Welcome to day thirteen of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
Following on from my previous blog about sleep (which you can click here to read), I thought I would share a soothing bedtime milk recipe that you can make before bed. It calms the nervous system, irrespective of if you have trouble sleeping or not. However, if you do find it difficult to sleep, you may find that this drink is enough of a tonic to cool, calm and centre yourself before bed.
How to Make Soothing Bedtime Milk
For this recipe, I usually use almond milk due to its nourishing properties. However, it doesn’t really matter what kind of milk you choose. You can use cow’s milk or another variety of nut milk instead; if you don’t have any to hand, or you can’t drink it due to allergies, then you can also use oat milk as an alternative. Of course, you can always make these milks yourself in your kitchen, but for ease of use, I often use a pre-bought milk. In particular, I like to use Rude Health almond milk as it is organic and has no added sugars or emulsifiers.
Gently warm your milk in a saucepan until steam begins to come off of it. Rather than simmer our other ingredients in the milk, we will instead infuse them. First of all, we will add a small handful of rose petals. Alternatively, you can also use a couple of drops of rose water, which does a similar thing. When I’m not using fresh rose petals from my garden, I source them from justingredients: here you can bulk buy your rose petals, and then treat yourself in all kinds of lovely ways. (Click here to watch my video about making your own rose water!)
Next, we are going to add some nutmeg. I usually use a whole nutmeg, but if you don’t have one to hand, you can also use ready-ground nutmeg; while it does lose its potency slightly, it will work just fine for this recipe. Remember, you don’t need to add much. If you are grating the nutmeg, it’s literally a few grates, and if you are using ready-ground, you only want to add a tiny pinch from the end of a teaspoon.
When your milk is warm enough, turn off the stove and sprinkle the nutmeg into the saucepan, plus a few rose petals. Leave the milk to infuse for round about five minutes. Just enough time for the rose and nutmeg to gently impart its properties. Once the five minutes are up, you can sieve and strain the milk into a mug. Enjoy the drink half an hour to an hour before you go to bed, as part of a calming routine to help you drift off to sleep.
What are the beneficial properties of rose and nutmeg?
Rose is really soothing for the heart, and is beneficial to the emotional system to help bring a bit of perspective before sleep. Meanwhile, nutmeg has a calming effect with many crediting it for its sleep inducing and de-stressing properties.
As for warm milk, it contains an amino acid known as tryptophan which, while it’s not enough to make you fall asleep, can help you to wind down after a long day. Almond and oat milk also contain tryptophan, so are just as beneficial as an alternative to help you sleep.
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why not share if this soothing bedtime milk has helped you to get to sleep? Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube.