Having a glass of warm milk to help you sleep is a classic old wives tale cure for insomnia.
But does it actually help? Will you have a glass of milk and drift off to the land of nod or is it just something they say on TV?
I wanted to find out the truth behind it which led me to write this post!
And I was quite surprised by what I found because milk may help you sleep but it has very little do with the fact it’s milk… Let’s get to it.
Why Would Milk Help You Sleep
Logically milk should help you sleep because it contains tryptophan which is an amino acid linked to helping sleep and it’s got melatonin which is a sleep-inducing hormone.
So with those two ingredients it’s bound to help you sleep right?
They are in such small quantities in milk that by the time they get to your body they’re going to have very little effect compared to say taking a melatonin supplement.
But all that said there’s a good chance milk could help you sleep, especially warm milk but it’s down to psychological reasons.
Why Warm Milk Helps You Sleep
Having a glass of warm milk feels super relaxing. It just does, the nice hot liquid and the delicious taste of the milk itself make your shoulders relax and you breathe deeper. And the result of being relaxed at night time? You start to feel sleepy.
And you might get the psychological benefits of having a warm drink and going to bed. If it’s part of your evening routine or what you did as a child then it’s certainly going to help you fall asleep.
So warm milk can help you fall asleep if you have a lot of good memories of warm milk before bed and you really enjoy it.
But if you’re lactose intolerant or want to start trying milk before bed then you’re probably not going to see any benefits.
Personally, when I was much younger I used to have warm milk and honey at night before bed, and I always went out like a log. So I can just start having that again and my old routine will kick back in and I’ll be out like a log yet again.
But everyone’s different, and there’s no harm in trying!
How Will Warm Milk Affect Sleep
So as a final point how does it affect sleep? Because there are lots of different parts of sleep that can be affected, how often you wake up, how deep you sleep, how you feel when you wake up.
Well milk will mainly affect how you fall asleep, it could help you fall asleep faster and that might have a knock-on effect but not as much as using lavender for instance.