These nights call for one thing and one thing only: the calming chamomile lavender latte recipe from Stephanie Garber, the recipe developer and blogger behind Hello Glow. Of the many ways to lull yourself to sleep, few are more satisfying than this warming beverage. And thanks to its multitude of snooze-inducing ingredients and soothing flavor, it comes as little surprise that this chamomile lavender latte is the ideal evening drink for anyone looking to level-up the quality of their sleep.
- Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and nutritionist
While the ingredients and instructions for the latte are simple, their sleep-boosting properties pack a powerful punch. We chatted with Keri Gans, RDN, to learn a little more about why this latte is so good at curing your up-all-night woes.
Ingredients in this chamomile lavender latte recipe that help you sleep
"Many dairy products—milk included—contain the amino acid tryptophan," says Gans. If that sounds familiar, it’s the same compound in turkey that made you want to take a nap after your Thanksgiving meal. Tryptophan helps to promote sleep, which is why, as Gans points out, warm milk is often said to help with shut-eye. And the act of sipping something warm helps to relax you before bedtime, too.
“Chamomile is known to consist of an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to specific receptors in your brain and may help to decrease anxiety and cause drowsiness,” says Gans. Chamomile is one of the most venerable herbs, as it's often used to address a number of ailments, including inflammation, ulcers, and yes, insomnia.
Lavender, like chamomile, has anti-inflammatory benefits that can help to address restlessness and anxiety, Gans says. After all, there’s a reason that lavender oil diffusers are so popular for creating a soothing, relaxing atmosphere. “There have been some animal studies that have also shown that lavender may inhibit several neurotransmitters and have pain-relieving and sedative effects,” she adds.
4. Raw honey
Adding honey to your beverages doesn’t just make it sweeter; the natural source of sugar can also help to lull you to sleep. “Through a series of chemical reactions, when ingested, honey creates tryptophan in your body,” explains Gans. This tryptophan in turn is converted to serotonin and then melatonin, which helps to achieve a drowsy, restful state.
5. Vanilla extract
In addition to adding great flavor to just about any beverage or baked good, vanilla also has calming effects on the body. It has been suggested that vanilla can cut down on startle reflexes, and potentially aid in addressing sleep apnea. Plus, the smell is often calming in and of itself.
In addition to the many health benefits associated with the recipe, it’s also worth noting that a few of the ingredients can be swapped out with plant-based alternatives to make this a vegan beverage to better accommodate various eating habits. For example, switching out milk for a alternative option like almond, oat, or coconut milk would taste equally delicious sans dairy. Plus, the addition of the coconut taste can give this latte another dimension of flavor. Honey can also be substituted with maple syrup for a vegan alternative, or skipped entirely for anyone avoiding sugar.
Below, we’ve included the full recipe for Hello Glow's sleep-boosting latte.
Calming chamomile lavender latte recipe
16 ounces milk or non-dairy alternative
1 Tbsp dried chamomile buds or two chamomile tea bags
2 heaping tsp dried lavender buds
1-2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract optional
1. Heat milk in a small pan until very hot, being careful not to let it boil.
2. Add the chamomile and lavender to the hot milk. Let steep for five to ten minutes, then strain the mixture into a mug.
3. Sweeten with raw honey or maple syrup and add vanilla extract, if desired.
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