Snoozing isn’t always as simple as it sounds. In fact, it can be really challenging to find a sustainable sleep schedule.
Between binge-watching Netflix and checking Instagram feeds late at night, there’s often too much stimulation to help you unwind and get sleepy to meet your desired bedtime. Luckily, there are a few drinks that can help you fall asleep fast and stay soundly asleep throughout the night. (There are several foods that help you sleep, too.)
Instead of knocking back some scotch, opt for one of these nighttime sips that’ll get you those 7-8 hours of much-needed rest.
How will plain old water help you sleep better at night? Well, “getting enough water throughout the day will directly impact your sleep because going to bed dehydrated can end up disrupting your sleep throughout the night,” says Maggie Michalcyzk, MS, RD.
“We lose fluids by breathing while we sleep, so it’s important to stay consistent with water intake throughout the day to make sure that is not the reason why we’re waking up throughout the night,” she explains. Drink enough to stay hydrated, but don’t guzzle down too much water, or else you might need to pee several times before falling asleep.
2. Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm. It’s also a bonus that studies have shown tart cherry juice to reduce muscle soreness and increase muscle strength, especially among distance runners. Drink tart cherry juice plain or add it to a juice or smoothie.
3. Moon Milk
You’ve probably seen it popping up all over Instagram, but it actually has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine. Moon milk is a warm drink containing herbal ingredients like turmeric, Indian ginseng, almonds, nutmeg, and black pepper. People say it helps them sleep better, though the jury’s still out on why, exactly, that is. There’s evidence that the ingredients may promote sleepiness and relaxation, but it’s also possible that drinkers are simply soothed by the ritual of a warm drink before bed.
If you’re mixing up some moon milk, consider trying an ingredient called ashwagandha, which happens to be an adaptogen.
“Adaptogens are known to help combat the effects of stress and produce a calming and relaxing feeling, which is perfect right before bed,” Michalcyzk says.
4. Chamomile Tea
There’s something inherently relaxing about any warm mug of tea, but chamomile might have some legit calming benefits. As the Cut reported, there isn’t too much research out there, but a small-scale study in 2016 did find that chamomile helped reduce symptoms in people with a common form of anxiety.
“Chamomile is well known for promoting rest, but some teas will combine it with lavender for an even better effect,” says Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN.
5. Decaf Green Tea
Green tea isn’t dark and bitter like English breakfast, so it’s easy to forget that yes—it has caffeine, too! If you’re drinking green tea late in the day, it’s might be best to opt for decaf if you want to fall asleep quickly.
You may find that a glass of warm milk helps you fall asleep. And you may very well be right, but not for the reason you think.
Milk contains tryptophan, which helps the brain produce serotonin and melatonin. Some people think tryptophan is the reason milk makes you drowsy—but in fact, there isn’t enough tryptophan in a serving of milk to have that kind of effect.
So why do you get sleepy after a glass of milk? It’s probably just the comfort of drinking something warm and filling before bed.