There is little dispute that sleep is too often hard to come by. Crazy busy schedules, out of control stresses, and troublesome future worries all keep a restful night’s sleep at bay. As a result chronic insomnia is not as isolated an experience as one might hope despite our finest pillow-top.
- People today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.
- More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
- One in three people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime.
- More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress and/or anxiety.
- Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
- Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
- Approximately 35% of insomniacs have a family history of insomnia.
- 90% of people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia.
- Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids.
In our home we value a good night’s repose with all the honor it deserves. As we wind down after a long day and too often a long evening we make time for a few bedtime rituals. A relaxing yoga pose. Inspiring literature. And recently, a hot drink. Using healing spices such as cardamon and cinnamon (both have an internal warming effect on the body: another benefit mid-January) we find this particular recipe a soothing combination. Milk mixed with small quantities of these spices will create an effective sleep aid.
To begin, heat 2 cups of organic and preferably local milk in a small saucepan. (To make this recipe vegan simply replace with soy or almond milk.) While the milk is simmering on a low flame crush one cinnamon stick and sprinkle in to the milk. Crush or grind green cardamon pods, between 6-8, depending on your taste, and add these to the pot. Grate a dash of nutmeg, or a pinch of powered (any more than a dash will overwhelm the overall taste, so keep this spice to a minimum) directly into the milk. All three of these spices have the potential to rev you up, but in small amounts will only do so enough to warm you.
Stir the mixture and bring to almost a boil and then simmer for 3 minutes or so until the milk is hot. Take it off the flame and add a drop of vanilla. Again, play with measurements, but keep all the spices to only a hint. Stir thoroughly. Strain into two small mugs. We like to add a hefty spoonful of honey but this too should be to your taste.
Chose a favorite teacup or mug. Enjoy the weight and feel of the china. Have your first sip in a comfy chair and savor the subtle flavors as you review all the joys of your day. Tomorrow will surely come, as day follows night, and after a wonderful rest, you will be ready for even more life!