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Sip a Hot Toddy or Warm Milk Before Going to Bed

hot drink before bed.jpgCOULD A WARM beverage help you get to the land of nod? As many are concerned about the side effects of prescription and OTC medications, natural options may be worth looking into. Enjoy a warm glass of milk, herbal tea or a hot toddy as part of your bedtime routine for a restful night’s sleep.

Warm Milk as Sleep Aid

The old-school suggestion of drinking a warm milk before bed for help sleeping is actually worth investigating. Drinking warm milk CAN help some get to sleep. Warm milk has been found to be a sleep inducer. Even though the actual mechanism of how it works may remain elusive, many people do find that the act of consuming the warm beverage elicits the desired response.

Anecdotal evidence supports that simply drinking a warm glass of milk can produce feelings of relaxation. Part of it may simply rely upon associations with the routine.

For some, consuming warm milk may evoke comforting feelings of home and being care for as a child. The psychological association may be enough to induce the body to begin to relax and prepare for sleep.

Tea for Sleep

Tea can help you get a better night’s sleep, however, avoid any teas with caffeine including black tea and green tea. Excessive amounts of caffeine during the day and in the evening have been known to produce sleep disturbances. In addition, too much caffeine can increase your need to urinate, interrupting any sleep you are able to get.

drinking tea.jpgConsume a relaxing tea to induce feelings of calmness as part of your bedtime routine. Some herbal options to consider include:

    • Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata), used by the Aztecs and an herbal tranquilizer in Germany. Some find that it can reduce anxiety and sleeplessness associated to anxiety.
    • German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). This herb may indirectly help you get to sleep by increasing your state of mental calmness. A recent double blind study found that it decreased symptoms associated to generalized anxiety disorder.

Those taking antidepressants or other medications with sedative effects should discuss the impact of herbal teas or supplements and any potential interactions with their physician.

Hot Toddy for Sleep

A hot toddy is another option for those who have trouble getting to sleep. The classic version of a hot toddy includes a teaspoon of honey, a shot of malt whisky, boiling water and a bit of fresh lemon.

The hot toddy originated in the 18th century to make raw Scotch taste better. The Scots found that drinking hot toddies regularly helped avoid colds and induced warmth.

The hot water reduces the alcohol content and the sweet and sour combination promotes salivation and can help soothe dry coughs and sore throats. The addition of cinnamon, cloves and ginger may have benefits it and of themselves but such a warm and comforting warm winter drink can reduce stress levels and improve your ability to sleep.

Try a delicious and warming bedtime yourself and see if it helps you to relax before sleeping.

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