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For many years, I have had a very difficult time sleeping!  10 years ago I was prescribed sleeping medicine to help me sleep.  Little did I know back then how terrible these were for you and how hard it is to get off of sleeping medicine.  As I made my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I knew it was time to get off of this medicine.  With the help of Chris Dillon of Nu-Health Strategies I have been able to do just that!

Today I am going to share a recipe that Chris Dillon created for me that helps me sleep naturally.  I have a glass of this drink every night and it really helps me relax and get sleepy and more importantly it helps me stay asleep!  Here are the ingredients; Bedtime tea, unrefined sea salt, natural sugar (raw honey, sucanat etc…), gelatin and fat.

There are several elements to this drink and Chris explains why it is necessary to include each ingredient in this recipe.

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Salt:  Salt brings down adrenalin and other stress hormones.  The reason why people have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night is due to stress hormones being elevated. Salt down regulates their actions.

Sugar: Honey or sugar is a disaccharide (glucose and fructose).  Fructose inhibits glucose from blood sugar to spike.  Glucose by itself will cause blood sugar handling issues.  This is why honey, sugar and fruit will not spike blood sugar.  When you sleep, you are fasting and you need reserved glycogen stored in your liver to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels while you sleep.  When our blood sugar drops, it raises our stress hormones and causes us to wake up. Having a sugar reserve helps prevent this from happening along with the salt to control adrenalin rising.

Gelatin: Gelatin is a protein that is high in proline and glycine which helps counteract tryptophan and cysteine’s stressful effects on the brain.  Glycine is recognized as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, and promotes natural sleep.  Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, which causes inflammation.

Fat: Fats like heavy cream, milk, cheese and so forth help balance the ratios of proteins and carbs in the tea.  The fats help keep blood sugar balanced.

I should also note that “bedtime tea” does state to consult your healthcare provider prior to use if you are pregnant or nursing, taking any medication or if you have a medical condition.  You can also choose a green tea, red tea, white tea etcjust make sure that there is no caffeine in the tea and that the tea is a right fit for you.

You can play around with this recipe to see which amounts suit you, but it is very important to have all of these elements to create a restful night’s sleep.  Give it a try and let me know how your nights sleep was!


My Bedtime Drink That Guarantees A Restful Night’s Sleep!
  • 1 teabag of bedtime tea
  • 16 oz of filtered water
  • ¼-1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ¼-1/2 tsp natural sugar (sucanat, raw honey, etc..)
  • 1 tbsp gelatin from a grass fed source
  • 2-3 tsp half and half, heavy cream, raw milk
  1. Heat water in kettle.
  2. Add all ingredients to your cup except your cream and tea bag.
  3. Pour hot water into your cup and stir.
  4. Add cream and tea bag and let steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove tea bag and drink.
 About Chris Dillon


Chris Dillon is a Chek Practitioner, Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, Metabolic Typing Advisor and a Massage Therapist.  Chris has helped thousands of people to understand health and nutrition better.  He is very passionate about educating people about health.  I have learned a ton from Chris!

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Don’t have all the ingredients?  No problem!  Click on the links below to see where you can purchase them.

Great Lakes Gelatin





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Join the Conversation

58 thoughts on “My Bedtime Drink That Guarantees A Restful Nights Sleep!”

  1. MissyWilson says:

    Halle why do you choose this gelatin over the green can.. I get really confused over which one to order.

    1. hallecottis says:

       @MissyWilson this is the only can that you can buy 1 single can and it will work fine because it is being dissolved in hot liquids.  I use the green can because I buy gelatin in bulk…but if you are just trying this out I recommend you just buying one can v/s 6 cans.  Make sense Missy?

  2. MissyWilson says:

    Yes..I usually buy the bulk because my  family uses it. I just was wondering the difference.benifits. My Mom has had hip replacement and on her way for knee replacement and wanted to make sure I chose the right one.

    1. hallecottis says:

       @MissyWilson If you buy in bulk already, then go with the green can, it dissolve in hot and cold liquids.

    2. hallecottis says:

       @MissyWilson check out their website Missy for the answers to your questions :)

  3. Lori Smart says:

    Wow, who actually believes that honey, sugar and fruit will not spike blood sugar? I have an igloo in Alaska on the market…

  4. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Hey Lori, I believe when it is properly balanced with fat and protein it is fine to consume as it is in this tea.

  5. Lori Smart says:

    Sure a little sweetener is fine for adding taste, but the statement about blood sugar is pretty irresponsible.

