6 herbal drinks that will help you sleep better, with ingredients you already have at home

With immunity being the buzzword at the moment due to the growing COVID-19 threat, wellness professionals and doctors are putting food, exercise and sleep at the forefront. Sleeping and waking up on time can help improve cell repair and balance hormones, making it ultra-important to focus on right now, says nutritionist Harpreet Pasricha.


Dr Rohan Bokadwalla, a Mumbai-based neuropsychiatrist suggests that working from home can cause an issue with sleep patterns, considering the change in routine. He suggests setting a new normal, avoid napping, having a warm bath before sleep, and eating tryptophan-rich foods. But if you’re not able to fall asleep due to stress, too-long a nap or feeling too wired, a sleep-inducing drink might be a great addition to your night routine.

1. Ashwagandha tea

One of the most trusted herbs in Ayurveda, ashwagandha is also known for its stress-relieving benefits, as it helps to lower the levels of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone. A cup of ashwagandha tea can help with insomnia. “It contains a compound triethylene glycol, which promotes sleep induction,” adds Pasricha.


2. Turmeric milk

Haldi doodh, the Indian staple, is the nutritionist-preferred choice for a nourishing nightcap. The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties which protects from infections while also healing wounds and inflammations. A dash of pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, not only elevates the humble haldi doodh to a golden latte but also increases the bioavailability of curcumin. For a vegan option, replace milk with almond or coconut milk.

3. Cinnamon tea

Boil a cup of water with a tsp of cinnamon powder or a fresh cinnamon stick, and let it simmer. Strain and consume. Alternatively, you could also drink warm milk with cinnamon every night before bed. “Cinnamon works wonders in relaxing your muscles and removing tension from your body,” says Pasricha, and might help you drift off to sleep.


 4. Nutmeg and saffron brew

Nutritionist Fatema Valikarimwala shares her concoction to help unwind at the end of the day. “Take 500 ml water with 1/4tsp nutmeg powder, 5-6 strands of saffron, 2 tsp of khus khus power and 5 pre-soaked black raisins. Bring to boil, till it reduces to 250 ml. The combination of ingredients works as wonders for insomnia issues. Nutmeg and saffron both nerve stimulants can do wonders for anxiety-related sleeplessness,” she says.

While claims of many recent researches that nutmeg is better than antidepressant drugs are disputable, what is indisputable is that nutmeg leads the pack of anti-anxiety spices. It works both as a stimulant and a sedative, and therein lies its strength.


5. Lavender and chamomile tonic

These dried flowers have been proven to induce relaxation. You can use tea bags but for best results dried loose flowers work the best. Chamomile and lavender are natural sedatives and have anti-inflammatory properties, helping alleviate migraines and muscle headaches. Not just the mind but also your skin will thank you, as regular use of these help in cellular regeneration, resulting in glowing skin and lustrous locks.

6. Poppy seeds milk + pinch of black pepper

Poppy seeds also known as khus khus are rich in minerals and vitamin B. “Being rich in magnesium it calms and soothes the nerves. Add roasted khus khus in milk with a pinch of pepper which helps to build immunity. Those who are lactose intolerant can consider adding in almond milk or coconut milk and have half an hour before sleep,” says Pasricha.




  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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