7 Best Drinks Before Bed (For Better Sleep)

asleepThe importance of getting quality sleep every night can never be overstated. Many of our vital functions and skills related to work performance, energy level, reaction time, decision-making, disposition and mood, the efficacy of our immune system and general life satisfaction – are all affected by how well we sleep and the value we attach to getting enough of it.

The most recent scientific research clarifies that when it comes to sleep, quality indeed supersedes quantity. Once we realize how extensive the positive effects of proper sleep and how dire the consequences of lack of sleep are, then we would do well to exert extra effort to ensuring that we get enough of the proper kind of rest at night.

While there are many measures that we can take to sleep well, such as avoiding caffeine, engaging in exercise at the right time and adhering to a regular sleep pattern, there are ways of getting proper sleep that are actually more fun, more refreshing and definitely more delicious.

1) Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is a very popular and mild drink used as a cure-all for many different physical health concerns by well-informed individuals. Relief from bloating, nausea, indigestion, menstrual pain, inflammation, heartburn, sore throat and immune system deficiencies are just a few of its numerous benefits.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in The Journal of Clinical Pyschopharmacology, is conducted to determine the efficacy and tolerability of chamomile. For this study, the researchers gave 57 patients who are diagnosed with mild to moderate GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) either placebo or chamomile extract for 8 weeks.

The results have showed that the patients who received chamomile scored better on all 4 outcome tests than the placebo group. In addition, there was no difference in observed side effects between the 2 groups.

Studies for the past twenty years have also further assert that drinking chamomile tea has alleviated headaches and migraines, as well as symptoms of hyperglycemia and diabetes.

This flowering plant is actually a member of the sunflower family. While there are several types of chamomile, the most widely researched and popularly used are the white daisy-like buds of Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita).

Known as the “night-time” tea, chamomile is best acknowledged for its ability to induce a good night’s sleep that is as free of nightmares and interruptions as can be. Regular consumption of a cup or two of hot chamomile tea around thirty minutes before bedtime keeps insomnia and restlessness at bay, allowing those who drink it to experience a lighter mood and less anxiety during the day.

The active ingredients in chamomile include tryptophan, an amino acid that has been proven to perform effectively as a sedative by calming the mind and helping the body relax, and apigenin, an antioxidant compound responsible for decreasing locomotor activity.

When drinking it, it is also quite advantageous to first inhale the chamomile’s soothing aroma as a prelude to sipping away at this hot infusion. In so doing, you can literally feel the anxiety and stress dissipate with your every breath.

2) Almond Milk

We all know that taking a glass of warm milk before bedtime feels very comforting and calming. Yet there is something even better than regular milk, especially for the lactose intolerant, and that is, almond milk which has absolutely no dairy component.

As the name indicates, almond milk is drawn from almonds, considered as one of the healthiest nuts in the world, through a grinding or juicing procedure. It comes in several delectable flavors, including vanilla and chocolate.

Contrary to the protein-rich nut it is derived from, however, almond milk is very low in protein, with approximately 1 gram of protein per cup, especially when compared with regular cow’s milk and soy milk. Almond milk also has less carbohydrates, with unsweetened almond milk containing as little as 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Moreover, it contains less calories, from as low as 30 calories compared to skim milk which contains about 80 calories and cow’s milk which can have as much as 160–180 calories, making it quite effective at inducing weight loss. Findings from a recent study proved that regular consumption of almond milk combined with a low-calorie diet resulted in greater loss in terms of pounds and inches and in more effective reduction of body fat and body mass index.

A fairly recent 2011 study proved how consumption of almond milk reduced the risk of developing prostate and breast cancer by suppressing cell growth while cow’s milk and soy milk have been known to stimulate the growth of these unwanted cells. Moreover, drinking almond milk regularly is a highly recommended way to decrease the risk of heart disease.

Almond milk does not contain trans fat and saturated fat and is cholesterol-free but does contain the healthier polyunsasturated and mono-unsaturated fats that actually help further reduce cholesterol levels. What almond milk does have in great bounty are vitamins A, B, D and E, omega fatty acids, fiber and nutrients such as iron, calcium, copper, zinc, riboflavin and magnesium. It is this last element, magnesium, that has been identified as being vital to assisting the body in settling down at night and in sleep regulation.

3) Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is one of the most popularly drunk single ingredient tisanes or herbal teas. At times called mint tea, it is an infusion of peppermint, scientifically known as Mentha piperita. This perennial herb with tiny purple blossoms amid dark green aromatic leaves has been esteemed for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal qualities since ancient times, and for good reason. The pale brownish color of peppermint tea belies its cool strong burst of flavor, its unmistakable minty fragrance, and most of all, its extremely potent therapeutic abilities.

Overflowing with an massive amount of antioxidants, peppermint tea is well-regarded as an effective health enhancer of the skin and other organs. Peppermint has menthone, menthol and menthy acetate, compounds that contribute to pain relief for migraines, loosen mucus and coughs, treat wheezing that accompanies mild asthma, provide relief from sore throat and offer other healing benefits.

This infusion also contains copper and manganese and is an excellent source of vitamin C which is known to lower the risk of cancer of the colon.

Not that many studies have actually been conducted on the effects of peppermint tea but those that have been completed do show convincing evidence that drinking peppermint tea provides benefits to those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Because of the ability of peppermint to enhance the flow of bile, food is more efficiently digested, the severity and frequency of abdominal cramps and other digestive issues are significantly reduced, while nausea and vomiting are alleviated.

Moreover, peppermint tea drinkers report a shared experience of both physical and psychological relaxation. Relief from stress and an uplifting of low spirits are likewise observed, supported by research results that confirm analgesic and anesthetic effects on the central and peripheral nervous system. Peppermint tea can thus be utilized in the management of anxiety and depression while its regular consumption promotes remarkable improvements in quality and duration of sleep. According to personal preference, peppermint tea may be enjoyed as an iced, warm or hot beverage, recommended to be consumed about thirty minutes before bedtime.

4) Carob Powder

Carob is a plant, the fruits or pods of which can be used as an ingredient that is mixed with food products such as baked goods, jelly, cereal, pudding, ice cream, canned meats, and salad dressings. Carob powder, on the other hand, is a brown flour-like powder that is extracted from carob beans and when roasted, ground and processed, can be used for baking and making confections and beverages.

It is widely acclaimed as an effective substitute for chocolate and cocoa powder in making cakes, candies and cookies, even by people who are not allergic to cocoa and dairy products, allowing it to be popularly and rightfully branded as “the healthy chocolate.”

Carob powder is naturally sweet and is high in protein and fiber. It contains large amounts of phytonutrients that benefit human health, such as pectin which is associated with cholesterol reduction and tannin that lays claim to antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and analgesic properties.

Carob powder is essentially a powerful storehouse of vitamins A, D, E, B, B2 and B3 and minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Fortunately, what it does not have are cholesterol, caffeine and oxalates, with the last being responsible for many digestive issues and the formation of kidney stones. In addition, carob powder has less fat and less calories than chocolate.

With all its components, carob is effectively used as a remedy for digestive problems such as absorption disorders, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea and other health concerns including cough, sore throat, high cholesterol, obesity, osteoporosis and high blood sugar levels.

Studies conducted by German scientists even lend credence to the belief that some types of cancer, particularly lung cancer, are responsive to treatment with carob, mainly because of the plant’s significant amount of phenolic antioxidant substances, another powerful phytonutrient.

With all these health benefits, carob powder still has another advantage, and that is, its delightful flavor, whether it is taken hot or cold. Adding carob powder to milk makes for a comforting beverage quite comparable to chocolate milk and is a novel way to calm your senses, soothe your body and revive your spirits to ensure a beneficial and restful night in bed.

5) Chia Seeds Drink

Chia seeds, in spite of having been cultivated and enjoyed by the Aztecs thousands of years ago for their health benefits, as well as their mild nutty flavor, have only very recently and slowly begun to acquire public attention and appreciation. These superfood seeds, which may be white, or at times, black or dark brown, come from the plant Salvia hispanica, a desert plant which is related to the mint family.

