best bedtime drinks

Looking for that perfect night cap to send you off to the sweet cycle of sleep? Although the romantic films portray the stars enjoying the perfect occasional night cap, the alcoholic drink is probably the one drink you want to stay away from.

Although the initial effect of alcohol make you feel relaxed or sleepy, alcohol consumed near bedtime can actually disrupt your sleep. Many people use alcohol to help them relax after a stressful day. And although it can help you to fall asleep, once the alcohol has been metabolized in your system, it will very likely awaken you from your sleep. If you do manage to fall back to sleep easily, you will likely wake up the next day feeling tired and groggy.

Instead of fighting this cycle, we have the perfect night cap. Try one of these lullaby drinks that will help you fall asleep better and stay asleep longer:

Cherry Vanilla Sleep Tonic

Cherries are incredibly rich in melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycles, so pour yourself a glass of the tart but sweet juice and add a drop or two of vanilla extract. The vanilla acts as aromatherapy, adding a soothing scent that will send you off to a restful night's sleep.

Chamomile-Lavender Tea

Looking for something hot to soothe your soul before sleep? Try combining two of the most calming herbs to promote rest and relaxation. Chamomile contains apigenin, which binds to receptors in the brain that create a mild response, producing a calm feeling and helps us to relax.

The scent of Lavender has been used for centuries to help you unwind, as it brings on a sense of drowsiness. Steep 1 teaspoon of lavender buds and 1 teaspoon of chamomile buds in 8 ounces of boiling water for 10-12 minutes. Add milk, honey if desired, sit back and relax.

Warm, Toasty Milk

Mother (as well as Mother Nature) knew best when she offered warm milk to her children to help them fall asleep. But we've gone one step further and added honey and a pinch of nutmeg to create this luxurious version.

Honey creates a spike in our insulin level which gets converted to serotonin, which in the evening is translates to melatonin, which tell your body it is time for sleep. Nutmeg can also be a great all natural sleep-aid, thanks to numerous chemical components that act similar to tranquilizers. But remember to stick to a pinch (quarter teaspoon or less).

Whether you decide on a cold glass of Cherry Vanilla juice, or a warm glass of Toasty Milk or even a hot cup of Chamomile Lavender tea, make sure to make a last minute trip to the bathroom, so nothing interrupts your sweet dreams.

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