By Jacqueline Howard, June 30, 2019
(CNN) When winding down you might enjoy sipping a beverage before bedtime, but are there any drinks that could be particularly helpful or harmful for quality sleep?
It turns out that experts advise to avoid certain beverages before bedtime — whereas the research on beverages to promote quality sleep remains not as clear.
Overall more than a third of adults in the United States don’t get enough snoozing time, sleeping less than seven hours in a 24-hour period, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Things that contain caffeine are definitely going to be less-than-desirable for most people,” said Jessica Garay Redmond, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at Syracuse University in New York.
“That’s not even just right before bed, but I think depending on a person’s caffeine sensitivity, they may need to shut down the caffeine in their day at some point in the afternoon or certainly by dinner time so that they can then have a restful night sleep,” she said.
In other words, if you typically turn to a cup of joe to revive you during those late afternoon slumps in the office, it might be best to limit the amount you sip. A small study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine in 2013 suggests refraining from consuming caffeine within six hours of going to sleep.
Redmond added that some genetic tests can help determine your caffeine sensitivity. Caffeine can also be found in certain teas, soda, and chocolate — and while a nightcap might be tempting, experts say alcohol should be avoided, too.
Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but that’s where the benefits end, Rebecca Robbins, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health, told CNN in April. Instead, it traps you in the lighter stages of sleep and “dramatically reduces the quality of your rest at night.” Read more.