After a long day, it is imperative that people take time to unwind at night. A combination of restful activities and sleepytime beverages can help you get your Z’s.
“Constant movement and stimulation cause stress on the body, leading to inflammation, digestive issues, and anxiety,” says registered dietitian Mandy Enright. “It makes getting a good night’s sleep more difficult.”
Enright, who is also a fitness trainer and yoga instructor, says that three keys to helping you unwind at the end of the day if you’re both wired and tired all at the same time include unplugging, finding restful and relaxing activities you can do before bed, and eating food that puts you in a sleepy mood.
1. UNPLUG AND RECHARGE
To help ease your mind at the end of the night, set your cell phone aside and give both your device and your body ample time to recharge. “Set a cut-off on your day when you are no longer available and stick to the plan,” advises Enright. It’s also imperative that you stop using your device at least one hour before bedtime because the blue lights from screens can cause brain stimulation, making it harder to fall asleep.
2. RESTFUL AND RELAXING ACTIVITIES
At the end of the day, it’s time to find something that will take you away from your daily obligations and help you relax. Whether it’s meditation and yoga, listing to calming music while taking a warm bath, or reading a book, Enright says “taking time to unwind at the end of the day not only helps you have a good night’s sleep, it allows you to be your best the next day.”
3. EAT FOODS TO PUT YOU IN A SLEEPY MOOD
There are a handful of foods that aid our bodies in producing and releasing natural hormones that make us feel sleepy. Top on that list is tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce the sleep hormones serotonin and melatonin. “Protein-rich foods are high in tryptophan, and the carbohydrates are needed to help unlock that tryptophan,” says Enright. Enjoying high-protein foods such as dairy, poultry, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds at dinner and before bedtime can help take you into a world of Zen. Caffeine-free drinks like chamomile tea are also a good bet.
Enright’s favorite beverage that helps her relax at night is moon milk, which is one of the oldest natural remedies for sleeplessness. Moon milk is basically milk served warm. And while that sometimes is enough to do the trick, you can create your own elevated version of this classic beverage by incorporating your favorite herbs, spices, powders and whatever else you think might help you get some well-deserved shut eye.
Popular flavor combinations include:
- Milk + Cinnamon + Honey
- Milk + Chamomile + Agave Nectar
- Milk + Turmeric + Cinnamon
- Milk + Tart Cherry Juice + Vanilla Extract
Here’s a basic moon milk recipe to get you started.
courtesy of savorrecipes.com
Serving Size: 1
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon spice powder (turmeric, beet, matcha, or butterfly pea flower)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- Pinch star anise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk milk with selected spice powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, anise. Steep for 10 minutes, until flavors fully develop.
- Remove from heat and incorporate honey to serve.