Does Hot Chocolate Help You Sleep?

Does Hot Chocolate Help You Sleep?

Hot chocolate is made of cocoa powder that is transformed into a creamy beverage when finely mixed with hot milk. It is a soothing treat that is appealing to people from all age groups. A cup of hot chocolate is a delightful indulge that surpasses the status of a beverage to become a calming sensation. The aroma of a cup of hot chocolate fills the air with richness that offers an invitation to the promised comfort and content with each inhalation. The texture of hot chocolate is divine and silky that captivates and blankets its consumer in a cozy sanctuary.

A cup of hot chocolate is claimed by many as a beverage for better night’s sleep. But is it true? In the article below, we will explore the impacts of hot chocolate on sleep quality and the risks associated with its frequent consumption.

Hot Chocolate: A Comfort Beverage

Various psychological research and studies describes the effects of activities around bedtime on the quality of sleep. Healthcare experts thus often emphasize engaging in healthy activities such as reading a book rather than scrolling through social media. Similarly, a cup of hot chocolate imparts cozy effects on sleep and promote relaxation, making it a comfort drink that is popularly consumed around bedtime. It is incorporated into the nighttime routine that slightly increases the body temperature followed by gentle cool down that signals the brain for a good night’s sleep.

Psychologically, a cup of hot chocolate is often viewed as a comfort beverage while an individual offers it to another in a cozy setting during the end hours of a tiring day. This little cup of hot chocolate conveys both care and relaxation that are crucial elements for bedtime preparation.

A British sleep expert, Dr. Stanley highlights the psychological comfort associated with hot chocolate by saying that the physiological impacts of hot chocolate may not be as severe if one is comforted by the beverage and has no complaints regarding the sleep that follows. He advocates the continual use of hot chocolate before bedtime if it is low on sugar and caffeine, in individuals that routinely find comfort and good sleep in a cup of hot chocolate.  

What is the Connection between Hot Chocolate and Better Sleep?

Hot chocolate is made from milk, sugar, and cocoa powder. The ingredients themselves provide a direct link to better sleep, such as milk and cocoa.

Milk is rich in the amino acid tryptophan. Our body converts this tryptophan into serotonin through a series of metabolic reactions. The serotonin acts as a precursor that is later converted to melatonin (hormone). Melatonin then regulates better sleep and provides a restful slumber.

Cocoa powder tastes better with milk and sugar as it enhances the texture of milk and turn it into a delightful beverage. It contains theobromine and magnesium that promote relaxation and influence sleep quality. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition described that the consumption of cocoa was indeed linked to better sleep due to its effects on the cardiovascular health. The study explained further that cocoa reduces the heart rate along with improving rhythmic blood flow that must not burden the heart. These effects certainly help with better sleep and relaxation in individuals with cardiovascular symptoms such as palpitations or anxiety state.

What are the Risks of Hot Chocolate?

Despite its appealing comfort, hot chocolate is not a healthy drink to consume on a regular basis. A cup of hot chocolate contains milk, cocoa, and sugar – that is certainly not beneficial for health especially consuming before bedtime. The sugar content in hot chocolate is kept high for taste that leads to spike in blood sugar levels during sleep. The high blood sugar during nighttime often causes disturbed sleep and metabolic disorders in the long run. This is an important aspect while considering the risks of consuming hot chocolate beverage before sleep that must not be taken lightly.

Furthermore, cocoa contains caffeine that is present in lesser quantities than in a cup of coffee. Certain individuals may exhibit increased sensitivity to the little caffeine in hot chocolate and have trouble sleeping due to its stimulating effects. This interacts with the possibility of a good night’s sleep and these individuals must discontinue the consumption of hot chocolate several hours before bedtime.

According to a UK based organization, Sleep Council, beverages, and drinks that are high in sugar and caffeine must not be consumed for comfort before bedtime. This organisation advises sleep support and recommends that individuals must opt for alternative drinks that are rather low in sugar. Welzo also recommends the consumption of low sugar and low cocoa based hot chocolate drink that also enhances sleep but with less side effects. To add taste, mixing in some vanilla or cinnamon most certainly elevates the tastebuds, mood, and sleep.

What are the alternatives to hot chocolate for better sleep?

Hot chocolate is a comforting bedtime routine for a good night’s sleep in the cold nights of winters. There are several alternatives to hot chocolate since most individuals hesitate to consume it due to its high sugar content.

The sleep promoting properties in a cup of hot chocolate are mostly due to the warm milk that contains tryptophan amino acids. Tryptophan later converts into serotonin and then into melatonin – a sleep promoting hormone. Thus, consumption of warm milk alone also helps at great with better sleep.

Herbal teas such as chamomile tea, valerian root tea and lavender tea are popular warm drinks for relaxation that promotes better sleep. These natural herbs are made to boil and simmer in a pot of water, poured into a cup and savoured while reading a book. It exerts relaxing effects on the nervous system that enhances the sleep quality with regular consumption.

Golden milk is a magical potion made of milk, turmeric, and ginger. It has magical anti-inflammatory properties that reduces the oxidative stress as well and provide a soothing sleep promoting beverage. It does not exert stimulating effects since it contains no caffeine or cocoa, making it an ideal bedtime beverage.

People Also Ask

What is the best time to consume hot chocolate for better sleep?

The best time to consume hot chocolate for improved sleep is an hour before getting into the bed. This much time allows the body to digest and breakdown the milk to release the tryptophan for further metabolism. This tryptophan later converts into melatonin that is a relaxing and sleep promoting agent. It is crucial to understand the implications of high sugar in hot chocolate that is bound to interfere with sleep quality during the night. Furthermore, increased sensitivity to caffeine exhibited by certain individuals may not benefit from hot chocolate for its sleep promoting properties. Such individuals must consume it during the day or late afternoon to avoid a sleepless night.

Does the temperature of hot chocolate impact its relaxing and sleep-promoting effects?

The temperature of hot chocolate has only minimal impacts on relaxation and sleep promotion. This effect is mainly due to the warmth exerted by such drinks that raises the body temperature and creates a delightful sense of coziness. The main player of sleep promotion in a cup of hot chocolate is the tryptophan (an amino acid) found in milk.

It is also important to consider that excessive consumption of hot drinks must elevate the body temperature to the levels of discomfort and exhaustion. Welzo recommends that one must keep on experimenting with adjustments in the contents of hot cocoa along with setting it at a temperature that an individual prefers most for a good night’s sleep.


A cup of hot chocolate is a delightful indulge that surpasses the status of an average beverage and reaches the summit of soothing sensation throughout the body and mind. Its aroma, texture and taste promote comfort that helps individuals in achieving better sleep. It is composed of milk, sugar, and cocoa in recommended portions. The tryptophan in milk is the main sleep promoting agent that signals the brain to shut down for the day and get some good night’s sleep. The warmth in a cup of hot chocolate elevates the body temperature that creates a delightful sense of coziness and comfort. However, the high sugar content in hot chocolate must not be ignored since its consumption before bedtime calls for disturbed sleep and a set of metabolic disorders in the long run. Healthcare experts discourages the regular consumption of hot chocolate and if one must consume it regularly than it is highly advised to stay mindful of the sugar content and keep it minimal for better health.

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