Getting to sleep in a timely fashion has been somewhat of a challenge for my fiancé and I. Ever since his job site moved to Los Angeles he’s had to wake up at 4:30 am every morning to beat traffic on the way to work. He also happens to be a night owl which makes it even harder to fall asleep at a decent hour. Sometimes he only gets 4.5 hours of sleep a night because he feels like his time spent at home is so fleeting because he gets home around 7 pm.
I totally get it. When I worked long days all I wanted to do when I got home was relax and enjoy being AT HOME. If I went to bed at a decent hour I felt like I didn’t have any time to do things I enjoy like reading, surfing the web, watching my favorite show, etc. I hated thinking about the relentless wake up early, go to work, come home, go to bed routine. I get it. But when your fiancé starts having trouble staying awake while sitting in traffic, things start getting scary.
He needs to get to sleep sooner. End of story.
In my experience, one of the best remedies for getting a restful night’s sleep is a good sleepy time tea. However, the issue with drinking tea before bedtime is the need to use the bathroom at night. Also, my fiancé runs like a furnace. Hot tea is not for him. I wanted to find a way that allows him to fall asleep and stay asleep until his alarm goes off in the morning.
Since he enjoys something sweet after dinner I thought it would be perfect if there was some way to combine both dessert and a sleep-inducing tonic. That’s when Sleepy Time Gelee popped into my mind.
He loves Jello and he needs to go to sleep sooner. PERFECT. Plus, this recipe won’t make you get up at night to use the loo.
How to Make Sleepy Time Gelee
I know this recipe sounds strange, but it works! Even I have been using it to get to bed at a decent hour. What’s really fun about this gelee is you can use so many different kinds of herbs and juice bases for it to suite your tastes.
Now, The recipe below is fairly herbaceous. If that doesn’t sound good to you simply use one or two herbs that you know you like chamomile and lavender. Using a juice base really helps makes this gelee tastes good too so keep that in mind 🙂
Here’s What You’re Going To Need:
• 2 cups of strongly brewed herbal tea (you can use juice as a base. I recommend tart cherry, cranberry, or apple…any clear juice you prefer)
• 1 ½ TB of grass-fed gelatin (I recommend this brand)
• 1-2 TB raw honey
• Pinch of sea salt
For the herbal tea you can use 2 bags of your favorite herbal sleepy time tea (I like this one) or you can use what I did:
• 1 TB lemon balm (you can get the tea here)
• 1 TB rose petals
• 1 TB hops flowers (get the tea here)
• 1 TB chamomile (this can become bitter if steeped too long. get the tea here)
• 1 TB rosehips (for added Vitamin C)
• 1 tsp lavender flowers (this is a nice tea with lavender)
• 1 tsp dried orange peel (for flavor)
• 1 tsp of kava kava root (optional. This herb makes your mouth go numb slightly but my fiancé loves it for stress relief as a massage oil)
Loving Preparation- Sleepy Time Gelee
• Bring the juice or water to a boil in a pot and then pour it over the herbs (I used a tea press for easy straining)
• Steep the herbs (or herbal tea bags) for 10 minutes
• While the tea is steeping sprinkle the gelatin powder over some water/juice in a small dish (this allows the gelatin to “bloom” which is super important otherwise you will have grainy jello)
• Once the herbs have steeped, strain them over a pot and bring to a simmer
• Add the “bloomed” gelatin and whisk until completely dissolved
• Now add the pinch of salt and the raw honey. Whisk until dissolved
• Get your mold ready (I used two pyrex baking dishes) and pour in the liquid jello
• Leave on the counter until cooled and the bubbles at the surface have popped
• Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge for 3 hours to set
• Enjoy 30 min. before bedtime
• Passion flower (not the best tasting herb but works great at quieting an overactive mind, mental worry, and overall exhaustion from overthinking. you can get the tea here.)
• California poppy– knocks you out (get a smaller amount here under bulk herbs)
• Valerian– smelly but makes you fall asleep pretty quickly
• Catnip– soothes nerves and mildly sedative
Why These Ingredients Work
Gelatin comes from the bones and hides of animals. I know it sounds scary but trust me on this one!
Gelatin not only promotes restful sleep. High in anti-inflammatory amino acids, gelatin also helps your nails and hair grow faster and healthier AND keeps your skin looking supple (some even claim that it prevented stretch marks during pregnancy). It also improves digestion tremendously. Get my favorite brands here, here, and here.
Tart Cherry Juice
Full of naturally occurring melatonin, this type of cherry is known to encourage restful sleep due to its ability to increase the availability of tryptophan. It does this because enzymes in the cherries reduce inflammation and the breakdown of tryptophan allowing it to stay in the body longer. The longer tryptophan is in the body, the longer and more restful your sleep becomes.
You can also stir in tart cherry juice concentrate before pouring the liquid jello into your mold. It works great!
Salt and Honey
Have you ever eaten something sweet and your stress seems to melt away? That’s because sugar has the ability to stop the production of stress hormones.
When there are too many stress hormones circulating in the body, they have the tendency to wake you up at night.
Taking a small amount of salt before bedtime will keep your adrenals under control while you sleep.
A delicious herb with mild sedative properties, lemon balm is great to use for winding down after a long day. It calms the nerves, soothes tension, and promotes restful sleep.
One of the best remedies for stress and relaxation, rose is a time-honored remedy for instilling a sense of calm. Rose also has a relaxing fragrance that helps ease overactive personality types.
A remedy long used for sleep, hops has been a popular insomnia tonic since the early 1900s. Hops are great for sleeplessness, nervousness, restlessness, and general inability to sleep.
Another time-honored remedy for sleep, chamomile is great for those with irritable dispositions related to restlessness. Aromatic and delicious.
Gently strengthens the nervous system and instills a sense of relaxation. Often used topically but makes a great bedtime tea as well.
A more potent sedative, kava kava is a renowned herb for all things related to stress and lack of sleep. Not the tastiest (it actually numbs the mouth) but certainly one of the most effective.
What have been your best restful sleep remedies?
For more great sleepy time recipes that use gelatin, check out the articles below:
Also, be sure to check out these articles on sleep:
SIMPLE SLEEPY TIME RECIPE FOR FALLING ASLEEP AND STAYING ASLEEP!
Essential Oils for Sleep
How to Improve Sleep with Essential Oils
The Best Tea for Restful Sleep
Natural Sleep Aids- The Herbalist’s Way
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