The term “chia” literally connotes “strength,” and knowing what potent substances are contained in these seeds makes the nomenclature quite understandable. Inside these miniature seeds are considerable amounts of protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fats that are essential for brain health, in addition to calcium, phosphorus and manganese which do wonders for the maintenance of oral and bone health, the prevention of osteoporosis and cell growth and repair. Slow and efficient digestion is facilitated, unwanted food cravings are curbed and appetite is regulated, while blood sugar is stabilized.

Data from scientific research on chia seeds confirm the positive effects of these important components on regulating the blood pressure of diabetic subjects and on raising healthy cholesterol levels while reducing total bad cholesterol. A 2009 study, in fact, presented evidence of blood thinning and a significant reduction in blood pressure of subjects who had consumed chia seeds for the past three months. More recent research has also explored the benefits of chia seeds on liver health, with highly encouraging results.

As if all these were not enough, chia seeds pack an added bonus, in the form of tryptophan, that is known to interact well with serotonin and melatonin which are the body’s hormones that are responsible for, putting it simply, making us feel happy and sleepy.  With a mere 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of chia seeds, enhanced mood and a wonderful night’s sleep can surely be expected and contrived.

While chia seeds can be eaten raw or milled, by itself or with pasta, salads, rice, cereal and even ice cream, one of the most delightful ways it can be enjoyed is to mix it with a drink. Stirring the seeds into water or almond milk, sprinkling them over your favorite yogurt drink, or milling them into a smoothie and then waiting for a few minutes as the seeds become enveloped in a gelatinous coating, can easily be part of an unforgettable bedtime routine.

6) Raw Honey

There’s much more to honey than being a natural sweetener, a preservative or a beauty aide. More than all these, raw honey or honey that has not been processed, pasteurized or even heated as opposed to the cooked kind that can be bought at the supermarket, is recognized for its huge nutritional profile, comprising 18 amino acids, enzymes, vitamins such as vitamin C, riboflavin and thiamine,  minerals and probiotics.

As such, raw honey exhibits antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory powers which make it quite effective in promoting rehydration and alleviating diarrhea and vomiting, among its many uses. In addition, raw honey contains a multitude of antioxidants and healthy bacteria which have been documented in systematic studies as being very effective in repairing damaged heart tissue and preventing heart attacks.

Researchers have documented the efficacy of as little as one teaspoon (2.5 ml) of honey before bedtime over popular brands of cough medicine in reducing the severity of cough. Current scientific validation exists, proving that raw honey is helpful in the prevention of many other human concerns such as chronic sinusitis, hypertension, diabetes, immune system diseases, arthritis, cancer and early mortality. Longitudinal studies also offer confirmation that regular consumption of honey allows people who take it to have lower cholesterol levels, to become generally healthier and live longer.

Further information impart that the tiniest amount of raw honey, even just a teaspoon or two, as long as it is taken without protein, can raise blood glucose and promote deeper slumber. It is supposed that honey allows the liver to have its fill of glycogen which promotes relaxation, facilitates more restorative sleep and refuels the brain while we sleep. Another way by which honey enhances the quality of our sleep is by simply allowing tryptophan to enter our brain and work its magic.

Raw honey can be taken straight off a spoon or spread on toast any time during the day. However, for best results in terms of sleep quality, it should be taken right before bedtime in a variety of delightful ways, such as adding it to some warm milk, blending it into a smoothie or mixing it with a hot herbal infusion.

7) Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry, also known as sour cherry, pie cherry or Balaton cherry, markedly differs from sweet cherry in attributes other than taste. While both are bright red in color, the tart cherry, as the name implies, has a distinct tart or sour flavour. Apart from this, the tart cherry has less sugar content but has greater concentrations of phytonutrients, including flavonoids and phenolic acids in general and anthocyanin in particular,  which is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent.

