Everyone knows that beer has a certain relaxing effect. We’ve all had a pint and then felt that wonderful sleepiness wash over us.
Most people would chalk it up to good company and alcohol—but it turns out it’s more than that!
Because there is one ingredient in beer that is a natural relaxant and mild sedative, which explains why you’re prone to curling up for a cat nap after a couple of beers!
This ingredient, in addition to acting as a sedative, has powerful healing properties.
So not only can a beer a day help with insomnia, but it might keep the doctor away too!
Can you guess what the ingredient is?
It’s hop! The herb that gives beer its trademark bitterness is actually a powerful cure-all and sleep inducer.
Hops are flowers that grow on vine-like plants and are in the same family as hemp and cannabis, hence the properties of relaxation that they provide.
Hop shoots have been used in beer for hundreds of years and are still a prominent ingredient in the drink today.
The sedative properties of the plant come from the dimethylvinyl carbinol (a complicated word for a specific kind of alcoholic compound) that has sedative effects.
And though drinking a beer can certainly keep away any sleeplessness, there are even better ways to take advantage of hops as an insomnia remedy.
One of the best ways to use hop as a sleep aid is by brewing the shoots into herbal tea. Some people add lavender or chamomile to combat the bitterness of the plant, while others add some lemon and sugar, enjoying the citrus-like floral edge to the hop plant.
If you drink a cup of hop tea before bed, it’s been proven that you will fall asleep faster and have better quality of sleep, waking up 50% less throughout the night.
Hops also alleviate hot flashes and night sweats, ensuring that you are sleeping comfortably.
And, besides the sleep inducing qualities of the plant, it’s also been proven to help boost immunity, combat stress and anxiety, and even boost your metabolism!
But if you aren’t a tea-lover or beer drinker, don’t worry, there are many other ways you can feel the restful effects of this powerful herb.
You can purchase hop extract, which can be added to candles, lotions, and creams.
You can also find hop aromatherapy treatments, or hop essential oils, which can be lightly applied to skin for a relaxing effect.
It’s also effective to take the petals and leaves of the hop plant and create a sachet with lavender and chamomile to keep beside or in your pillow. The aroma of the herbs will lull you to sleep and ensure that you keep insomnia and restlessness at bay.
You can even eat hop shoots like asparagus when they’re young! All you have to do is lightly steam or sauté them to your liking.
Hop plants are easy to find, as are herbal teas and oils made from the extracts. You can grow your own or head to the store for a premade remedy—or head to the pub for a beer if you prefer!
No matter how you use hops, you will undeniably feel well-rested and energetic the next day.
So what are you waiting for?
Hop into bed and start counting sheep!