Washington: While sipping on a cup of beverage before bedtime might seem tempting, experts advise keeping away from certain drinks before sleep. "Things that contain caffeine are definitely going to be less-than-desirable for most people," said Jessica Garay Redmond, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at Syracuse University in New York.
Redmond added that caffeine intake also depends on a person's sensitivity, "That's not even just right before bed, but I think depending on a person's caffeine sensitivity, they may need to shut down the caffeine in their day at some point in the afternoon or certainly by dinner time so that they can then have a restful night sleep."
The study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep suggests that one must refrain from caffeine craving as early as six hours before going to bed. Caffeine is not only restricted to coffee but is also found in some teas, soda and even chocolates. Researchers also advise avoiding alcohol before heading to bed.
"It (alcohol) traps you in the lighter stages of sleep and dramatically reduces the quality of your rest at night," CNN quoted Rebecca Robins, a postdoctoral research fellow at NYU Langone Health, as saying. Robins added, "It continues to pull you out of rapid eye movement and the deeper stages of sleep, causing you to wake up not feeling restored."
While talking about a possible good bedtime drink, Robins suggested that milk (source of tryptophan) could be an alternative and said, "That's one of those recommendations that's been around for a really long time."
Tryptohan converts into two brain chemicals which are associated with sleep- melatonin, which helps regulate your body's natural sleep and wake cycles, and serotonin, which causes relaxation and drowsiness. "At this point, there's so much research that has looked at the effects of milk and warm milk and there's not necessarily an obvious connection that makes it a universal recommendation. A lot of researchers now suspect that it might be more sort of psychological than anything else," Redmond suggested.