  6. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Chris Dillon follows the teaching of Ray Peat. I am sure he can expand on it a bit…

  7. Rhonda Harader Cain says:

    I am grateful you and Chris have shared this! I have used this for awhile, as well. I haven’t had Xanax to sleep in almost a year! Lori, what she mentioned about the natural sugars goes against everything I have been taught (I have been in healthcare 16 yrs) but like Halle said, when balanced appropriately, it works. Chris helped me with an issue recently, getting off ADD meds and it was all about balance.

  8. Chris Dillon says:

    Lori, unless you truly understand how the physiolgy of the body works, don’t say I am being irresponsible. Do some research:

  9. Joy Byxbee says:

    I am going to have to try this- I have no problem falling asleep, just staying asleep (have been this way since age 10)

  10. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    I am telling you Joy, I have my this drink at 9 PM and am fast asleep by 10/10:30 PM and I don’t wake up until 6 AM (I always wake up with the birds :)

  11. MissyWilson says:

    ty..i cant wait to try your site..alway great information we can trust

  12. Monique Mercier says:

    keep in mind the yogi tea label warnings- the herbs in this tea are what creates the drowsiness and should not be used by everyone. You did not address this at all about bedtime tea. There are people who are on medications that should use caution. gelatin, cream, sugar all contribute to the proten, fat, carb that will keep you asleep for reasons detailed in this post.This recipe is great for othewise healthy persons but as with anything each person needs to pay attention to their individual sensitivities. (sugar, dairy, etc)

  13. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Great points Monique thanks for bringing that up!

  14. Chris Dillon says:

    You can replace the tea and use milk instead. I make a milkshake before bed with the same components which works better for me with additional thyroid.

  15. Sherri Skogland Goedker says:

    Thanks!!! Two questions… (1) What herbs are in Bedtime Tea? I’d have to make my own down here. (2) Can it be done with just 8 oz of water? I already get up 2-4 times to go to the bathroom… =]

  16. Sherri Skogland Goedker says:

    Oops! Make that 3 questions… I can only get store-bought unflavored gelatin down here (it doesn’t list ingredients). Can this harm me or is it just “not as good” as the natural stuff? Thanks!

  17. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Hey Sherri, here are the ingredients: Licorice root, spearmint leaf, chamomile flower, skullcap leaf, cardamon seed, cinnamon bark, st. john wort leaf and flower, rose hip, raspberry leaf, valerian root extract, lavender flower, stevia leaf, passion flower extract…that is a large list I know…you can use any tea just make sure it is decaffeinated.

  18. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Oh and yes you can do it in 8 oz of water, just might be a bit salty

  19. Sherri Skogland Goedker says:

    Thank you!! … and #3? =]

  20. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    And to answer your last question, the gelatin is a high quality gelatin. If you can find a good quality gelatin over there then you can use that, but the stuff in most US markets is garbage in my opinion. You might have better luck where you are though. :)

  21. Sherri Skogland Goedker says:

    Yeah, it’s probably garbage, but sometimes we need protein in a fruit smoothie or something so I use it. I’m just trying to figure out if it is harmful or not and maybe it’s better to not use it?

  22. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    It is hard for me to say without knowing the source, sorry

  23. Sherri Skogland Goedker says:

    Yep, it’s weird they don’t list the ingredients! Maybe that should tell me something!! Thanks again for all your help! I have 5 of the above herbs on hand…

  24. Tracy Carver says:

    I’ll have to give this a try. Lately I’ve been waking up every 1.5 to 2 hrs and my blood pressure is showing the stress of not sleeping well. Thanks Halle! I just need to find the gelatin here. I think one of my local health food stores carries a quality gelatin.

  25. Jan Martin Whitlinger says:

    I find that using this “formula” with The Tao of Tea’s 100% Organic Chamomile & Lavender tea works great for me.

  26. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Is this your first time trying it Jan, or have you been drinking this for some time now?

  27. Jan Martin Whitlinger says:

    For a long while…

  28. What an interesting post! I often drink herb teas with honey before bedtime, but this drink sounds even better. 

    1. Michelle_M2002 says:

      @The21stCenturyHousewife This has been working so much better for me than just regular herbal teas. The Yogi Bedtime Tea has so many natural herbs in it that “regular” bedtime teas don’t.

  29. nicoleplihal says:

    If you can do do dairy, can you do coconut oil?

  30. nicoleplihal says:

    If you can not have dairy, can you substitute with coconut oil?

