There is an adage that we are what we eat. A majority of the time, when this saying is said, we tend to look at the most visible part, which is the weight. Of course, food has a significant impact on our weight, but its influence extends far beyond what we weigh.
Food goes a long way in determining if you would have a good night’s sleep or not. By now, you might be wondering if the old saying that taking a warm glass of milk to bed causes sweet dreams is real. Continue reading to find out!
Does Milk Improve Sleep? Yes, milk can help improve your sleep. Milk, like other proteins, has Tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep in humans. From milk, you will also find Melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for keeping our sleep circle regulated.
Milk And Sleep: The Science Behind It
Although there are lots of arguments around the effects of milk on sleep, there are strong scientific proofs that show that drinking a warm glass of milk at night can help you sleep better.
- Milk contains the amino acid Tryptophan alongside the hormone Melatonin, which induces and regulates sleep, respectively. The amino acid Tryptophan found in almost all foods having protein in them. Although a lot of people argue that the concentrations of the Tryptophan are too low to initiate sleep, especially in patients with insomnia, there are lots of scientific data as well as personal experiences that prove otherwise.
- From milk advertisements, we know that the calcium in milk is responsible for healthy teeth and bones. While it is very accurate, in addition to that, calcium also helps relax our minds and prepare us for sleep. When you take milk before going to bed, your mind relaxes so that you can have a good night’s sleep.
- Finally, psychologists believe that milk induces sleep as it helps to trigger childhood memories. According to psychologists, it is essential in giving you sweet dreams and ultimately helping you to sleep more.
Possible Reasons Why Milk Can’t Make You Sleep
You might have at one time or the other taken milk before bed, and it didn’t work. You wondered why. There are a few reasons attributed to the failure of milk to induce sleep. They are:
1. Night Milk:
According to a recent study in Korea, it was discovered that the milk gotten from cows at night (night milk) is more effective in inducing sleep than milk got during other times of the day.
Although the research has not had any human trials yet, they discovered that feeding mice with milk that gotten from cows at night, made the mice sleep early and also made them calmer. Following up with this research might not be so easy because most cows are milked in the morning.
2. Combination With Carbohydrates:
Taking milk alone or other proteins might not give you the sleep that you so desire. However, combining milk with carbohydrates might do the trick. So when next you feel too stressed out and can’t sleep, try taking milk with carbohydrates like cereals, bread, crackers and so on.
Scientists believe that taking carbohydrates help the body produce insulin, which clears other amino acids in the bloodstream. These amino acids, according to scientists, are considered to compete with one another to reach the brain. However, insulin clears them so the available Tryptophan can reach the brain quickly.
3. Eat Before You Go To Bed:
Sleeping without eating anything could also make it difficult for you to sleep, especially if you have insomnia. Taking milk alone might not do the trick, consider taking a snack or something else along with the milk. However, moderation is the key here.
Try as much as you can to keep the food small. Overeating will make your digestive system do more work, which will also keep you from sleeping. In addition to eating lightly, try to avoid fatty foods as they can make digestion very difficult and also have daring effects on your sleep cycle.
4. Cut Out Caffeine:
Everyone knows that caffeine disrupts sleep. A majority of those who take coffee do so to prevent themselves from falling asleep. However, the mistake we all make is that when considering caffeine sources, we tend to see coffee as the only source.
The truth is coffee is not the only source of caffeine that can damage to your sleep cycle. Some other foods like chocolate, tea, cola, and even decaf coffee are less obvious sources of caffeine.
Although the amount of caffeine in these foods is minimal, the concentrations are just enough to keep you awake, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine. To have the right amount of sleep that you need, try avoiding these foods in your diet about 4 to 6 hours before you go to bed.
5. Cut Out Alcohol:
Alcohol might make you fall asleep fast, but the sleep might not be a good one. You would find yourself turning and tossing around the bed, waking up often than usual, and maybe even having headaches. You might also experience severe sweating during the night and perhaps nightmares as well.
In general, if you must take alcohol, try taking a glass of water along with each glass of wine. It will help to dilute the effects of the alcohol while you drink. Also, try as much as you can to see that you don’t take alcohol 4 to 6 hours before you go to sleep.
Milk is very delicious food to take. It gets a little more enjoyable when you find out how nutritious milk is and what it can do for you. However, some people cannot take milk for some reasons such as food allergies and lactose intolerance.
If you find yourself in that category, and you need to find sleep using milk, you can consider other non-dairy milk options like coconut, almond, or peanut milk. In general, asides milk, you can also take bananas, honey, eggs, turkey, nuts, and seeds, which are also healthy sources of Tryptophan that will help you fall asleep.