If you’re having trouble unwinding after a long day, a hot drink is perfect for helping you relax and get ready for sleep. While bedtime drinking traditionally meant taking a nightcap of neat liqueur or spirits last thing before bed, nowadays, there are a huge range of beverages available designed to help us get a better night sleep, and not all of them alcoholic. From soothing herbal teas to warming traditional Scottish hot toddy, here is a list of the 7 best hot drinks before bed.
The classic pre-bed drink, cocoa was first consumed by the Mayan Civilization, who thought up this delicious hot beverage made up of roasted cocoa beans, boiling water and a pinch of spice. Whether or not the Mayans enjoyed their drink of cocoa before bed is unclear, but today, this winter warmer remains a firm favorite and is undoubtedly the most popular choice of hot drink before bed around the world.
Cocoa is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It can be topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, or enjoyed plain with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. It is also a great source of antioxidants and magnesium, which can help relax muscles and improve sleep quality. Cocoa is also low in calories and is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without packing on the pounds. It can be made with either dairy or non-dairy milk, making it suitable for vegans and those with dietary restrictions. Cocoa is the perfect hot beverage to enjoy before bed as it will help you relax and drift off to sleep.
An excellent choice of people who avoid dairy, Chamomile tea is renowned for its natural soothing qualities. Chamomile helps calm you down by relaxing the nerves and calming the stomach, encouraging a sense of calm throughout your whole body and promoting a great, peaceful night’s sleep. For best results, drink a cup of chamomile tea around 30 minutes before bedtime and leave unsweetened.
While the name ‘hot toddy’ has come to mean any hot, alcoholic beverage served before bed, the traditional Scottish recipe involves pouring boiling water into a shot of a whisky, stirring in honey or sugar, and adding half a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick for flavor. Drinking a hot toddy before bed is traditionally thought to help clear head colds and prevent flu during the winter, but whether you’re feeling sick or not, this delicious beverage is soothing and relaxing, certainly one of the best drinks before bed during the cold months.
Hot toddies are a classic winter drink, with a long history of being used as a remedy for colds and the flu. The traditional recipe calls for whisky, boiling water, honey or sugar, lemon, and a cinnamon stick. It is thought that the combination of ingredients can help clear congestion and provide a soothing, calming effect. Hot toddies are an excellent way to warm up and relax before bedtime, and can be enjoyed year-round. For a non-alcoholic version, substitute the whisky for herbal tea or a non-alcoholic spirit.
Grandmother’s advice about a warm glass of milk before bed might have some scientific base to it. It is thought that the amino acid tryptophan contained in milk helps the body produce the hormones it needs for a peaceful night’s sleep. Not only that, but milk is rich in calcium and a great source of protein, warm it gently for a few minutes and it remains one of the simplest, best hot drinks before bed.
Another herbal tea with medicinal properties, peppermint helps to naturally de-stress the body. Perhaps one of the best hot drinks before bed in the nights leading up to an exam or a big job interview, peppermint tea is thought to soothe jittery stomachs, reduce nausea and relieve anxiety. And it’s delicious and refreshing too!
Now popular around the world, Ovaltine was originally developed as a recovery drink for Swiss skiers returning from a long day on the slopes. Today the chocolatey and surprisingly nutritious treat is enjoyed around the world as the perfect way to wind down before bed.
Often confused with cocoa, traditional hot chocolate actually has a thicker, creamier consistency because it contains cocoa butter as well as cocoa powder. While traditional cocoa recipes combine cocoa powder with plain hot water, hot chocolate is generally enjoyed with milk or cream, making it a delicious, if richer alternative to cocoa. An all-time favorite.
Whether you need help dropping off at night, relaxing after work, or just crave a treat in the evening, these are in my opinion, the best drinks before bedtime. Does anybody have a favorite I haven’t mentioned?
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