Iowa Sleep Blog

Six Recipes for a Successful Night’s Sleep

Monday, April 14, 2014

We had a great time at Saturday’s Hy-Vee Whole Health Experience! We handed out Republic of Tea’s Get some zzz’s™ teabags and recipes for the Dreamy Bedtime drink—two of our favorite drinks before bed. Now we want to share some more information on drinks you can make at home in just minutes that will help you relax, become sleepy and enjoy a good night’s rest. 

1. Dreamy Bedtime Drink

We recommend making this drink 30 minutes before you go to bed to help you start winding down. Turn off the TV or computer, dim your lights and enjoy. People have sworn by warm milk to cure sleeplessness for years, though a 2007 New York Times article revealed the effects may be purely psychological.  


1-1.5 cups milk

1 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ to ½ tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)

Directions: Heat a mug of milk in the microwave until hot. Stir in honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if desired. 

2. Tart Cherry Juice

A study conducted by a team from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and VA Center of Canadaigua found that cherry juice significantly reduced insomnia in 15 older adults. Cherries contain melatonin, which your body naturally produces when you’re tired. If you have problems sleeping, try drinking a small glass of tart cherry juice in the morning and at night. 

3. Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and will promote sleep and help you relax. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that lemon balm has been used since the Middle Ages to reduce anxiety and insomnia.

4. Bedtime – Yogi Teas

With the simple addition of these tea bags to a hot cup of water, your muscles will start to relax and you’ll be ready for a restful sleep in no time. This tea includes valerian, organic chamomile and passionflower, which was used by Native Americans to reduce stress. We found this one at our local Hy-Vee Health Market, along with another Yogi Tea flavor called Soothing Caramel Bedtime.

5. Relaxation Sampler – Traditional Medicinals

This sampler contains bags of Traditional Medicinals’ Chamomile, Chamomile with Lavender, Easy Now and Nighty Night teas. Lavender has long been used to remedy a variety of ailments, including fatigue and insomnia because it produces calming, soothing and sedative effects.  

6. Get some zzz’s™ - Republic of Tea

This herbal tea is caffeine free and contains organic rooibos, chamomile, passionflower and valerian to gently bring you to a peaceful night of good sleep. Valerian is an herb that has been used as a sedative to encourage sleep for years, but it won’t interfere with REM sleep so you’ll wake up refreshed—unlike the effects of some other sleep-aids. 

Which sleep-inducing drink is your favorite? We’re eager to hear what you think.