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Everyone has a bedtime routine. Some people take a warm bath. Others read a book. (And most of us scroll through Instagram.) But there is one thing we should all do to set the stage for better rest: Knock back one of these naturally sedating drinks. Just make sure to time your intake for an hour before you actually want to be asleep.

RELATED: How to Fall Back to Sleep When You Wake Up at 2 A.M.


Chamomile Tea

Chamomile has been used as an herbal sleep remedy for centuries—for good reason. Studies have shown that it has a mild sedative effect when consumed. So go ahead and brew yourself a pot, but make sure that you let it steep for the recommended amount of time so you get the full benefits. 

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Valerian Root Tea

Another centuries-old remedy, this powerful plant is commonly used to reduce symptoms of insomnia. Though it’s a bit potent to enjoy on its own, it’s much more palatable when mixed with other herbs like lemon balm and chamomile. 


Cherry Juice

Look for juice made with tart cherries, as they have high levels of melatonin, the sleep-triggering hormone that also helps regulate your internal clock. (The latter dictates when you’ll fall asleep—and when you’ll wake up.)



It turns out that a glass of milk does, in fact, help relax you. In addition to tryptophan, an amino acid that signals your brain to release serotonin (which makes you drowsy), it’s also loaded with calcium, which helps reduce stress.


Almond Milk

Lactose intolerant? (Or just don’t like milk?) Pour yourself a glass of the almond variety instead. The healthy nut has calcium and magnesium, which, as the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine found, is crucial to staying asleep longer.


Banana Smoothie

Add a banana to your post-workout smoothie. They're loaded with tryptophan, magnesium and potassium (which helps to prevent those nightly charley horses). Better yet, blend it with almond milk and a heaping spoonful of peanut butter (which adds even more tryptophan).

RELATED: 5 Bananas-Good Smoothie Recipes You Should Commit to Memory


Anything With Honey

While this isn’t a drink, it can be added to most of the above beverages to maximize their sedating effects. The natural sugars in honey raise your body’s insulin levels just enough to encourage tryptophan to enter the brain more easily. Well, that sweetens the deal, doesn’t it?

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