In various studies conducted specifically with tart cherries, it was revealed that the anti-inflammatory ability of tart cherries is comparable to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. High anthocyanin content is responsible for reducing oxidative stress, arthritis and rheumatism-related issues, the risk of strokes and for improving muscle recovery. In addition, body weight and stomach fat are more effectively managed while cholesterol and triglyceride levels are significantly reduced. It is no wonder that tart cherry juice is often used as a sports recovery beverage.

Tart cherries also contain natural melatonin, which is known to induce sleepiness during nights and wakefulness and efficient metabolism during the day. The interaction of relatively high levels of melatonin with an equally high number of anti-inflammatory agents is associated with gainful sleep modulation.

One study showed that adults who drank 2 glasses of tart cherry juice every day slept an average of 40 minutes longer that those who did not. Improvements in both duration and quality of sleep were attributed to tart cherry drink just as frequency of sleep interruptions and severity of insomnia reportedly diminished.

Making the juice from fresh tart cherries, however, is an easy undertaking. No matter how it is prepared, drinking a glass of tart cherry juice an hour or thirty minutes before bedtime is probably one of the most beneficial pre-sleep habits we can ever observe.


Nutritional Nightcaps

Here we have the 7 wonders of the night. As a word of caution though, we should always consult and inform our physician about everything we imbibe in terms of food, vitamins, supplements, medications and beverages since one or a combination of these may cause certain side effects or particular reactions on our body, especially if we have existing health conditions.

We can be certain, however, that aside from being quite effective, all of these beverages are natural, nutritious, safe and inexpensive, not to mention actually delicious. There simply is no reason at all why we should not enjoy long pleasant nights filled with wonderfully deep sleep and magically sweet dreams.


To find out more about how to use foods to heal your body and lose weight, you can go to the next page and watch my video on ‘3 Alkaline Secrets to revitalize your health and body’.


About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.

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41 responses to “7 Best Drinks Before Bed (For Better Sleep)”

  1. Daisy Agosto Avatar
    Daisy Agosto

    Very educational article. I learned a lot.

  2. Roberto Avatar

    The best instructional articles.

  3. Tracy Wilson Avatar
    Tracy Wilson

    Great article…. Will try a method and let you know. One thing though… You put that tsp of honey is 2.5 ml, but a tsp is 5 ml.

  4. Dr.nassar mohamed nassar Avatar
    Dr.nassar mohamed nassar

    VERY GOOD FACT PUT stilll Same mane kind do not believe that alkaline diet can not addjuste pH of body

  5. mary coyne Avatar
    mary coyne

    I just bought cherry preserves for the first time My sister always says cherry juice nor cherries are great for your health. What brand or what kind of the cherry juice shoud I buy Also the Honey should it be from the home grown Honey that the farmers sell. Thanks. Mary

    1. Rita Avatar

      I use the Really Raw brand of honey.

  6. Maria Gilbert Avatar
    Maria Gilbert

    I have always belived in following nature’s info,to my knowledge there is not a single animal that will drink milk passed the “baby” stage……I am way past 50years old and have not had a glass of milk for 5o+ years,my bones are fine thankyou,when I had an accccident and broke a bone it mended in the expected time….milk is a huge bussiness & MAY cause more trouble than good!!!

    1. anne Avatar

      I agree, as a child I had this aversion to drinking milk, my parents couldn’t understand it, but I think I always had good instincts and something told me to have it few and far between. And yes, milk is a big business. Regular commercial milk is full of hormones, antibiotics, puss, among other things and really has no proven good effect on bone health or health in general. In fact a study that was quickly squelched over 10 years ago, said that there is an enzyme in milk that can attach to the islets of langherhan cells in the pancreas of children, especially children with diabetic genes in the family and can literally eat them away causing type 1 diabetes, as well as all kinds of intestinal issues.

  7. anne Avatar

    Thank you so much for this information. Learned a lot and want to try carob and chia seeds, as well as tart cherry. The others I am familiar with, but didn’t know some of the benefits listed.

