The warm and soothing sensation of hot chocolate does more good to your body than you give it credit for.
But will hot chocolate make you sleepy?
The next few paragraph should let you know whether drinking hot chocolate at night would benefit your sleep…
Will Hot Chocolate Make You Sleepy?
In short, hot chocolate does contains sleep-inducing nutrients.
The warmness of milk and the soothing effect of chocolate has long been used to help people sleep.
It was first cultivated by the Mayans, who used to make their hot chocolate by grinding cocoa beans, adding hot water, and sprinkling a pinch of species.
Today, some people go the extra mile with cinnamon that only adds to its numerous benefits of hot chocolate.
However, considering that most people add sugar, it may not be the most healthy to opt for.
Therefore, it is recommended to only drink hot chocolate in cases where it is hard to sleep.
It is worth mentioning that there is some caffeine in hot chocolate.
Therefore, do not use more than 1 tbsp of cocoa powder or 1 ounce of dark chocolate in your hot chocolate.
Is Hot Chocolate Healthy?
Regardless of how delicious it may look, your traditional hot chocolate with marshmallow and whipped cream is never going to be healthy.
However, the properties of cocoa alone are packed with healthy nutrients that have positive effects on our bodies.
If you didn’t know this already, hot chocolate made up of unsweetened cocoa can actually help with weight loss.
However, this doesn’t mean you should switch your regular weight loss diet to hot chocolate.
It works by suppressing your appetite and keeping you full for longer periods of time.
However, there hasn’t been much research done to prove it yet.
Besides that, although hot chocolate isn’t low in calories, they offer the right amount of healthy fats that you need to have a balanced diet.
That said, a common question many people have regarding hot chocolate is whether it is okay to drink it every day.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, it is recommended to go for 2.5g of high flavanol cocoa powder per day (10g of high flavanol dark chocolate) to make the most out of your hot chocolate.
Remember when I say this, I’m not referring to the thick glass of hot chocolate filled with high sugar and marshmallows.
If you prefer to use it every day to improve your sleeping pattern, try to go as naturally as possible.
You can get the same taste by opting for dark chocolate with high chocolate content ( around 80%) and honey for added sweetness.
What’s the Catch?
In general, a warm glass of protein-filled milk like banana and peanut butter is an excellent way to make you fall asleep.
But when you add high sugar content into your nighttime chocolate, that’s when you start to mess up your sleep cycles.
In fact, sugary, spicy, or alcoholic foods are one of the main reasons you are unable to sleep peacefully at night.
Use a recipe with natural ingridients. (spoiler alert: you are going to find out the ideal recipe in a while).
How Hot Chocolate Works
When you combine the hot milk with a nice endorphin hit from the chocolate, you get to soothe your nerves and calm your mind.
This is especially true if you like to take your moment and indulge in hot chocolate in your own time and space.
Hot chocolate has also a psychological effect. It might remind you of when you were drinking warm milk in your childhood, which indicates sleep time, and thus you will start to put your mind to sleep.
The effect of hot chocolate is enhanced if you have been drinking it from your childhood.
Another reason why hot chocolate can make you sleepy is because of the amino acid tryptophan that may affect your serotonin levels.
This is linked to boosting your mood and eliminating anxiety or overthinking to keep you up at night.
However, one thing to bear in mind is that the tryptophan found in milk is not significant enough to show its results right away.
You may have to consume a lot of it to notice a change in your sleep cycles and mood.
Since it is not a good idea to fill your stomach with liquid before sleep, I’d recommend you to take small portions of it right after dinner.
Although drinking hot chocolate before bed has a few drawbacks, its positive results can surely outweigh any other factor that you may consider.
The negative effects of hot chocolate can be minimized if you are opting for dark chocolate as you don’t let the energy from sugar affect your sleep cycles.
For best results, try drinking hot chocolate twice or thrice a week in winters. It will keep your body warm and make you sleepy.
Difference Between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate
Considering how they both have relatively the same name, it is not surprising to see people confuse these and opt for the wrong options.
Hot chocolate refers to a drink made of cocoa powder, sugar, and milk to give a rather sweet taste to the overall beverage.
