Today (January 31st) is National Hot Chocolate Day. I love me a hot beverage any time of day during colder weather, but tea, coffee and even a classic mug of cocoa can keep me up at night thanks to caffeine. Even though regular hot chocolate only has about 1/8 the caffeine of a cup of coffee, that little bit can still make a difference if you struggle with sensitivities, insomnia or other sleep issues. Plus, it’s so sugary – who wants that sugar buzz at night? Not me.
So, I made a few swaps to a rich and chocolaty recipe I make often for the kids. This homemade hot beverage will nutritiously satisfy your sweet tooth while helping you drift off into dreamland. Plus, it’s free of caffeine thanks to carob powder and also added sugars – only a bit of the natural sugars you get in the cherry juice.
This Sleepy Cherry Hot “Chocolate” makes a sensible night-time snack. Each 12-ounce mug has only 145 calories and meets 50% of your daily requirement for calcium! Plus, here’s a little more about ingredients that are known to promote sleep:
Tart Cherry Juice: Tart cherries are loaded with melatonin, the much-talked-about hormone that’s in charge of regulating sleep-wake cycles. In one research study, a serving of tart cherry juice was given to adults with chronic insomnia twice a day and the outcome was in improvement in sleep patterns.
Almond Milk: Almond milk is a very abundant in calcium, a nutrient the brain uses, in conjunction with the amino acid tryptophan, to create melatonin. And, guess what – tryptophan isn’t just in turkey! Almost all nuts and seeds have plenty of this sleep-inducing substance.
Vanilla: In aromatherapy, the scent of vanilla has been shown to lessen anxiety and promote calm and relaxation.
Carob Powder: Ground from pods, this ingredient tastes a lot like chocolate but doesn’t have any pesky caffeine which might disrupt sleep. Additionally, carob is a good source of B vitamins, calcium, potassium and magnesium – all friends of good rest!
If you like the idea of a caffeine-free hot beverage, then you also might like my Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate,
Do you have trouble sleeping? If so, What are your natural remedies? Please share in the comments, XOXO – Jennifer