Struggling with sleep? A number of factors can contribute to sleep quality, quantity, and waking up refreshed. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed may be the goal, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Creating excellent sleeping habits can contribute to a better night’s sleep. This elixir, and its potential variations, goes hand-in-hand with meeting that waking up refreshed goal.
Benefits of Sleeping Well
A good night’s sleep is well known to contribute to increased performance, both mentally and physically. Let’s face it, sleeping well also helps us be nicer to ourselves and others. What could be more important than that? Excellent sleep quality also may help improve disease resistance and the ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Ways to Increase Sleep Quality
Creating a protected bedtime routine can go a long way to increasing a restful sleep. One part of that may be not eating or drinking anything a couple of hours before bedtime. This helps to signal the digestive system that the end of the day has arrived. It also prevents having to get up to use the washroom during the night.
With this in mind, this is a liquid elixir for drinking 1 to 2 hours before bed. It is concentrated so that you only need to ingest 1 cup.
Please note, it is incredibly important to be well hydrated for sleeping. Our body’s systems need water to maximize the restorative sleeping process. Going to sleep dehydrated can also cause uncomfortable digestion and muscle cramps that can cause further restlessness. Each of us is unique, so find what works for you.
Great Sleeping Partners
In combination with this elixir, here are some great habits to partner in a nighttime ritual for restorative sleep:
- An Epsom salt bath is not only soothing but helps provide magnesium which may help improve sleep.
- Have a cozy, comfortable sleeping area.
- Practice meditation, relaxation, or breathing exercises at bedtime to reduce overthinking and symptoms of anxiety.
- Be well hydrated throughout the day, try to see some sunshine, and raise your heart rate.
Natural Sleep Remedies
Another great reason to make this elixir as part of a bedtime routine is to avoid using sleeping pills which may come with their own package of side effects and unwanted outcomes.
The natural world has provided us with many ingredients to help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and provide us with help for creating restful sleep for ourselves. Our bodies are in tune with the day/night cycle. This is known as our circadian rhythm. Getting outside to see the sun during the day can help improve our sleep as well. Allowing ourselves a couple of quiet hours out of bright lights in the evening, just like nature intended, also helps promote good sleep hygiene.
Many foods and ingredients are famed for helping to promote good sleep. Here, we are going to use five of them. These are each gentle and generally easy to obtain. If you have a favorite sleep-enhancing ingredient, it may be a fantastic thing to include in the below recipe.
- Chamomile Flowers (Matricaria chamomilla): A relaxing herb, chamomile tea contains apigenin. This is an antioxidant that has been found to help induce sleep and reduce anxiety.
- Lavender Flowers (Lavandula angustifolia): In addition to its many calming attributes, lavender tea improves sleep with its soothing, relaxing aroma.
- Ground or Fresh Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that is becoming well-known for its ability to improve mood, fight inflammation, and increase relaxation.
- Ground or Whole Cinnamon: The comforting taste and smell of cinnamon can also help reduce tension and relax muscles helping to ease the falling asleep process.
- Ground or Fresh Ginger: Fresh or dried, ginger aids digestion and relieves nausea. Combined with turmeric and cinnamon, it makes a wonderful natural sleep aid.
- High-Quality Water: High-quality water that is free of contaminants is best, of course. As this is slightly boiled down, it is even more important to ensure a high-quality water source.
Step 1: Make a strong tea infusion with 1 tablespoon of each lavender and chamomile flower in ½ cup of high-quality boiled water. Let steep for 20 minutes.
Step 2: In a pot, boil down ½ teaspoon each ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon in ¾ to ½ cup of high-quality boiled water.
Step 3: Strain the lavender and chamomile flowers, pressing out any excess water.
Step 4: Strain the cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric, also pressing out any excess water. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m surprised at how red this becomes!
Step 5: Combine the two liquids together. The smell is intoxicatingly relaxing. Inhaling deeply helps transport the mind to soft, sleepy times. You can choose to use more or less of the turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon liquid, and save the rest for later. It may be a good idea to start with just a spoonful added to the chamomile and lavender tea and see how you feel the next morning.
Step 6: Sweeten if desired but keep in mind the potential stimulating effect of sugars. Our article, How to Make Healing Herbal Honey, has a recipe for honey infused with chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm for sleep. This may be the nicest sweetener to include in this homemade sleepy time elixir.
Step 7: Sip quietly an hour or two before bedtime as the last thing you consume before bed.
If you enjoy this, a large batch could certainly be made in advance. Simply increase the amount of water and active ingredients. You could also make the turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon liquid and add it to herbal teas for sleeping or warmed milk.
Other ingredients to consider adding to your bedtime routine
..or this homemade sleepy time elixir are passionflower tea, valerian root tea, tart cherry juice, and/or foods rich in potassium and magnesium such as banana.
There is some evidence that including a teaspoon of each of organic apple cider vinegar with ‘mother’ and organic lemon juice in this sleepy time beverage may add a host of benefits. These include aiding weight loss efforts and healthful benefits for the liver, kidneys, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.
As apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are both high in acids, you may want to protect your tooth enamel. Simply rinse your mouth with some saltwater or baking soda to lower the pH in your mouth after drinking beverages containing these ingredients.
Getting a good night’s sleep has many benefits. It helps us perform better at work and at play. Being well-rested helps us get more out of our exercise and we can think more clearly too. Best of all, having a good sleep can help us be nicer to those around us.
Giving ourselves a protected bedtime routine that includes this homemade sleepy time elixir can start an excellent bedtime regimen. If you are already creating excellent sleep habits, this elixir may be the next great addition to your wonderful bedtime rituals.
Try out one cup of this sleepy time elixir an hour or two before bed for a few nights in a row. See if combining it with other good sleep habits also helps provide you with better sleep.
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