Warm Nightcap Drinks for Better Sleep
There’s wisdom to that time-worn tradition of having a cup of warm milk before going to bed. The amino acid tryptophan in cow’s milk helps sleepiness set in. Once you drink a cup, the tryptophan is converted to natural melatonin in the body, which helps regulate sleep so that you can drift into dreamland.
Here are two warm sleepy-time beverages that help promote good sleep. You’ll notice that neither contain caffeine, excessive amounts of sugar, or alcohol. Those ingredients prohibit you from getting an optimal, restful night by interfering with your sleep cycle — but these won’t.
Turmeric Chai Latte
This soothing hot beverage is full of anti-inflammatory ingredients such as fresh ginger, turmeric and spices which also help boost your body’s immune system.
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon wildflower honey
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean extract
- 2 cups milk (Note: You can use a milk alternative, such as soy, oat, coconut, pea or cashew milk, but these don’t contain tryptophan.)
1. In a saucepan, add milk, honey and spices. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once simmered, set pan aside for 5 minutes to allow the milk time to infuse with the flavor of the spices.
3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour directly into mugs. Serve warm.
Option: Froth milk if you like a foamy layer.
Maple Almond Warm Milk
Almond milk, like cow’s milk, contains tryptophan. When the body’s magnesium levels are too low, it makes it harder to stay asleep, according to The New York Times. Almond milk is high in magnesium, which some sleep experts say helps promote good sleep.
Total Time: 5 minutes
- 2 cups of good quality almond milk — unsweetened, preferably organic almond milk without artificial flavors, color or thickeners
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a sauce pan, add milk, maple syrup and cinnamon. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once simmered, pour into mugs and serve warm.
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