After a long, busy day, all anyone wants is to crawl under their cozy, warm sheets for a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, it can be seriously difficult to achieve a fulfilling snooze-fest. There are countless reasons people suffer from insomnia, but stress is arguably the biggest factor. As soon as our heads hit the pillow, it’s all too easy for our minds to spin out into all the worries we have — no matter how big or small they may be. It doesn’t matter how exhausted you felt during the day, somehow our brains will find a reason to refuse to settle down.
That’s why folks are raving about a drink called moon milk and its ability to calm those thoughts before bed. Let’s face it, sometimes chamomile just isn’t enough to knock us out. The key to moon milk, however, is a different type of plant entirely. Like the turmeric-based golden milk, the recipe is based in the alternative medical practice from India known as Ayurveda. Moon milk also contains turmeric, but the real insomnia-fighting ingredient is ashwagandha, an adaptogenic plant known for its ability to ward off stress and induce calmness. That might sound like a magical claim, but it’s also backed up by scientific research, including a comprehensive study in 2012 that tested ashwagandha against the placebo effect and found it improves an individual’s resistance towards stress.
The warm beverage is super simple to make at home before tucking in for the night. There are several different recipes, and some even get creative with colors by adding lavender and herbal teas. That said, we aren’t here to make something pretty — we just want sleep.
For a more basic cup of moon milk, you’ll need to start by heating up your favorite type of milk (almond, soy, and regular milk all work fine). Once that’s simmering, you can add in half teaspoons of cinnamon and turmeric, a few pinches of cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg, a dash of freshly ground pepper, and finally, a pinch of ashwagandha powder. Like other superfood powders, you can find reasonably priced options at natural grocery stores or online ($14.99 on Amazon). Make sure everything is mixed together well, then add a teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter originating from India). Let everything cool down before adding honey to sweeten things up, otherwise the honey will cook into it and remove the sleep-inducing aspects.
The ashwagandha powder might smell a bit off-putting as you add it to the mixture, but that aroma will dissipate and you’ll be left with a lovely, sweet drink to enjoy before hitting the hay. Just think, a few sips and you’ll be counting sheep in no time.