    1. Anne Avatar

      I’d take chia seeds any day. I’ve been adding chia seeds to my diet and they are really good for dieting also when you first begin taking chia seeds just know that a few days after eating chia seeds you will have to go to the rest room every hour because they do cause the runs because it cleans out your system also…

  8. EthalFrida Avatar

    Am I happy to see that Carob powder is on the list? Yes! Since caffeine and stimulants have been taken out of my diet I really miss chocolate. Tastewise, carob is the finest substitute ever and especially since it is naturally sweet. I have only experimented with it in baking and did not like the recipes I used but the chips are great for munching on, something I never did with chocolate chips. Thank you for a great article.

  9. EthalFrida Avatar

    I drank the peppermint tea. It had no immediate effect but when I went to sleep I slept for 7 hours without waking. That hardly ever happens. I usually get 4 hours, tops. So I will be testing more of these suggestions but the peppermint absolutely did work.

  10. beth Avatar

    thank you, so useful.

  11. Lorie Saad Avatar
    Lorie Saad

    I like R. W. Knudsen brands of juice, non GMO verified and no hidden sugars and artificial flavors. I buy nine at Fry’s and/or Sprouts. I use the Just Cranberry too.

  12. Lorie Saad Avatar
    Lorie Saad

    I like R. W. Knudsen brands of juice, non GMO verified and no hidden sugars and artificial flavors. I buy mine at Fry’s and/or Sprouts. I use the Just Cranberry too.

  13. Delores J Avatar
    Delores J

    Interesting reading!!!

  14. Brigid Campbell Avatar
    Brigid Campbell

    Really great article, very informative.

  15. Leslie Mead Avatar
    Leslie Mead

    Will try the tart cherry juice for my arthritis. Looking forward to a good nights sleep. Thank you Emma.

  16. Terry Sikora Avatar
    Terry Sikora

    I am trying tea with raw honey, good sleep.!!

  17. Norma Avatar

    I can’t wait to try and incorporate some of these ideas into my diet and lifestyle. The western medicine just wants to keep pushing pill that may help treat the symptoms, but they are never going to get you better, nor will they tell you of the things that will. I have been sick for more than 20 years, I keep getting sicker and was up to over 20 prescriptions. I decided 6 months ago to slowly start pulling myself off of them. I am now only on 11, still sick, but have been incorporating as many as homeopathic vitamins, and other non-prescribed remedies. They will no longer have me as a repeat customer!

  18. nicole Avatar

    Luv the article. Very informative, especially for my daughter, who’s 16yrs and having problems to sleep. Looking forward to trying some of those teas, although I am not familiar with some of the names. What she does use at times is the sour sop leaf and swears it does help her at times. It’s a familiar tree that grows in my tropical country, Trinidad.

  19. merilee Avatar

    Great article.

  20. Alex Desatoff Avatar
    Alex Desatoff

    Hi i would like to comment about the percentage of almonds in almond milk . I talked to a almond farmer who wanted to purchase the milk . The farmer found out that the percent of almond milk was 1% the rest was oils and powered substance . So he did not purchase because there was not enough almonds in the milk . This is what he told me they only have to have 1% of almonds to call it almond milk. Just like other food sellers such as burger sandwiches which say 100% beef yes that means the small amount is 100% and they don’t have to tell you how the rest of the ingrediance is . Just like some bottles of almond milk have written 100% almond milk. Just about all soy is gmo. Thanks hope to hear from you about this. Thank Alex Desatoff

  21. Patricia sullivan Avatar
    Patricia sullivan

    Concerned and confused about the raw honey and diabetes, is it ok for diabetics to have raw honey?

    1. Cheryl Armstrong Avatar
      Cheryl Armstrong

      Patricia, raw honey is what I use as my sweetner in tea and oatmeal, it may raise my sugars a tad, but is more benificial than not as a diabetic for other health needs. No more than 1/2 tsp tho. I also use it in my healthy flax/chia seeds muffins along with applesauce and non wheat flours. I have tried buckwheat, coconut (makes them flatter), and rice flour mix. they are really good, and healthy for my diabetes and NAFLD where no breads or synthetic sugars, or processed foods are aloud. Fresh fruit, fresh veggies, fish, chicken & turkey…still working on that diet, just found out in December. This all was a great article, I also use hot milk, ginger (fresh best), cinnamon heated then add the honey. I sleep like a baby and quickly. Wake refreshed and no side effects.

