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one green planet

Are you getting enough sleep? A good night’s sleep is an essential component of health. However, it is often overlooked since getting those eight full hours each night does not always come easy. Most experts recommend that the average adult get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Still, a December 2013 Gallup poll found that 40 percent of Americans regularly only get six hours or less of sleep daily. Fortunately, there are a variety of sleep-inducing drinks that can help you fall asleep easier. From warm almond milk to chamomile tea, there’s no shortage of beverages that can help you catch some z’s.

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1. Almond Milk

Almond Milk

Source: Almond Milk

Almond milk is a delicious alternative to cow’s milk that is made by blending almonds with water and straining the pulp. This nut milk is made from whole almonds and is high in sleep-promoting hormones and minerals, including tryptophan, melatonin, and magnesium. One cup of almond milk contains about 17 mg of magnesium. In a study of elderly patients with insomnia, taking 500 mg of magnesium daily for eight weeks improved many subjective and objective measures of insomnia. Almond milk could be one of the top sleep-inducing alternatives. Try adding more almonds into your diet or drinking a glass of almond milk before bed and see for yourself if you fall asleep with more ease.

2. Valerian Tea

Valerian root has been used for centuries as a sleep and stress aid. It has also been used to ease headaches and heart palpitations and naturally promote feelings of calmness. The valerian herb has been frequently used to help treat sleep disorders in more recent years. It is particularly helpful for people experiencing insomnia. This earthy root contains two naturally occurring sedatives called valepotriates and sesquiterpenes. In one study, people fell asleep faster after drinking a valerian extract, and their sleep quality improved. To prepare the tea, soak 2 to 3 grams of dried herbal valerian root in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Pure Coconut Water

El Camino Juice

Source: El Camino Juice

While coconut water is often viewed as an energy-boosting drink, it is filled with ingredients that can help improve your sleep. Coconut water contains magnesium and potassium, which help relax your muscles and calm your body. Magnesium, in particular, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for making you feel calm and relaxed. This hydrating drink is also full of vitamin B, which is known for helping to reduce stress levels.

4. Tart Cherry Juice

Source: Sleepopolis/Youtube

The juice of sour cherries, also known as tart cherry juice, may help promote sleep. Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., a senior registered dietician at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, says tart cherry juice has sleep-inducing properties. Tart cherries are rich in melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone that is naturally occurring in the body. There is published data that shows that tart cherry juice can increase sleep time and efficiency and may be partially responsible for the improvement in insomnia.

5. Chamomile Tea

Source: K. Mashawn/Youtube

Research has shown chamomile to be soothing and sleep-inducing. Chamomile contains an antioxidant known as apigenin, which is a chemical compound that induces muscle relaxation and sleepiness when it binds to the GABA receptors in the brain. Michael Breus, Ph.D., a psychologist, and board-certified sleep specialist, says that chamomile tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and induce sedation. “They are commonly used as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer,” says Breus. Try drinking a cup of this soothing and warming tea before bed to experience its calming effect.

6. Ashwagandha Tea 

Source: IntraBalance/Youtube

While Ashwagandha is traditionally used in Ayurvedic practices to treat a wide variety of conditions, its root contains compounds that appear to promote sleep and treat insomnia when consumed in large doses. Specifically, the leaves of the plant contain the compound triethylene glycol, known to be the most sleep-inducing molecule in the herb. After taking ashwagandha for six weeks, participants in one actigraphy-based study described their sleep as 72% better.

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night or staying asleep, give these delicious drinks a try!

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