The Secret Bedtime Drink For People Who Need Better Sleep

In a world where more people are turning to Ambien, benzos, Nyquil and Melatonin, a whole food solution for sleep and health may not be the first choice.  As a Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner, whole foods and natural options are my go-to’s.  If a good night’s sleep is a challenge for you, join me and learn about the secret bedtime drink for people who need better sleep.

 

Turmeric is one of the most researched plants on the planet. Over 8000 scientific studies explore and confirm turmeric’s medicinal properties for everything from depression and diabetes, to inflammation and blood pressure regulation, to liver detoxification and immune system support! 

 

This is an ingredient that you definitely want to have on hand. The good news: turmeric is affordable and available, has a neutral taste and is easy to incorporate into your daily routine.  Hint: it’s the star of our bedtime elixir recipe!

 

Traditionally, turmeric is used in teas, curries, broths and herbal supplements. Those are great ways to get turmeric into play and as a healthy foodie, you are probably familiar with adding turmeric to a meal. 

 

Here’s my truth:

I’ve had a relationship with turmeric for years. It’s been in my soups and stews, tossed in with my potatoes and pasta sauces and even creatively added into my morning smoothies. As a student of Ayurveda, I learned that daily use of turmeric could have a profoundly positive impact on my health… so we’ve been in a hot little relationship ever since!  

 

Turmeric tea sipped throughout the day is a go-to if I’m feeling bloated or at all inflamed; I simply slice a piece of turmeric root and a piece of ginger, grate them and add them to a pot with water — simmer, steep and sip. 

 

But overall, incorporating turmeric into my nighttime routine has been magical. Here’s the thing I especially want you to try because you deserve something magical, too!  

 

Turmeric And Coconut Milk Bedtime Elixir

Servings: 4

Turmeric-infused coconut milk is delicious and warming. Try this ancient elixir before bed to improve digestion, calm the nervous system and prepare for restful sleep. Best results will be seen over time as the ingredients in the elixir work to repair and replenish your body.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tsp powdered turmeric or 2 tbsp peeled, fresh turmeric 
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger or 2 tbsp peeled, fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, raw honey OR a squirt of liquid stevia
  • 12 peppercorns, gently crushed

Directions:

  • Combine everything except the coconut oil into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. 
  • Let the mixture bubble gently for about 5 minutes, then shut off the heat.  
  • After about 5 minutes of cooling, strain the mixture through a few layers of cheesecloth or a very fine strainer if you prefer a smoother texture.
  • Stir in the coconut oil.
  • Taste and add maple syrup, honey or stevia if desired! 

 

The Amazing Benefits and WHY You Should Consider This Turmeric Coconut Bedtime Elixir:

  • Coconut Milk And Coconut Oil – The fiber and fat content of coconut are what help coax sound sleep by how each support balanced blood sugar.
  • Ginger Natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve symptoms of arthritis, bursitis and other musculoskeletal issues; particularly calming for the digestive tract. For sleep, it’s the melatonin present in ginger that seals the deal!
  • NutmegActs as a natural relaxant in small doses.
  • Black PepperThe piperine in black pepper enhances the absorption of turmeric. It also contains essential nutrients, including manganese, iron and vitamin K and is commonly used to calm digestive issues.

 

Bonus Tip –

Some golden milk recipes include cinnamon. As a Functional Nutritionist, I encourage you to skip cinnamon at bedtime. Why? Because cinnamon is more of a stimulant. Traditional aromatherapy uses cassia and cinnamon oil to promote alertness and while the scent is warm and comforting, the actual spice helps light up your digestive fire. So, save cinnamon for the morning cup!

 

Sources:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03511/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Golden-Milk.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

How to Sleep Better, Lose Weight, and Live Longer

What if I told you that you can lose weight without changing what you eat or exercising?! Would you think that’s crazy?  Well, don’t get me wrong: Nutrition and exercise are important to our health! But there’s a key to weight loss that most people don’t even know about it.

You’re not going to believe it…

It’s sleep!

Sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health besides eating a whole food, nutrient-dense diet.  Research has uncovered that sleep deprivation can make you fat, lead to depression, increase the perception of pain, worsen heart disease, diabetes, and much more!  I mean — really — this is HUGE!

