boiling a non-dairy milk with coconut oil, ground ginger, black pepper, turmeric and cinnamon.

For simple step-by-step instructions, here’s our recipe to make a Golden Turmeric Latte (it includes all of the same ingredients as golden milk).

3. Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is said to be rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanin, which can help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease, but it may also be effective for relieving insomnia.

One study showed that tart Montmorency Cherries contain high levels of melatonin, which helps regulate your sleep and wake cycle. The study measured sleep improvement in healthy adults after drinking tart cherry juice concentrate for 7 days, and found that total sleep time and sleep quality were enhanced compared to those in the placebo group.

How to Drink It:

If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, you may want to start sipping on some tart cherry juice before bed, or try blending it into a smoothie to make a natural night time drink.

To make tart cherry juice, simply add 20 pitted cherries, 2 tsp makuna honey, and 1/4 cup of water to a blender. Blend together and strain into a glass to remove cherry chunks. If you like pulp, however, feel free to leave the cherry skins in the drink for added benefits.

4. Coconut Water

Coconut water is more than a post-workout or summer’s day hydration drink: it may also help you fall asleep easier. This is because coconut water is high in magnesium, the mineral that helps relax your muscles and ease tension throughout your body.

How to Drink It:

Coconut water is low in sugar, so it’s safe to sip on before bed without experiencing a blood sugar spike and crash. To give it a boost, add dried hibiscus flower, chill overnight, and strain out the flower before drinking. Hibiscus has been shown to reduce anxiety and have natural sedative effects.

5. Banana Carob Powder Smoothie

If you haven’t tried carob before, carob powder is like raw cacao’s cousin. It has a mild caramel, chocolate-y taste and pairs well with Paleo-friendly desserts and smoothies.

 While it’s known for being rich in antioxidants, it also contains high levels of calcium, which is a mineral that acts as a natural sleep aid on its own.

How to Drink It:

When it comes to making a natural drink for falling asleep with carob powder, I recommend blending it with ½ frozen banana, almond milk, and cinnamon to make a creamy, satiating smoothie.

Bananas can also help promote better quality sleep because they contain the amino acid l-tryptophan, which gets converted to serotonin and melatonin.

6. Warm Glass of Coconut Milk

Granny was onto something when she gave you that warm glass of milk before bed. Traditionally, dairy milk was the night time beverage of choice because it contains the amino acid tryptophan to help promote sleep. But using a dairy-free milk such as coconut milk and almond milk can still be effective as a natural drink for falling asleep.

As mentioned above, coconut contains minerals such as magnesium, while almonds are rich in calcium, so both options can still promote a sense of calm and relaxation (especially when warmed up in a cozy mug).

Cardamom is a spice with a strong, ginger-like taste, and is said to have been used in Ayurveda to help cure insomnia for thousands of years.

How to Drink It:

Cardamom and warm milk is a traditional Ayurvedic beverage recommended to those who have trouble falling and staying asleep. A teaspoon of raw honey will add a touch of sweetness to your warm milk and cardamom – and some people even swear by having honey before bed to wake up feeling rested (however, there are no reputable studies at this time linking honey to insomnia).

7. Sleepy-Time Elixir

Many herbs, such as lavender and chamomile, have soothing effects and can act as mild sedatives. You can make your own sleepy-time tea by purchasing a variety of loose leaf herbs in bulk at your local health food store.

Here are a few suggestions for the most popular herbs recommended to support the nervous system, relieve stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality:

  • Lemon balm
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Ashwagandha
  • Passion flower
  • Holy basil

How to Drink It:

To make a sleepy-time tea, steep equal parts of each herb (approximately 1 teaspoon each) in boiling water (you may also want to use a tea infuser). Strain or remove herbs and add a touch of honey or cinnamon to sweeten. Enjoy!

Watch this video – The Ultimate Bedtime Drink

The Bottom Line

If you have trouble falling asleep, you may also want to consider adding other calming, sleep-inducing activities to your bedtime routine, such as free journaling, meditation, restorative yoga, or a brisk nature walk after dinner.

Creating a sleep sanctuary in your room (a cozy, comfortable environment that’s only used for sleeping) can also help improve your quality and length of sleep – and, therefore, your health and happiness.

Written by Brandi Black

Author Bio:

Brandi Black is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the creator of Feel Best Naked, a health blog for women who want to clear up their skin, lose the muffin top and make the bloat disappear. After years of experiencing (and then healing) her own unbalanced hormones, she’s now obsessed with helping other women feel spectacular in their own skin with natural remedies for hormone balance.

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