Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Many Americans do – 50 to 70 million of them to be exact. Research shows that not getting enough sleep increases the risk for conditions like heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. Ideally, we should be aiming for around 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night but there is also a trend that as we age, sleep deprivation can get worse. There are a number of reasons that might lead to trouble sleeping at night – stress, anxiety, and sleep apnea are just a few that we have to consider.

It’s important to take extra self-care steps to address the core issues that might be affecting your quality of sleep. Creating a bedtime routine can be very helpful. You might include some gentle stretching, reading a book (not a gadget) in bed, taking a bath, or using soothing essential oils, like lavender or rose. But did you know that warm milk can be an effective addition to your sleep time routine? There are some nutrients found in milk called bioactive milk peptides that researchers have found to have a calming effect on the brain, improving sleep quality and reducing the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep. You can add different spices and flavors to your milk to see which you enjoy the most. You’ll find a plethora of sleep time milk recipes on social media, dubbed “moon milk.”

One of my favorites involves simply adding two drops of vanilla, one teaspoon of honey, and a pinch of cinnamon to one cup of warm milk.