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Pre-bedtime drinks

04-06-2010

Everyone knows how caffeine and alcohol can impact on sleep quality, but what about drinks that you can take before bedtime, and ones that even promote better sleep?

The selection of herbal and botanical teas available in supermarkets has grown massively over recent years, and there are now a large number of sleep-friendly varieties out there. Some are marketed specifically on their relaxing properties, and contain potent blends designed to ease the drinker into a restful sleep. Valerian root is a particularly effective ingredient commonly found in these types of teas. The strong-smelling plant extract is so adept at relaxing the drinker that it’s not advisable to have more than two cups at a time, or even drinking at any other point in the day except the evening.

Even when herbal teas aren’t specifically aimed at promoting sleep, you’ll find that lots of them are caffeine-free and naturally calming evening drinks. Chamomile is such a variety.

Green tea has also become a very popular drink, with the pertained health benefits occasionally making the news. While it’s an undoubtedly healthy choice, be sure to choose a decaffeinated variety of green tea, as many types contain naturally-occurring caffeine and can be as stimulating as black tea.

Warm milk is a classic pre-bedtime drink that’s renowned for its almost sedative qualities. Malted drinks such as Ovaltine and Horlicks are based on this, and have become the bedtime drink of choice for many people looking to get off to sleep quickly.

Despite the ever-growing range of sleep-friendly drinks, be sure to only drink small quantities in the run-up to bedtime, to avoid needing to get up and make a nocturnal visit to the bathroom.

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