Sleep Medicine: Banana Tea
"Sleep is the best meditation." - Dalai Lama
Making a cup of banana tea can help ease the transition from awake to sleep. Add this to other tools to help with sleep hygiene so that you can have more rest.
The magnesium in the banana peel may help you fall asleep faster. Magnesium has been reported to help decrease stress and anxiety. The peel has more magnesium than the fruit itself. Truly, there is not enough good research into the amount of magnesium needed to improve insomnia, and the amount from the peel that is in the tea itself; however, there are many experiential reports with little to no side effects. One may also try a magnesium supplement, and consideration of consultation with a medical provider.
Yes, making the tea does mean taking a few more moments to do one more task. Or letting go of what we hoped to squeeze into the end of the day and filling that time with new rest. While the tea is boiling, try doing a few breathing exercises to help slow down your body and mind. Making the tea as a bedtime ritual can hep begin the process of slowing down in the hour before we go to bed. By resting and putting a stop to our overly active day, we can then allow our whole self to unwind and recharge. The next morning you will have space for more energy and be ready for higher functioning.
Prescription for Sweet Dreams
3 cups (24 oz) filtered water
1/2 teaspoon honey or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional, for flavoring)
*About 16 oz of water will evaporate in the boiling process, so that you have about one 8 oz serving of tea remaining.
1. Rinse banana and cut off the hard ends. Cut the banana in half. (You can also use the banana as a whole, but I found it easier to fit in my pot by cutting it in half.)
2. Without peeling, place the banana pieces into a medium sauce pan and pour water on top.
3. Bring the water to boil. After the bubbles begin, set a timer for 10 minutes of boiling.
4. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool.
5. Pour the tea into your favorite cup. The tea will look grey-brown in color, but it is surprisingly palatable, and tastes like a muted version of banana without the sweetness. You may add 1/2 teaspoon honey or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon for flavoring. However, cinnamon can be stimulating for some, so I would usually opt to use the honey or vanilla extract. Drink the tea within the hour before bedtime.
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