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.
2. Chamomile Tea
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.
3. Hot Toddy
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.
4. Warm Milk
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.
5. Peppermint Tea
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.
7. Hot Chocolate
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?