Why warm milk with natural herbs and spices could help you destress and sleep than a glass of wine
This all-natural nightcap beats counting sheep.
Moon milk, one of the oldest natural remedies for sleeplessness that consists of warming up a glass of milk, has gotten a bright new makeover. Now, wellness gurus add colorful ingredients and spices to the bedtime beverage made for an immune system boost, rest and relaxation.
Mugs of colored milk with red and gold hues have taken over Instagram recently. Recipes feature herbs like turmeric, which helps with inflammation; immune system-boosting cinnamon and cardamon; nutmeg, a natural sleep aid; and a hint of black pepper for a calming effect. And to give the sip a bright color, some are adding tart cherries, which nutritionists say contain a natural melatonin that serves as an added sleep benefit.
“Anything is better than sleep medicine because they’re addictive and you wake up groggy and feeling worse,” Dr. Lisa Young, a dietitian and nutritionist tells Moneyish, recommending natural ingredients like cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg with warm milk.
“Chamomile also helps relax you, and having it with a warm beverage like milk will calm you down. Just make sure you’re sitting down and not having it on the fly,” she adds of the pre-bedtime routine.
Coconut milk and almond milk can also be used as a non-dairy substitute, notes health and wellness guru Amanda Pea, who runs the blog Heartbeat Kitchen. Her pink moon milk recipe is made of almond milk with tart cherry juice, honey or maple syrup and culinary rose petals for an edible and pretty garnish.
A natural remedy to relieving stress is useful now more than ever, considering American’s stress levels are the highest they’ve been in ten years, according to a poll released earlier this year by the American Psychological Association. Women typically report higher levels of stress than men, though worries among both genders tend to rise or fall simultaneously. This year, however, women reported a slight increase in stress, rising on a scale from one to 10 from an average 5.0 in 2016 to 5.1 in 2017, while the level for men dropped, from an average 4.6 to 4.4.
And having a few glasses of wine before bed to unwind won’t cut it either. Research suggests after drinking, the the quality of deep sleep isn’t the same as it is when we don’t drink. This lack of quality sleep is linked to daytime drowsiness, headaches and irritability the next day.
“Probably the worst mistake you can make is to use alcohol [before bed]. It causes abnormal sleep. It might make you fall asleep fast, but you won’t wake up feeling good,” says Dr. Steven Feinsilver, who directs the Center for Sleep Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
By 2020, the sleep industry will be a $10 billion market, according to Forbes, and technology is a bit part of that. One of the main drivers of sleepless nights is smartphones, TVs, laptops and just about anything with a screen — and Dr. Feinsilver says your moon milk or any natural remedy won’t have an effect unless you take time to unplug.
“We all need at least an hour of relaxing time.”
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