Having a glass of warm milk before bed is a tradition that’s been passed down through generations as a way to cultivate relaxation, relieve anxiety, and facilitate a more restful night’s sleep.
Although many people swear by this practice, others say it’s nothing more than folklore.
Lack of adequate sleep is linked to many negative physical and mental health outcomes. In fact, it’s considered a major global public health issue. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States alone doesn’t get enough sleep. As a result, many people are seeking simple home remedies to improve the quality of their sleep patterns.
Most experts agree that milk’s sleep-promoting potential is likely related to specific chemical compounds or the psychological effects of having a soothing bedtime routine — or perhaps a combination of the two.
Certain compounds in milk — specifically tryptophan and melatonin — may help you fall asleep.
Serotonin boosts mood, promotes relaxation, and functions as a precursor in the production of the hormone melatonin.
Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is released by your brain. It helps regulate your circadian rhythm and prepare your body for entering a sleep cycle.
The role of tryptophan and melatonin in sleep disorders is well established, and studies have found that taking supplements of these compounds may improve sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression that can crop up at bedtime.
Some experts suspect that milk’s potential role as a sleep aid has little to do with its nutritional profile and that it’s instead more closely related to the psychological effect of having a calming bedtime ritual.
Another theory is that drinking warm milk could subconsciously remind you of having milk at bedtime during your early childhood years. These soothing feelings may signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep, making it easier to drift off peacefully.
So, if you are having trouble drifting off to the land of nod – try milk!
The Haelen® method treats milk with a gentle cold method rather than through intense heat through pasteurisation, meaning improved flavour and nutrition which is lost to traditional processing.
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