Sleep Aids in Foods and Beverages

Consumer interest in functional foods is skyrocketing as people strive to choose foods that pull double duty, both filling them up and helping them achieve other health goals, such as more energy, a healthier heart, or better sleep.


This “better sleep” function is somewhat of a new kid on the block when it comes to the food and beverage industry. Sleep is a hotter topic than ever, even in relation to food. One popular example is various milk recipes designed to promote restfulness, such as turmeric milk and “moon milk,” which also contains turmeric along with a blend of other spices chosen for their calming and wellness benefits. These sleep-producing milks are not just being whipped up in residential kitchens – they’re also popping up on restaurant menus everywhere. Here are some of the other trends we’re seeing around sleep aids in foods and drinks.


Performance Drinks for Recovery and Better Sleep


Some performance drink brands are exploring the link between recovery and sleep. As more consumers aim to “train like athletes,” product manufacturers respond with performance nutrition drinks that promote functional claims. While more energy is a common one, performance drinks and protein shakes that promote better sleep are increasing in popularity by the day.


Several of these newer products take advantage of multiple trends at once, such as the plant-based and functional protein shake featuring soothing flowers, warming spices, and creamy cacao to deliver the promised benefits. Other products in this category include vanilla-flavored sports food powders, chamomile high-performance recovery teas, and nighttime recovery milks, all of which promise to promote a good night’s sleep.


Covid-19 and Sleep – Why the Link Matters


It isn’t just busy schedules that are affecting the food and beverage industry and making consumers seek out sleep solutions in their functional foods. We are also experiencing a permanent change in the way people view hygiene, health, and lifestyle, thanks to the novel coronavirus that has the entire world on edge.


Consumers know that the first line of defense against an infectious disease – besides hand washing – is a healthy immune system. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do to maximize the immune system’s germ-fighting powers. Therefore, there has been a significant boom in functional foods that promote immune system benefits – sleep being chief among their claims.


Some of the ingredients that consumers are seeking out to help them establish and maintain healthy sleep cycles include tryptophan, melatonin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin D, B vitamins, and zinc. Certain foods contain particularly high concentrations of nutrients on this list, such as almonds, chamomile tea, fatty fish, and milk, so restaurateurs and others in the food and beverage industry are using ingredients such as these in their functional products to deliver the sleep-enhancing abilities consumers crave in their diets, especially this year.