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Posted by Bridget Reed

The 5 Best Foods & Drinks To Have Before Bed

Struggling to find that sweet spot of blissful sleep each night? If you've tried counting sheep to no avail and browsing through endless sleep aid options leaves you wary of potential side effects, it might be time to turn your attention to your pre-bedtime routine — specifically, what you're eating and drinking before hitting the hay. 

The connection between diet and sleep is more profound than many realize. Before you consider a nightly ritual of pills or potions, consider the natural remedies that your kitchen pantry holds. 

This journey into night-time nourishment could be the answer you've been searching for, blending ancient wisdom with modern science to guide you gently to sleep.

How Does Your Evening Snacks Affect Your Sleep?

We've all heard myths and old wives' tales about the foods and drinks that supposedly lead to better sleep. But actually, it’s kind of true. The right snack can set the stage for a night of deep, restorative sleep. 

From the calming effects of certain teas to the sleep-promoting properties of specific fruits and nuts, the building blocks for a better night's sleep might just be in your kitchen. Actively choosing foods and drinks that support your body's natural sleep cycle can be a simple, effective way to promote better sleep. 

With a little bit of knowledge and planning, your evening snack can be transformed from a potential sleep stealer to a sleep enhancer.

1. Warm Milk

Warm milk is a remedy as old as time, touted for its sleep-inducing virtues. There's a kernel of truth here, as milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that plays a role in producing serotonin, a precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin. 

A dash of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon can transform this comforting drink into your nightly sleep potion. But the magic of warm milk doesn't stop with its ingredients. The very act of drinking something warm before bed can be a soothing ritual that signals it's time to wind down. The warmth soothes and relaxes your muscles, easing you into a state of comfort and relaxation. 

It's this combination of physical warmth, nutritional support, and the psychological comfort of a bedtime ritual that makes warm milk such a timeless and effective nightcap. While the science behind it is solid, the comfort and nostalgia it brings can be just as potent.

2. Chamomile Tea

Ever wondered why chamomile tea is the go-to beverage for relaxation? This herbal marvel is a natural sedative thanks to its apigenin content, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain to reduce insomnia. Imagine sipping on a warm cup of chamomile tea, letting its floral essence lull you into a peaceful sleep. 

Beyond its immediate calming effects, chamomile tea offers a host of other benefits that contribute to a better night's rest. It can alleviate stomach discomfort and promote digestion, reducing the chances of discomfort that might keep you awake. 

Moreover, the ritual of preparing and enjoying a cup of tea in itself is a mindful practice, helping to slow down your thoughts and prepare your mind for sleep. This gentle herb is also thought to enhance the quality of your sleep, ensuring you wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.

3. Almonds

These nuts are loaded with magnesium, a mineral that improves sleep quality and helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which can interrupt sleep. A handful of almonds might just be the perfect crunch you need before bed. 

But the benefits of almonds extend beyond just aiding sleep. They're also a source of healthy fats and protein, which can help stabilize your blood sugar levels throughout the night, preventing those sudden awakenings that can occur when your blood sugar drops. 

Integrating almonds into your nighttime routine can be as simple as munching on a few raw ones or incorporating them into a small, sleep-friendly snack. Their versatility and nutritional profile make almonds an ideal bedtime snack for anyone looking to improve their sleep naturally. By offering a blend of sleep-supportive nutrients, almonds stand out as a go-to snack for enhancing your nightly rest.

4. Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is a melatonin-rich elixir that can help you drift off faster and enjoy deeper sleep. Tart cherry juice is a natural source of the sleep hormone, making it a delicious and effective way to improve your nightly rest. 

Beyond its melatonin content, tart cherry juice is packed with antioxidants that fight inflammation and can help reduce pain and soreness, further contributing to a comfortable, restful night. For those who exercise regularly or deal with chronic pain, a glass of tart cherry juice before bed can be a game-changer. 

Integrating this powerful juice into your evening routine is simple, whether you prefer it straight up or diluted with water for a lighter taste. Its ability to enhance sleep quality and its other health benefits position tart cherry juice as an invaluable addition to your nighttime regimen.

5. Fatty Fish

The idea of eating fish before bed might not float everyone's boat, but hear us out. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which have been linked to enhanced sleep quality. They help regulate serotonin, setting the stage for a restful night. 

Including a serving of fatty fish in your dinner can set the foundation for a night of uninterrupted sleep, thanks to its heart-healthy fats and ability to boost brain health. The presence of vitamin D in fatty fish has been associated with a decrease in sleep disturbances, providing yet another reason to incorporate it into your evening meal. 

Whether grilled, baked, tinned, or served as part of a light salad, fatty fish can be a delicious and nutritious part of your sleep-enhancing diet.

What Else Can You Do To Promote Better Sleep?

Let's talk about something often overlooked in the sleep hygiene conversation: your bedding. Mussed bedding and inevitable yet unsettling yellow stains on your sheets can make your skin crawl, let alone leave you eager to dive into bed. 

But you’ve probably noticed that when your bedding is freshly laundered and smelling great, there’s nothing better than getting between your sheets.

What Products Can Help?

Start by using our Miracle Made® Laundry Detergent Sheets to keep your linens pristine while supporting the environment, thanks to your compact, economically sustainable packaging and formulation. Not to mention, the more peaceful and put-together your bedroom looks, the more relaxed you’ll be as you settle into sleep, which means more complete rest while you snooze. 

When you combine the power of our earth-friendly laundry sheets with the antimicrobial silver that’s formulated into our bedding, you have a recipe for the cleanest sheets you can imagine. The silver-infused fibers in our bedding actively reduce bacterial growth, meaning your sheets stay fresher and cleaner for longer periods. 

Plus, they’re luxuriously soft and ultra-stylish, meaning you’ll be happy with how your room looks, feels, and smells.

The Bottom Line

Don't overlook the power of your diet and the cleanliness of your sleep sanctuary if you’re struggling to get enough quality sleep to feel rested and vibrant in the morning. From sipping on chamomile tea to snacking on almonds and upgrading your bedding to silver-infused fabrics, these changes can transform your sleep quality. 

Before you consider drastic measures for a good night's rest, try adjusting what's on your plate and what's on your bed! After all, sweet dreams are not always made of sweet treats.

Sources:

Antibacterial Silver | National Library of Medicine

Investigation Effect Of Oral Chamomilla On Sleep Quality In Elderly People In Isfahan: A Randomized Control Trial | National Library of Medicine

Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms | American Journal of Therapeutics

The Role of Magnesium in Sleep Health: a Systematic Review of Available Literature | Springer Link

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