Bedtime tipples – the do’s and don’ts

Are you all about the hot honey and lemon, or would you rather turn in after a hot toddy? Whatever your bedtime tipple happens to be – there is really nothing better than snuggling under the covers with a nice warm drink to lull you to sleep…but does it do just that?

Whilst our bedtime favourites may taste good, some could apparently leave you tossing and turning till dawn whilst others could be just the ticket to a dreamy night of restful sleep.

The don’ts

Hot Chocolate

We always knew it was too good to be true. Sadly, for those of us who like to drift off after a delicious cup of hot chocolate or cocoa, this could actually prevent you from sleeping. Unbeknown to many, these two common bedtime drinks actually contain caffeine, often in high volumes.

Though the effects of caffeine vary from person to person, generally it acts as a stimulant – not exactly ideal when you are trying to get some Zs.

In addition, cocoa also contains theobromine, a heart stimulant that could mean you need to get up in the night to pop to the bathroom.

However, if sacrificing your pre-bedtime luxury is a no-go area, we recommend you go organic to reduce the likelihood of added sugar and preservatives.

Caffeinated drinks

On the topic of caffeine, it’s best to avoid hot and cold drinks containing this in the lead-up to bedtime. This includes tea, coffee, energy drinks, and fizzy drinks. It’s recommended to stop drinking caffeine four to six hours before going to bed. This also goes for anything de-caf.


If you prefer a good old traditional chin-up before slipping under the sheets then think again! Whilst alcohol in small amounts can act as a relaxant – large amounts will prevent you from entering deep sleep, contrary to popular belief.

Those two or three glasses of wine you had with dinner might well have helped you to unwind, but they can stay in your system for two to three hours, stimulating the nervous system and causing wakefulness, a raised heart rate, and headaches.

The Do’s

Warm milk

The calcium present in the milk can help to calm down the central nervous system, and the lactose may stimulate the release of stress-reducing endorphins. The amino acid tryptophan is also present in milk, which is used by the brain to make serotonin to slow nerve activity and promote restfulness.

Herbal tea

Herbal tea has been used as a sleep aid since way back when. Camomile has been in use since ancient Egypt, whilst valerian has been used as a herbal sedative in many cultures for many years. It may not seem as appealing as a hot chocolate but it may just be worth it if the outcome is a good night’s shut-eye.

Cherry juice

Cherries are not only known for being a great fruit filling but it’s also thought that they can help regulate sleep thanks to the hormone melatonin that can be found within. So, instead of reaching for usual, you could try this bedtime juice for some better sleep instead.

If you’re still finding yourself laying awake until the early hours, you could benefit from talking to a nutritional professional to guide you to a more peaceful night’s sleep. You can use our advanced search tool to find someone best suited to you and your needs.

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Written by Emma Hilton
Written by Emma Hilton
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