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Updated on Oct 8, 2019. Posted on Aug 27, 2018

Moon Milk Is Supposed To Help You Sleep, But Does It Actually Work?

Here's what you should know about this new wellness trend.

Maybe you've heard of moon milk, the DIY wellness trend that's all over Pinterest.

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But if you haven't, moon milk is a drink made out of warm milk, honey, spices, and herbs. Supposedly, sipping on moon milk before bed time helps you drift peacefully into sleep.

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I have a hard time falling asleep and I often wake up multiple times during the night. A few months ago, I discovered these amazing melatonin gummies. But I'm always looking for new natural sleep remedies, so when I read about moon milk, I had to give it a try.

The most important ingredient in moon milk is ashwagandha. Since I'd never heard of it before, I asked an expert about it.

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Marni Chanoff MD specializes in Ayurveda, which is an ancient holistic system of alternative medicine that originates in the Indian subcontinent. She told me that ashwagandha is an adaptogen (aka a plant that is used in Ayurvedic healing). Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, "has wide ranging health benefits and has a grounding and relaxing effect on the mind and body," Chanoff said. It's used to treat stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and nervous system disorders she added. You can buy it in powder form at your local health food store or on Amazon.

Just make sure ashwagandha is safe for you before introducing it into your diet.

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According to Dr. Chanoff, moon milk, and ashwagandha in particular, is safe for most people, though pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it. She also warned that people with chronic health conditions or who take medications regularly should talk to a doctor before consuming ashwagandha.

So with ashwagandha in hand, I set out to try moon milk for myself.

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Different blogs and websites use slightly different ingredients to make moon milk, but I followed a fairly simple recipe from Bon Appetit.

Making moon milk is pretty easy. First, heat up your milk of choice in a sauce pan — you can substitute almond or cashew milk for cow's milk. Then, add a bunch of spices like turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

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Next up, the ground ashwagandha. It smells really pungent, but you only need about a quarter teaspoon of it.

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Finally, add coconut oil or ghee, and continue stirring the milk mixture for about ten minutes. Pour the moon milk into a mug and wait a few minutes for it to cool before adding honey.

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Voilà: Moon milk.

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TBH, my moon milk wasn't as pretty and colorful as the versions I'd seen on Pinterest, but after all, this is a sleep experiment, not an art project. You can always add extra ingredients like butterfly pea powder, tart cherry juice, or lavender buds to add color.

I loved the flavor of the moon milk. The ashwagandha powder smelled very off-putting, so I was worried the drink would taste gross, but it was actually delicious —super creamy, cinnamon-y and sweet.

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But back to the important stuff, which is did moon milk actually help me sleep? The short answer is yes. It didn't keep me asleep all night, but it made me sleepy.

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About ten minutes after slurping down a mug of moon milk, I felt myself getting sleepy. I didn't feel drowsy or anything, but I definitely felt the urge to close my eyes.

I wanted to make sure the extra ingredients in the moon milk were really having an effect on my sleep, so I also tried drinking warm milk and warm almond milk on their own for a few nights.

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After all, milk contains tryptophan, which is a serotonin-producing amino acid, said to induce sleepiness. That explains why your parents may have given you warm milk before bed when you were younger.

But for me, the warm milk on its own didn't do much. I didn't get the same sort of calming, lull-inducing feeling that I experienced after drinking moon milk.

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TL;DR: If you have trouble sleeping, give moon milk a try. Not only did it help me sleep, but it was also a tasty treat to look forward to before bed.

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And since trying moon milk, I've continued drinking it. I usually make moon milk once or twice during the work week, whenever I'm really craving a good night's sleep.