    1. hallecottis says:

       @nicoleplihal I would not use coconut oil or coconut milk.  Coconut speeds up your metabolism and can keep you awake.  You could make some fresh almond milk (store bought is so bad for you) or choose another fat all together.

      1. nicoleplihal says:

         @hallecottis  @nicoleplihal I can not do almonds either? what fat do you suggest? thank you!

        1. hallecottis says:

           @nicoleplihal so you can’t do cheese either then right?  Is grass fed butter out of the question too?  What do you usually have for fat?

        2. nicoleplihal says:

           @hallecottis yes I have hashimotos, a type of hypothroidsim.  I do not eat gluten, dairy or almonds. I do coconut oil or animal fat. Hashimotos messes with your sleep  and adrenals are usually related so I am always looking for  something to help me sleep.
          thank you

  31. reidme75 says:

    Do you know how the salt would affect someone with high blood pressure?

  32. SusanNeelWiederhold says:

    Halle, is it possible to use the agar powder? I have run out of the gelatin and can get the bulk agar less expensively. Another outstanding side effect of this is that my fingernails have grown longer and stronger than they have in years? Will the agar help continue to help my nails? It does help me sleep better.

  33. rebeccagerondale says:

    My question is for Chris. If I make a milkshake like he does should I use whole milk and then not add the half and half?

  34. Dford702 says:

    The question about the Agar was never answered. I too would like to know if it can be substituted?

    1. hallecottis says:

      @Dford702 I would venture to say that Agar wouldn’t be the best choice for this tea.  Agar powder is low in protein and great lakes gelatin is a great source of protein (6 grams per serving), making this drink a well balanced bedtime drink (carbs/fats & protein).

  35. Dford702 says:

    How about a brown rice protein powder instead?

  36. kthack says:

    Was it just me, or was this the most horrible tasting thing I’ve ever tried?

    1. Michelle_M2002 says:

      @kthack I didn’t like it much either. You know what I started doing and it works great for me? I took the 1/4tsp of salt and dissolved it in a small amount of water, and just downed it one gulp to get it over with. Then I drank the tea as prescribed (minus the salt). It’s enjoyable without the salt in it. But I still get the much needed salt. Perfect. :)

  37. Michelle_M2002 says:

    @reidme75 Regular table salt affect blood pressure because of all of the additives that are in it (that they don’t tell you about). It’s my understanding that natural, unrefined sea salt does not affect blood pressure like processed salt does and is actually good for you.

  38. Lisa G says:

    How about bone broth for the gelatin and fat? I have a boat load in my freezer (made from my own free range organic chickens). Yeah it wouldn’t taste very good with the tea but I have them separately. It sure tastes good with the salt.

  39. eli bor says:

    what about Tulsi tea plus substitute dairy and add different fat? which one you suggest? I don’t do dairy.
    Tulsi tea is great bedtime tea

  40. melissa says:

    To the questions about the gelatin. I have the Knox brand, (store bought in small pouches) could I use this.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      I do not recommend Knox brand, it is not from a grass fed source and really isn’t a quality gelatin.

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  42. William says:

    i question the addition of salt. the rationale that it lowers adrenaline spikes may be outdated. recent research indicates that it actually raises adrenaline. see–

  43. Marta says:

    Does this only work to help you stay asleep or will it help with falling asleep? I have been battling chronic and severe insomnia for 7 years now. I have managed to wean myself down to a 1.25mg does of Ambien, but I struggle falling asleep and if I do I wake up anywhere from 12-20 times a night.

  44. Jaime says:

    Can someone please show me the scientific research that shows serotonin causes inflammation? I’m having trouble locating this.

  45. Christina says:

    Hi there, I am going through some major post pardon issues and I am having a very hard time sleeping. I am currently taking four different things to sleep and still having problems and its pretty scary. I want to try this since I am already drinking the yogi tea at night. My question is that I’ve always been told to eat foods high in tryptophan before bed to induce sleep yet it says that the gelatin is used to counter act it. Should I cut out my small bowl of cottage cheese and bananas before bed and just try this drink? Also can you tell me what is the difference between L-tryptophan and tryptophan. Thank you so much for your time. I’m in desperate need of sleep.

  46. Tarun says:

    Hi Halle! Many thanks for posting such an interesting article. Just wanted to say that I’m a sort of allergic to gelatin so can we have a replacement for gelatin (preferably a vegetarian ingredient).

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      You could try Agar, Agar-Agar, or Kanten. See if that works for you.

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