In this post, we'll talk about how to make the perfect cup of before-bed milk, with a warm milk recipe at the end.
Warm milk before bed has long been used to settle the nerves and promote a good night's sleep. So what is it about warm milk that is so soothing and calming?
Well, that creamy beverage contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin which, in turn, increases the melatonin in our bodies that helps us sleep better.
If that wasn't amazing enough, you can make your warm milk recipe even more supportive of restful sleep by adding a pinch of fresh, ground spices. Not only does this add wonderful fragrance and flavor to your drink, but specific spices can also add excellent health and sleep-aid benefits.
Choosing Your Milk
A delicious and comforting warm milk recipe begins with milk. I like to use whole milk that has only been pasteurized, not homogenized. This ensures a rich, creamy drink that is deeply satisfying.
If you can't have dairy, try using oat milk, almond milk, or cashew milk instead. You won't get the same sleep-inducing benefits as cow's milk, but you will still get a scrumptious, soul-nourishing drink.
Freshly ground spices are a wonderful addition to a warm milk recipe. Try adding a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, cinnamon, or turmeric.
Nutmeg is a natural sedative, but be sure to only use a pinch or you might find yourself experiencing hallucinations instead of sweet dreams.
Turmeric may help relax you while also improving your mood and lowering anxiety so you fall asleep easier and sleep more peacefully.
Cinnamon isn't a sedative, but it eases anxiety and stabilizes blood sugar so your sleep will be much sweeter.
Another delightful option is a sprinkling of deep-red saffron threads. Saffron has been used for centuries to combat insomnia and ensure consistent sleep patterns so your sleep isn't restless and fidgety.
As with all herbs and spices, our bodies react differently, so have fun experimenting with warm milk and spice combinations until you find the one that suits you best.
Choose a Sweetener
While a warm milk recipe may be fine with just a hint of spice, it's even more lovely with a bit of sweetener to enhance the flavor. You could try a spoonful of honey, a drizzle of real maple syrup, a dab of thick molasses, or white or brown sugar.
They're all excellent options, but I find that our sweet, fragrant dusts are perfect to sweeten warm milk. Try our Vanilla Sugar Dust made with cane sugar and vanilla beans, Maple Sugar Dust made with maple syrup and coconut sugar, or Honey Dust made with raw honey and raw cane sugar.
I use about one teaspoon of dust per cup of warm milk, but if you prefer sweeter drinks, by all means, make that teaspoon a heaping one.
If you prefer your warm milk recipe with a little more "oomph," try adding tea or tea simple syrup like we did in our Tasty Tea Steamer, Brown Sugar Tea Latte, and Personalized Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte.
Warming Your Milk
You can heat up your warm milk over the stove, campfire, or in the microwave, or make it a bit fancy by using a milk frother to both heat and froth the milk.
When your milk is warm, flavored, and sweetened, pour it into your favorite heat-proof cup, mug, or teacup and dust with a little more of the spice you used. Settle into a comfy spot and let the cares of the day drift away as you sip and savor.
Sweet and Spicy Warm Milk Recipe
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla dust, honey dust, or maple dust
- Optional: ground nutmeg, saffron, cinnamon, or turmeric
Pour milk into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring often, just until milk begins to bubble at the edges.
Remove from heat, stir in sweetener of choice, and pour into a heat-proof cup. Sprinkle with your spice of choice and sip slowly, letting it warm, calm, and settle you.