Calming drinks to help you relax at night
Many of us find it hard to relax at night - but could what we drink be affecting how well we prepare for sleep? Here're our tips and facts about more calming drinks to help you relax at the end of the day.
Cut down on energy drinks
Although energy drinks have become hugely popular over the years with their promises of extra energy to allow you to complete all your tasks for the day, they can often come with nasty side effects. These can include anything from a persistent nervousness, insomnia, heart palpitations and even mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. This can leave you struggling to get to sleep at night and lead you relying more heavily on energy drinks to get you through the following day. Drinking more calming drinks before bedtime and avoiding energy drinks in the afternoon can significantly improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep by helping you to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
Relax and reduce your stress levels
Everyone experiences stress, it's practically unavoidable. But stress can be managed. Managing your stress and finding ways to relax can help you sleep better. Our bodies are designed to react to stress in a set way. Whilst this can be positive - if you are due to get married for example, but it can also be negative and this is when stress starts to cause problems. Naturally, this could mean people start to look for an immediate cure for their stress and may turn to drugs or alcohol, but in time this can make your stress, and therefore your sleep problems, worse.
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural and healthy, calming drinks which you can turn to in order to reduce your stress and improve the quality of your sleep by relaxing more at night.
Here's our list of some of our favourite calming drinks:
1. Kava Tea
Kava tea is well known for its properties as one of the best calming drinks. It is made by using the root of a Piper Methysticum plant which is ground down, chewed or pulverised. The resulting tea can help ease your mind and provide clarity and a temporary sense of relief from your anxieties and stress, thus reducing insomnia and improving your sleep.
Kava tea is often considered one of the most effective calming drinks as it provides relief for moderate to severe anxiety, helping to relax your mind and ease fears. This is because it contains kavalactones, which has been shown to affect the brain in a similar way to anti-anxiety medications. Unlike other roots or drugs, kava is un-addictive and totally natural, meaning you can enjoy it whenever it is needed.
The effect this drink has on anxiety and insomnia make it one of our most recommended calming drinks to help you wind down before bed.
2. Warm Milk
Many mothers give children a glass of warm milk before bed, and even into adulthood, warm milk is recommended to help calm the nerves at the end of a long day. There's a good reason for this! The warm temperature of the heated milk makes it one of the most recognised calming drinks. It has a similarly soothing effect as sipping hot tea and this is largely down to milk's tryptophan content. Tryptophan is an amino-acid that becomes converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin when consumed. Higher levels of serotonin are connected with an improved mood and feelings of calm - helping you to go to bed relaxed and feeling positive.
3. Peppermint Tea
Another popular remedy for improving sleep by helping you to relax is peppermint tea. Often featured on lists of calming drinks, peppermint tea has an aromatic quality that really helps to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. The menthol contained in peppermint has a natural muscle relaxant effect which is great for relieving tension and irritation when you're feeling anxious or stressed.
Drinking peppermint tea is a great all-around relaxant because it has natural relaxing effects and is caffeine free. This makes it one of the best calming drinks to have just before bedtime, helping to lull you into a peaceful sleep, even if you've had a stressful day.
Peppermint tea isn't recommended for women who are pregnant, however, so consult your doctor before you try it.
4. Valerian Root Tea
Valerian root tea is one of the calming drinks that is highly popular and well known for its ability to help you get a good night’s sleep. Although it's smell isn't admired as often, it is recognised for relieving the symptoms of anxiety and stress - which in turn helps you to sleep better at night. In fact, it is most commonly used to help fight insomnia and anxiety. Valerian is known to increase the volume of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain - a chemical which helps to regulate nerve cells and calm feelings of anxiety. It actually works in a similar way to many prescribed medications to help relieve anxiety but doesn't produce the same side effects which can often occur when taking medication.
It is usually recommended to drink valerian root tea just before heading to bed, otherwise the drowsy effects of the drink could place you in danger if you were to try to carry out activities such as driving, especially when you first start using the drink as you won't know until then how strongly it will affect you.
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