Dasgupta says supporting sleep with different foods and drinks “is only really effective if the person follows the background of good sleep”.
“The basis is always having a sleep routine, having a ritual at night, transitioning to sleep, and so on.”
Is it time for a cup of chamomile? Chamomile tea is a sedative and sleep aid traditionally used in different regions of Iran.
“It’s filled with antioxidants, promotes calmness and may reduce anxiety,” says Schmitt.
“When you activate this receptor, it will make you sleepy,” Dasgupta said. “Many of the sleep aids that we do on GABA.”
Valerian root tea
Valerian “receptor activity (gamma-aminobutyric acid)” controls the stimulated nerve activity, Dasgupta says.
Warm milk and golden milk tea
Thanks to tryptophan, calcium and magnesium in milk, drinking warm milk before bed can help you sleep better. The warmth makes the drink softer and easier to digest, Dasgupta says.
“Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces things like melatonin,” he said.
“We know that melatonin is a natural hormone in your body produced by the pineal gland. It is secreted at night and it is actually part of your efforts to get a good night’s sleep.”
“Turmeric is also linked to good sleep, but how inflammation affects sleep has not been fully determined,” Dasgupta said. “But anything that relieves pain, relieves anxiety or induces some form of muscle relaxation is always helpful for getting a good night’s sleep.”
Lemon balm tea
Perilla, a lemon-scented herb derived from the same family mint, has traditionally been used to improve mood in addition to flavoring meats, seafood, and baked goods.
Passion flower tea
Another drink for good sleep
If cow’s milk causes you to go to the bathroom too many times or lead to an allergic reaction, then almond milk is another good source of tryptophan, Dasgupta says.
Despite the reported benefits of these beverages, most studies have yet to compare whether one method of consumption – such as pills, powder, or alcohol – works faster than another, Dasgupta said. Talking to your doctor about sleep aids is important, especially if you will be using them in combination with alcohol or medications.
And while herbal supplements may help you fall asleep, Dasgupta says, they can interfere with revealing the true underlying cause of poor sleep.
“Good night’s like a puzzle,” he added. “It’s hard to have all the right sleep pieces. And when you try to find which ones you’re missing, that’s the hard part.”
Make sure to try to put all the pieces together, including room temperature, light exposure, bedding, sounds and habits.
Even though he doesn’t buy all the research available, Dasgupta does not discount “a little bit of caffeinated chamomile tea before bed as part of your ritual when you turn off tech and sit down”, he say. “I think that’s really good.”