Did you know that a staggering 1 in 3 individuals in the United States suffers from sleep deprivation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? Although several factors may contribute to this condition, a significant biological factor is melatonin. Melatonin, a hormone produced by the body, follows a circadian rhythm, with maximum secretion happening during the night in response to darkness. Despite this natural process, many people struggle to fall asleep at night because they may have low melatonin levels. 

Individuals with low melatonin levels may turn to melatonin supplements as a quick fix to increase their melatonin levels at night. However, there are several natural ways to boost melatonin production. In this article, we'll be discussing melatonin-rich drink recipes that can help increase your sleep duration and enhance the quality of your sleep. It's important to note that these drinks should be consumed at least one or two hours before bedtime and with other sleep-supporting foods for optimal results.

Healthy Sleepy Girl Mocktail

Tart cherry juice has gained immense popularity lately as a key ingredient in the trendy TikTok recipe, the "Sleepy Girl Mocktail”. The recipe consists of ice, tart cherry juice, magnesium powder, and Olipop Sparkling Tonic. Tart cherries are a rich source of melatonin and magnesium. Magnesium is known for its muscle relaxation properties that promote better sleep. So, by adding more magnesium to your "Sleepy Girl Mocktail", you can enhance the drink's ability to promote quality sleep.

Who says you can't be both a sleepy girl and a health-conscious one? While the popular TikTok "Sleepy Girl Mocktail" recipe makes use of store-bought tart cherry juice, magnesium powder, and flavored tonic, you can make a healthier and more natural version of the mocktail. Store-bought tart cherry juice can be traded out for homemade tart cherry juice made in a juicer. Instead of using magnesium powder, you can supplement the drink with juice from magnesium-rich fruits like raspberries. For a healthier alternative to lemon-flavored sparkling tonic, you can use fresh lemon juice and sparkling water. These are the key ingredients to the organic and healthy version of the "Sleepy Girl Mocktail":

Ingredients
  • 1 cup tart cherries, pits and stems removed
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ of one medium lemon
  • 1¼ cups sparkling water
  • Ice
Product Needed

Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer, assembled with juicing strainer.

Directions
  1. Wash all ingredients. Remove pits and stems from cherries. Cut ingredients as needed to fit the juicer's chute.
  2. Slowly add cherries, raspberries, and lemon to the juicer one portion at a time. Allow the juicer to process each portion before adding more ingredients. Alternate between the ingredients for best results.
  3. Pour the juice into a glass with ice and add sparkling water.

Pistachio Milk

Milk is a natural source of both melatonin and tryptophan. Tryptophan is a crucial enzyme that aids in the production of melatonin in the body and can only be obtained through dietary consumption. Hence, foods that are abundant in both melatonin and tryptophan can effectively enhance the body's melatonin production, making it essential to consume them regularly. 

In addition to melatonin and tryptophan, nuts are also rich in magnesium and zinc, which are known to improve sleep quality. A study has shown that older adults with insomnia experienced improved sleep quality after receiving a nightly dose of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc. So, consider drinking nut milk before bed to maximize the consumption of all the sleep-inducing hormones, enzymes, and minerals!

It's recommended to use nuts that are high in melatonin. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios are all rich in melatonin. Check out this comprehensive guide to plant-based milk that includes nut milk as well as other types. Included in the guide are detailed recipes for making almond milk, cashew milk, and walnut milk in a juicer! We can’t leave out pistachios, so here's a recipe for making pistachio milk to boost your melatonin levels:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pistachios, unshelled
  • 1 cup water, plus additional for soaking
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or cardamom
Product Needed

Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer, assembled with juicing strainer.

Directions
  1. Add pistachios to a bowl with water. Place in the refrigerator to soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours. 
  2. Drain the pistachios.
  3. While the juicer's smart cap is closed, add a small portion of nuts to the slow juicer and then add an equal amount of fresh water.
  4. Continue alternating between the nuts and 1 cup of water, small equal-sized portions at a time. Work slowly to give the juicer enough time to process the nuts. 
  5. Open the smart cap to release the pistachio milk. If desired, strain the milk for a thinner texture.
  6. Add vanilla extract or cardamom.
  7. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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REFERENCES:
https://www.healthline.com/health/foods-for-better-sleep
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/do-cherries-help-you-sleep
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-milk-before-bed
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep
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