Sleep and Milk: The Science Behind

Sleep and Milk: The Science Behind

You might have heard it often ‘There is nothing a good night’s sleep can’t fix. But when it comes to fixing the sleep there is one remedy, we all turn to the most. Growing up, a glass of milk every night was an unspoken rule in my household. Perhaps in many. Every now and then when I wake up in the middle of the night, disturbed, a glass of warm milk would be my go-to remedy. And the habit continues till date, to this very day.  

It is that undeniable sense of satiation, comfort, and peace, that rushes into my body every time I finish my glass of milk right before my bed. Perhaps some of you feel the same. If you are just as curious as I am to understand why here’s everything you need to know.  

Calcium, Protein, Vitamins and so on. We all know milk contains all these essential nutrients. But do you what else it has? Tryptophan, the sleep-inducing amino acid. Since we, humans cannot produce enough tryptophan ourselves, we absorb it mainly from protein-rich foods. Did you know? Whole Milk is one of the largest sources of tryptophan, including around 732 milligrams per litre.   

The amino acid entering your body via milk intake later crosses the blood-brain barrier and finds its way into the human brain. Does Serotonin ring a bell? The chemical that makes you calm, relaxed and relieved? The tryptophan that has penetrated its path into the brain is then converted into Serotonin, to reduce anxiety and produce a calm and soothing effect on your body. Thereby inducing sleep!  

Once serotonin has been produced from tryptophan in the body, it can yet again be converted into another molecule, Melatonin. Heard it somewhere else as the ‘hormone of darkness? Yes, Melatonin is usually secreted in our body during night time, which again plays a chief role in maintaining the circadian rhythm, regulating the sleep-wake cycle in our body.  

However, this intimate relationship between sleep and milk doesn’t end with just a series of physiological reactions. Studies often suggest that we tend to associate the glass of warm milk with nostalgia, memories of childhood, especially of home, which might help us relax.  

Further if drinking a glass of milk is a part of your daily night routine, the body might get used to the routine, and recognize the behaviour as part of the preparatory process for sleep and respond accordingly, thus making the process easier once you hit the bed.   

Well, the next time, you have trouble falling asleep, you know what to try! A glass of warm and healthy Akshayakalpa Organic milk. It’s always better when it’s organic!