How to sleep: The ‘golden’ drink proven to help you get a good night’s sleep

Sleep loss can be attributed to a host of causes and some may overlap. There may be a complicated knot of lifestyle and psychological factors that are inhibiting your ability to unwind. Ideally, you would try and disentangle these causes and address them, but that may not be possible.


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The good news is, there are fast and effective measures you can take to reset the sleep-cycle without getting to the bottom of it.

The answer may be as simple as revising your diet before you switch off the lights.

Certain dietary combinations have been proven to aid sleep loss.

One that has gained traction is golden milk, a traditional Indian drink that consists of hot milk and ground turmeric to give it that golden finish.

There is some encouraging evidence that warm milk alone may help you sleep better at night.

Golden milk not only harnesses the sleep-inducing properties of warm milk but also boasts turmeric.

Milk contains tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin – the primary hormone that regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Meanwhile, turmeric is rich in the compound curcumin, which has been shown to alleviate some effects of sleep deprivation, and safely treat symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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This is significant because anxiety and depression is linked to sleep loss.

Animal studies demonstrate these effects.

A study in mice found that 72 hours of sleep deprivation resulted in weight loss, anxiety-like behaviour, and oxidative damage.

However, treatment with 10–20 mg of curcumin extract for five consecutive days reduced weight loss and significantly improved anxiety-like behaviour.


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Other dietary tips

Certain fruits that contain melatonin may also help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night.

“For instance, tart cherry juice and whole tart cherries contain a lot of melatonin, and bananas, pineapple, and oranges are also sources,” according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

If you have insomnia, eating two kiwis before bed has also been shown to increase your sleep duration by an hour over the course of a month.

“Other fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants (like berries, prunes, raisins, and plums) may have a similar effect by helping to counteract the oxidative stress caused by a sleep disorder,” notes the NSF.

Simple self-help tip

It is also worth keeping a sleep diary to log your sleeping pattern.

As the NHS explains, it may uncover lifestyle habits or daily activities that contribute to your sleeplessness.

“If you see your GP or a sleep expert they will probably ask you to keep a sleep diary to help them diagnose your sleep problems,” notes the health body.

It adds: “A sleep diary can also reveal underlying conditions that explain your insomnia, such as stress or medicine.”

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