You can also expect to see some people adding vanilla and other species like cinnamon powder to boost the strong taste.
Where’s hot chocolate is all about using actual chocolate to make it.
People usually use high-quality full-fat milk with dark or even white chocolate to melt it combined with water, cream, or milk.
You can be creative and add cinnamon, coconut powder, and other flavorings to it.
However, since the chocolate bar already contains sugar, you better not add any extra sugar.
If you are going for an unsweetened option, you can add a little bit of honey.
Other Benefits of Drinking Hot Chocolate at Night
Now that you know what hot chocolate can do to your sleep quality, here are some of the other benefits you can experience if you start drinking hot chocolate at night.
1. Cocoa Is Nutritious
If you think hot chocolate is only great for making you sleep, wait till you find out how dense it is with nutrients.
Dark chocolate that contains 70-85% cocoa contains magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, K, calcium, and phosphorus, which serve you with a nice dose of nutrients.
Antioxidants are needed to combat the production of excess free radicals, which can deteriorate your health with time.
Thus, consuming hot chocolate will not only help you relax, but it’s also beneficial for your organs.
3. Cocoa Improves Cardiovascular Health
According to the American Heart Association, cocoa can improve your heart health.
The nitric oxide in cocoa can reduce heart attack and stroke risk, all while being kind to your overall body.
Other than that, cocoa’s flavanols have also been shown to combat LDL cholesterol, improve blood flow and reduce blood clotting.
These stable yet powerful properties of hot chocolate make it one of the essential drinks that you must try.
4. May Reduce High Blood Pressure by Improving Nitric Oxide Levels
Cocoa in its powdered and dark chocolate form has proven to lower blood pressure.
This effect was first observed when researchers examined the blood pressure levels of cocoa-drinking island people of Central America who had comparatively lower blood pressure than non-cocoa drinkers.
5. Flavanols May Improve Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
According to innumerable studies done on hot chocolate, it has been shown to slow down carbohydrate digestion and absorption in the gut, which, in return, is used to improve insulin secretion, reduce inflammation, and get rid of the excess sugar in your blood.
The reason why it is recommended to drink hot chocolate, besides its relaxing factor, is that it is relatively easier to stick with it.
It can be an excellent way to unwind while making sure that you are not compromising your health.
6. Elevates mood
Do you feel the urge to press the snooze button every morning? Do you use to wake up in a grumpy mood?
Not only the scrumptious warm chocolate and whipped cream melts in your mouth, but it is the secret to waking up with a peaceful and happy mind as well.
It has the potential to release certain neurotransmitters that can reduce stress and pain, thus improve your overall mood.
The key to making a healthy one yourself is to go for an unsweetened 85% dark chocolate cocoa powder along with plant-based milk to reduce its fat content.
Instead of filling it up with sugar, go for natural alternatives like honey or blackstrap molasses syrup to make it relatively healthier.
Does Drinking Hot Chocolate before Bed Make you Fat?
Hot chocolate does contribute to weight gain because it is high in calories, sugar, and fat content.
However, if you are not consuming it excessively, it won’t make you fat.
Bear in mind that cocoa contains caffeine and some chemicals that might not be good for your long-term health.
However, it has been seen that consuming chocolate in moderate quantities is actually good for your health.
How to Make a Steaming Cup of Hot Chocolate
There are many ways you can personalize your hot cup of hot chocolate.
Here is how many hot chocolate lovers prefer to make their hot chocolate:
1 cup milk
1 ounce of sugar free dark chocolate cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
- Heat the milk in a saucepan and add the right amount of vanilla extract.
- Now add in your dark chocolate and mix until melted. You can also add whip cream.
- Enjoy and spoil your taste buds!
In this post, we answered the question ‘will hot chocolate make you sleepy’.
We also talked about the negative consequences that come alongside this beverage.
One last thing that I want you to take from this guide is that every natural thing that is proven to improve your health can be good for you as long as you use it in moderation.
Sure, you get countless benefits of hot chocolate, but it is also not wise to ignore the drawbacks.
Thus, enjoy your enriching drink, sleep peacefully at night, and step back when you think you go overboard with it.