  22. Patricia Reynolds Avatar
    Patricia Reynolds

    I make my camomile tea with cold alkaline water, dip the bag a few times and it is just right, with no brewing needed. My almond milk is 3 cups organic milk with one cup raw almonds in the vitamix on the smoothie setting. Both are very good and help me sleep through the night. My juices from my vitamix are whole fruits and vegetables that provide me with lots of fiber and my digestive system is great for my age of almost 70 years. Thank you for the wonderful article!

  23. Corky Avatar

    Histamine problems can cause a loss of sleep. Certain foods cause histamine reactions. Histamine is apart of your normal wake/sleep cycles. Histamine is called the great mimicker because of numerous effects it causes. Histamine problems are the most diagnosed of medical problems. Timing what you eat and when can really improve your life!

  24. Rhodesia Avatar

    Thank-you for the information on the natural sleep aids. I was unfamiliar with Carob. I use dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder in my brownie and cup cake recipes.I will experiment with adding some Carob powder to my recipes.This is my acronym to remember the natural sleep aids in the article. C.C.C.C.H.A.P.= Carob, Chamomile, Cherry,Chia,Almond ,Peppermint. CCCCHAP.Thank-you for the information. Merry Christmas and have a Happy and Healthy New Year,

  25. Rhodesia Avatar

    I for got to add Honey in the just posted comment in my acronym.

  26. Desange Avatar

    some of these I did not know will try it for sleeping better,it takes me a long time to go sleep after in bed,
    Thanks for sharing this will share with others too,

  27. G. Rodgers Avatar
    G. Rodgers

    The Best Drink to put me to sleep is, surprise,
    sugarless hot chocolate! Sometimes I pop a
    marshmallow or two in it Really works for me…

  28. Rick Avatar

    Great article, keep them coming

  29. ELISSA JUNG Avatar


  30. Jesca Yiskahel Avatar
    Jesca Yiskahel

    Thank you so much. My Son is a blood type fitness trainer. He bought me the carob powder, the chia seeds, the almond milk. I already knew about the honey, chamomile and the peppermint tea.(I grow that in my garden.) Now I will really use all the items he bought me. ( he doesn’t Know that I haven’t use them, I don’t think.) Again, thank you for such much more knowledge.
    Also I am alkaline. I would really more on that subject.And the tart cherries, I have not even seen them at the health food market or Harris Teeter.

    Jesca Yiskah-El

  31. Ruth Avatar

    Peppermint is a pick-me-up’er, not a sleep-inducing aid, but the rest is good to know…

  32. joyce yoder Avatar
    joyce yoder

    Thank you for the article,
    I am type 2, and I do all these things, use alot of them in my smoothies, & yes they help keep my sugars balanced & the many other healthy effects it does, we need all of them we can get. Look forward to more articles.

  33. Damian Quijada Avatar
    Damian Quijada

    Love all those articles , i take that nutritional advice & follow a high % of them . i’m a lot healthier now than i was 7 yrs ago . i just stay with it .

  34. Maureen StPierre Avatar
    Maureen StPierre

    I have tried all of the above at one time or another. They really don’t work for me. Honey doesn’t help me sleep or stop my hacking cough. Chamomile tea is like any other herbal tea to me, just lighter. I drink peppermint tea regularly. It doesn’t help me to get a better night’s sleep. I also use Chia seeds in my pasta sauce, meat loaf, and oatmeal. None of those things help to promote a good night’s sleep for me. Sorry to debunk your theories!

  35. Thomasd Avatar

    Tart cherry with raw honey is a perfect combination. Pleasant dreams.

  36. Barbara Pajaud Avatar
    Barbara Pajaud

    Good advise,. I have experience with some of these and know that they do work at providing a good night’s sleep .

  37. Tim Avatar

    Celestial Seasonings makes a tea called “Sleepy Time” which features both camomile and mint. A cup of that, sweetened with a little honey, is delicious, and is sure to improve your sleep!

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