When I was young I remember having sippy cups of warm apple juice before bed, and then it stopped because I wet the bed too much, oops! For my sister though, she would have about 3 or 4 sippy cups lined up beside her to drink during the night and would even wake my dad up to reheat the juice since she couldn’t reach the microwave. I don’t know how she did it, or how my dad even gave into that, but I guess the comfort of warm apple juice would send us to sleep. Now that I’m older I like to enjoy something warm before bed too, it hasn’t been apple juice for a while though – okay maybe the occasional apple cider in the winter!
Now before bed I like to sip on tea; chamomile or rooibos usually, but sometimes I like a blend of herbs and flowers that all contribute to releasing stress and calming the mind and body. Nighty Night by Traditional Medicinals is a quick go to! These herbs and flowers contain zero caffeine and are known to calm your mind. I’m sure we all know how to make tea: boil the water and steep the tea bag or in whatever steeping contraption you have, but keeping the tea covered while steeping is important! This encourages a full extraction and keeps the essential oils in the tea which means you get all the benefits (yes please). Chamomile is my favourite because of it’s ability to knock me right out, and it tastes really good too.
Golden Moon Milk
Golden milk might be a little new for some, but it’s really quite simple and delicious actually. When I have more time in the evening I like to have this about an hour before bed. It’s super easy to make, and includes cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric which all have anti-inflammatory properties, among other benefits. I’ve also included a secret weapon: Ashwagandha. You can totally drink this anytime of day, I just prefer before bed. To make my Golden Moon Milk you’ll need:
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground turmeric
⅛ tsp ground cardamom
⅛ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ashwagandha powder (optional)
1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper (DON’T leave this out! You’ll reap all the benefits of Turmeric with the added black pepper)
1 tsp raw honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar, or to taste
In a small saucepan add your non-dairy milk of choice over medium-high heat. Bring it to a simmer then add in all your spices, whisking to avoid any clumps; next, reduce the heat to low. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat & let stand for a minute or so before you add the honey. Pour it into a cute mug and enjoy before you climb into bed!
What the heck is Ashwagandha?
“Ash-wah-gan-da” is an adaptogen, which means it helps the body deal with stress. Ashwagandha is known to regulate hormone production, specifically cortisol, and can also help control blood sugar levels which is another reason people are unable to sleep through the night. Ashwagandha has many other benefits as well, including helping combat anxiety and depression. Combining it with the anti-inflammatory ginger & turmeric is a perfect way to end the night and help your mind and body recover from the stresses of the day. I get mine in powder form (it’s the ground up leaves and roots of the plant) so it easily mixes in whatever I want to use it in. Incorporating it daily into your diet can improve your mood and stress levels – I know it’s helped me a lot. The taste isn’t the best but when you combine it with other strong flavours you don’t notice it at all, especially in this recipe. It also comes in pill form too! I’m definitely going to talk more about adaptogens very soon as they’re definitely my favourite thing to incorporate in my recipes and cooking!
More of my Sleep Well Series is coming to the blog very soon!