By Lauren Hughes published
Sleep is one of the most important things to keep yourself healthy and happy. A night of restlessness, tossing, and turning will not only leave you exhausted but has also been linked to weight gain.
Even if you've done everything right - the best pillow, a cool bedroom, a spritz of lavender - many of us still struggle to nod off when the lights go out.
But why? Well, when you're tired, your metabolism slows down so your body uses less energy. A lack of sleep also affects your blood sugar and makes your insulin spike, causes you to feel hungry and decreases the rate at which calories are burned.
Getting some shut-eye is vital when you are trying to lose weight and while having caffeine or sugar too close to going to bed can keep you awake, there are some bedtime drinks that can actually help you lose weight as well as ensuring you get some much-needed shut-eye.
Bedtime drinks that help you lose weight while you sleep
Everyone has heard the term to 'sleep like a baby'. Well, some schools of thought suggest that newborns sleep so deeply because of drinking warm milk before they go to bed.
A glass of milk (heating optional) can help you to a peaceful night because it's full of calcium and tryptophan. Reportedly, calcium helps the brain to use the amino acid tryptophan to create the substance melatonin, which is well known for inducing sleep. Getting a full eight hours will ward off cravings the next day. Vegan? Try a fortified plant-based option.
2. Turmeric latte
If you want to give your milky drink a boost, why not whip up a turmeric latte? "Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and nourishing. Research has shown that one of its key components, curcumin, plays a role in suppressing fat tissue growth and regulating sugar levels. Enhanced insulin sensitivity thus results in less fat being retained in the body," says Louisa Birkhahn, founder of wellness brand Matcha Union.
She recommends the following recipe: Add one tsp of turmeric powder to warmed milk along with a dash of spices of your choice such as black pepper (helps absorption of turmeric) and cinnamon (adds sweetness and regulates blood sugar) and/or ginger (anti bacterial) and sweeten to your liking using a natural sweetener.
3. Chamomile tea
This caffeine-free drink will leave you feeling calm and is famous for its sleep inducing qualities. A mug of this will increase your body's levels of glycine, a neurotransmitter that not only acts as a mild sedative but also relaxes you too.
It has also been linked to improving glucose control, which aids weight loss. Stay away from any detox teas and have a cup of this instead.
4. Grape Juice
A small glass of 100% grape juice before bed can help you burn fat as you dream. Research suggests eating or drinking simple carbs, which are found in grape juice, causes insulin secretion at night.
Insulation regulates the body's circadian rhythms. Plus, grapes are packed with antioxidants which convert calories storing white fat, into calorie burning brown fat.
5. Soy protein shake
You may think protein shakes are just for weight-lifters in the gym, but actually soy in milk or protein power form is brimming with the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan can also help to decrease cortisol levels which helps fight fat.
Even though metabolism slows down when you sleep, it still keeps working, and your protein shake will be digested and absorbed as you're nodding off.
This is a probiotic-rich drink made from fermented milk. It works on your gut to increase healthy bacteria levels which aids digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
The yoghurt-like drink also helps to improve your sleep and enhance your exercise performance.
7. Carob and lavender infusion
"Carob is rich in tannins that help combat toxins in the gut. This aids the growth of good bacteria that helps improve digestion. Extracts from lavender flowers have been found to increase the duration of slow and deep wave sleep," says Dr Nitasha Buldeo, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Medical Expert and Founder of Organic Apoteke.
Continuing she adds, "This type of sleep enables the body to heal most effectively. For a homemade brew, we suggest either Organic Apoteke's Nourishing Night Tea or steeping carob (you can find it in powder form) and lavender flowers in hot water for 6-10 minutes. Strain this, add a dash of sweetener and enjoy before bed."
Still thirsty for more nutrition-packed drink ideas? Why not try these 5 healthy drinks to help regulate your mood?
Lauren is deputy editor at woman&home.com in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.
Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content.
A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book.
Follow her adventures @laurenkatehughes
LinkedIn: Lauren Kate Hughes
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