Your body is governed by a series of biological rhythms synced with the light and darkness of day and night. These rhythms keep you healthy and trigger a cycle of hormone production, including melatonin and growth hormone, so your body gets time for healing, repair, and growth. We now know that the cycle is integral in everything from repairing our DNA, building tissues and muscle, to regulating weight and neurotransmitters (mood managing chemicals). When your rhythms are disturbed by poor or inadequate sleep, disease gets the upper hand and things start to break down.

It is estimated that 70 percent of Americans are sleep deprived.

When sleep is off, cortisol rises.  Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the Adrenal glands and, in small quantities at the right time, it’s helpful.  But, in excess, its effects are harmful and include brain damage and dementia, weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, depressed immunity, and countless more.

Eight hours of quality, restful sleep is what most of us need, but meeting this goal is difficult, if not impossible with our busy, connected lives. Sleep hygiene is not something that comes easily when we’ve got LED clocks, TV’s and Cell Phones in the bedroom.  The good news is that there are clearly defined strategies that support healthy sleep.

Here is what you need to do to help restore your natural sleep rhythm. The process is all about making sleep a priority.  You will not see immediate results, but in a month or two you should be able to reset your biological rhythms:

  1. Practice regular sleep patterns – this means you should go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  2. Make your bed a place for sleep and romance only – reading and television watching should be done in another room
  3. Use soft colors and textures in your bedroom and get rid of clutter so your sleeping space is restful
  4. Create total darkness and quiet – consider using eyeshades and earplugs
  5. Skip the caffeine – studies show that it makes your sleep worse, even if you drink it early in the day
  6. Avoid alcohol – as your body works to process and eliminate the toxins in alcohol, you can expect interruptions in your sleep
  7. Sweat and Sunlight! Aim to enjoy at least 20 minutes of both every day. Daylight signals your brain to release hormones like melatonin that are vital to good sleep, mood, and aging.  One caveat: don’t exercise after dinner.  Your body will be enjoying a boost of energy at a time when you should be winding down for sleep!
  8. Close the kitchen!  Don’t eat within 3 hours of your bedtime.  The digestive process can mean difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep.
  9. Write it out.  About an hour before bed, write down anything that is on your mind.  Write about any plans you have for tomorrow.  This exercise helps you push worry and task-oriented thinking to the side so you can move into deep, restful sleep
  10. Get in the tub.  Taking an Epsom Salt bath helps raise your body temperature before bed, which can induce sleep. A hot bath relaxes your muscles and reduces tension. Add two cups of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and two cups of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to your bath; both help with sleep. You will reap the benefits of magnesium absorbed through your skin and the alkaline effects of the baking soda
  11. Warm your belly.  Use a hot water bottle or a heating pad to gently warm your abdomen about thirty minutes before bed. This raises your core temperature and triggers sleep
  12. Explore herbal therapies – passionflower tea or tincture, or valerian root extract (standardized to 0.2 percent valerenic acid) as directed on the label, about one hour before bed
  13. Mag.  200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate before bed can help relax the nervous system and muscles
  14. Chill out.  Try a CD with relaxing music, meditation or guided imagery
  15. Aromatherapy.  Put a few drops of therapeutic grade Lavender, Vetiver and Roman Chamomile into your diffuser and set it on a timer as you are trying to get to sleep.  Subtle aromatherapy can help your body relax and trigger a calming physiological response.

If you continue to have poor sleep, check in with your doctor.  Thyroid issues, hormonal imbalance and adrenal problems can all mess up your sleep.  Your doctor will review your symptoms and determine if things need some deeper work.  You can also grab some session time with me for energy work, aromatherapy or health coaching.  Both can help tremendously to improve your quality of sleep!

Sweet dreams!

XO,
Coach Sarah

 

p.s. Sign up for the Newsletter and you’ll get more tips for a healthy lifestyle PLUS my favorite aromatherapy blends for sleep, energy, romance, focus and everything in between!

I want you to get healthier so I'm GIVING AWAYmy favorite trackers and tools!

(This is one click that will change your life...)

Success! Check your inbox!

Pin It on Pinterest