Ahh, the nightcap. Seems to help you relax and fall asleep but research shows that alcohol actually disrupts sleep. A new review of 27 studies shows that alcohol does not improve sleep quality. According to the findings, alcohol does allow healthy people to fall asleep quicker but it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. I addition, “We don’t just need sleep, we need high quality sleep” says Lorie Hood who is a human performance researcher. “REM sleep is more mentally restorative and is crucial not only to performance but to basic health, states Hood.
Alcohol tricks people into thinking they are getting better sleep, says Scott Krakower, DO who is an addiction specialist. “People who drink alcohol often think their sleep is improved, but it is not.”
So, what’s a sleep starved gal or guy to do?
Try this blended chamomile latte for a nightcap that actually works.
It packs several ingredients that help promote a good night’s sleep. Chamomile tea is an evidence-based remedy for insomnia. Cherries provide melatonin, the hormone that helps us feel sleepy. And coconut oil and almond butter give us stable blood sugar overnight while almond butter has the added benefit of magnesium and tryptophan to promote sleepiness. Collagen and raw honey can also help us sleep through the night.
- Freshly brewed chamomile tea
- Optional: add cinnamon, cloves, and star anise to the tea
- ¼ cup frozen organic cherries
- 1 tablespoon sprouted almond butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon collagen
- Optional: 1 tablespoon raw honey
Step 1: Brew your chamomile tea. Add cinnamon, clove, and star anise to the tea mixture.
Step 2: While your tea is brewing, add the cherries. You can also buy cherry juice concentrate. Hood recommends Montmorency cherries for their higher concentrations of melatonin and what studies suggest are anti-cancer properties. Add almond butter, coconut oil and collagen to the blender.
Step 3: Once your tea has steeped for a few minutes, add it to the blender and blend.
Optional Step 4: Sprinkle your finished latte with cinnamon powder.