What is moon milk, the Instagram wellness trend promising better sleep?

From broccoli coffee to Pinterest-friendly alcoholic ice pops and three-tier mermaid cakes, food trends continue to set social media feeds ablaze. Next up? Moon milk, the pastel-colored drink that’s often adorned with edible flowers and crystals.Moon milk is a warm milk-based beverage blended with add-ins — like spices, herbs or oils — that are thought to help you sleep. But moon milk is more than just a pretty drink. According to registered dietician Monica Auslander Moreno, moon milk can actually be good for you, but it all depends on what add-ins you use.

Moreno recommends you start with grass-fed organic milk or unsweetened organic nut or soy milk as the base. Warm your base in a saucepan (microwaves may cause it to congeal) and add in your desired herbs and spices.

Turmeric is one herb Moreno recommends, largely for its anti-inflammatory properties. “You could go as simple as a turmeric latte by adding in turmeric and its activating friend, black pepper, or as wild as adding Manuka honey, cinnamon, cacao powder or even collagen to thicken it,” Moreno tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

However, she says, you’re very unlikely to notice any significant effects after drinking one cup, so that’s something to consider before you give moon milk a try.

ACE-certified fitness nutrition specialist Lyuda Bouzinova agrees with Moreno, saying that moon milk can be beneficial if you focus on the right ingredients: adding that milk contains some melatonin, which regulates your sleep cycle, as well as tryptophan, which helps you to relax and start to feel sleepy. She also recommends adding ashwagandha, saying the herb helps your body deal with the effects of stress.

The beverage can have nutritional downsides, but it really is all about what you add. As Moreno notes, moon milk could add extra sugar to your diet. In addition, nutritionist and author Kimberly Snyder says that while these kinds of drinks have the potential to be highly beneficial, not all pre-made powders are created equal — look for low-sugar and natural options. Health benefits vary across milk drinks as well, and Snyder notes that dairy milk can give you congestion and be difficult to digest at night, which can make nut or hemp milk a better choice.

Bouzinova says it’s easy to write off moon milk as just another health food trend. Falling asleep happens easily and painlessly when you have healthy daily and nightly routines, she suggests, and the best way to deal with sleeplessness is to address your lifestyle rather than trying to find an easy solution, such as moon milk. That said, warm milk is soothing, and if moon milk makes you feel sleepy, it definitely won’t hurt. Also, it’s pretty fun to look at.

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