Is there anything better than waking up after a good night’s sleep? For many folks, that’s just a dream, pun intended. Sleeplessness is a real problem, with around 10% of Americans reporting serious problems getting to sleep or staying asleep. You’ve probably heard that a glass of warm milk can help, but is it just folklore or scientific fact?
Knowing what to drink to sleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed can be a game-changer. If you’ve tried the traditional remedies and found nothing works, read on to find out what drinks make you sleepy and when to drink them.
Insomnia and Restless Sleep
What causes insomnia and restless sleep? There can be many causes, including:
- Mental health issues
- Poor sleeping environment
- Poor sleep patterns (e.g., irregular work shifts)
- Too much light in the room, natural or artificial
- Too many electric devices in the room
- Too little exercise or exercising right before bedtime
- Poor diet
Your diet is intrinsically linked to your overall wellbeing, including how well you sleep. Factors in your diet that could cause a poor night’s sleep could be:
- Eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime
- Too much spicy food, which irritates the digestive system
- High amounts of fat and salt, which are hard to digest and cause dehydration
- Not enough water, again, causing dehydration
Staying hydrated during the day is important, but what you drink at bedtime could have a major impact on how well you sleep.
Does Milk Help You Sleep?
Possibly, although it may vary from person to person. Milk contains tryptophan, a chemical that encourages the production of melatonin (see below). So, a mug of warm milk every day could help you have a more regular sleep pattern.
The primary reason warm milk helps people sleep is more psychological. We tend to associate warm milk with bedtime and sleepiness, and the safety of being tucked in as a child. Your likelihood of falling asleep after warm milk probably depends on how attached to it you were as a child and the levels of nostalgia it holds for you.
Is There a Tea That Helps You Sleep?
Types of Tea to Help Sleep
- Valerian tea
- Chamomile tea
- Peppermint tea
- Tea containing lavender or lavender extract
- Lemon balm tea
Do Pistachios Help You Sleep?
Pistachios are linked to better sleep, partially because they have such high quantities of beneficial minerals and vitamins. As we mentioned before, when your body is running great, you sleep better. But, do pistachios make you sleepy? It’s possible they may actually do just that.
Do Pistachios Contain Melatonin?
Melatonin is a special hormone that helps the body keep its internal clock and stick to a good sleep cycle. People with severe insomnia may be prescribed melatonin supplements by a doctor, but some foods contain this hormone naturally.
Pistachios are one such food. The link between pistachios and melatonin was published in 2019 by researchers Millicent Yeboah-Awudzi and Dr. Jack Losso. They discovered that pistachios had a much higher amount of melatonin than other edible plants, meaning that adding some into your diet could actually help you get sleepy at the same time every night.
Pistachios Melatonin Facts
- The study was done on American pistachios, so check the country of origin when you buy.
- Cereals and grains contain up to 125 ng/gram of melatonin.
- Pistachios contain up to 660ng/grams of melatonin, which is significantly higher.
- Pistachios also contain other bioactive compounds, which may promote health and wellbeing.
Five Drinks That Help You Sleep
The bottom line: Which drinks actually make you sleepy? Which are the best drinks for a good night’s sleep? Here are our recommendations:
Pistachio Sleep Smoothie
Blend a banana, some milk, a handful of pistachios, and a few cherries together for a bedtime drink that’s easy to digest and will give you the sleep-inducing benefits of these healthy ingredients. Bananas are full of potassium, which helps your muscles relax, so they’re the ideal fruit partner for melatonin-rich pistachios.
Cherries contain tryptophan, like milk, which can help your body produce the right amount of melatonin.
Give your warm milk a power boost with turmeric. Turmeric has been used in folk medicine for centuries and is linked to reduced inflammation and a better mindset. Add a teaspoon of turmeric plus some ginger and honey to warm milk. Simmer for five minutes, let it cool slightly, then enjoy.
Almond milk contains a range of chemicals, which may help you sleep faster and better. Almond oil may also be useful for better sleep.
This tea appears in Ayurvedic medicine and contains triethylene glycol, which promotes deep sleep during which your cells repair.
Drinks to Avoid for Sleep
Of course, there are also drinks you should avoid near bedtime if you want a good night’s sleep. Stay away from:
- Caffeinated tea
- Sugary soda
- Energy drinks
Some people believe that alcohol helps you sleep because it makes you feel drowsy. However, alcohol may prevent you from getting enough REM sleep, plus it can cause you to wake through the night. It also leaves you feeling dehydrated, which is not a good way to wake up in the morning.
As always, check with a doctor before taking herbs or herbal teas as a supplement, and enjoy trying these delicious drinks to help you sleep better.
What drinks help you sleep? We answer the age-old question, “Does warm milk help you sleep?”, plus look at the facts about melatonin in pistachios.