Does cocoa before bed really help you sleep?

cocoa before bed

Who would have thought that the idea of drinking cocoa at bedtime would be so controversial? While some experts swear by drinking a cupful as a sleep aid, others advise steering clear. We have gathered up all the facts so that you can judge for yourself.

While cocoa currently has a rather sweet, old-fashioned image, it was once the drink of warriors! Ancient Aztec civilisations used cocoa beans as currency, and degreed that the beans had such magical nutritious properties that they were reserved only for those due to go to war. We’re not sure where the idea of cocoa as a bedtime drink came from, but we do know that explorer Robert Falcon Scott insisted that his men drank a cup every night on their expedition to the South Pole in 1911. It probably did in fact help them sleep better, as the nutritious content and hot temperature helped them combat the bitter overnight cold.

While these days we don’t need to drink cocoa to stay warm, it can still help us sleep. The therapeutic association of sipping a hot drink is relaxing and can help put you in the right frame of mind for bed. Pure cocoa (rather than chocolate) is also packed with antioxidants, which can act as an anti-inflammatory. 

cocoa beans

Cocoa also contains caffeine and theobromine, though, which are stimulants and boost energy levels – not what you want just before you go to sleep! Drinking a cup of any liquid at all may also cause you to wake up during the night.

For the best results, use 100% pure cocoa powder instead of a hot chocolate mix. Hot chocolate often has high levels of added sugar which is also a stimulant. Make the cocoa up with milk, which can have a calming effect, instead of water.

Whether cocoa works for you at bedtime or not is very much a matter of personal choice. If you are sensitive to caffeine it could have the opposite effect, but otherwise it could become a vital part of your bedtime routine.

Whether you choose cocoa or not, one thing we can wholeheartedly recommend is comfortable nightwear. Our 100% cotton pyjamas and nightgowns are designed to keep you at the right temperature all night long, and that is something that will definitely help a good night’s sleep.

View our range of pure cotton nightwear

        


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