It’s True! Warm Milk Really Can Help You Get To Sleep

milkI’ve had a horrendous time sleeping over the last couple of months while traveling around the world, so of course I’ve been spending hours researching and even more time trialing different sleep remedies to help me go to sleep.

Apart from the obvious daily tiredness and irritability that comes along with chronic lack of sleep, I’ve also noticed that is has made me more emotional than usual, hungrier for bad foods (sugar and carbs), I’ve lost that nice healthy glow to my skin, and my skin is tending to get clogged up and break out a little more. Yes, sleep is very, very important.

Insomnia seems to fall under two categories – trouble getting to sleep from lack of being tired, and trouble getting to sleep from emotional disturbances such as anxiety and depression. It’s important to recognize the difference in the two because treating the wrong type won’t help alleviate your problem.

I kind of had both. I started off with trouble getting to sleep from jet lag after a flight to Glasgow. In less than a week my jet lag was gone but I was left with anxiety – I was scared that I would always have difficulty sleeping. This panic feeling at night made it a lot more difficult for me to fall asleep (sometimes our brain just thinks dumb things).

A mug of warm milk before bed can really help

I was told by a couple of people to try drinking a glass of warm milk before I went to bed to help me sleep. I always thought this was an old wives tale until I tried it and it kind of worked, and then I jumped on Google and was suprised to find a scientific reason as to why it worked.

Milk is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts to melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin being the hormone in your body that tells you to sleep, and serotonin being the hormone that keeps you relaxed and happy.

But while tryprophan can help you get to sleep, having too much tryprophan in your body can in fact give you a disturbed sleep so you don’t want to take a supplement. Drinking milk or eating tryprophan rich foods is a much better alternative.

Personally I also find a mug of warm milk to be so sweet and warming and comforting so perfect to get me into the mood to go to sleep. Simply the routine of having this comforting food before bedtime helps remedy a broken sleeping pattern in itself.

And for all you raw foodists and vegans out there, you don’t need to drink milk to get your tryprophan. You can eat oats, bananas and peanuts instead.

And I realize that a lot of you have cut dairy out of your diet for your skin. I personally feel that having eight hours of sleep every night will do better for your skin than avoiding dairy, but if you want to stick to your plan you can also eat the other tryptophan rich foods instead of drinking milk.

So did it work for me? Yes and no. The first couple of times I tried warm milk it worked beautifully, but my insomnia wasn’t too bad at the time. If you’re having trouble getting tired then warm milk is certainly something I recommend you try.

If however your insomnia is caused by anxiety or depression, I personally don’t think warm milk will help much at all. When I was jet lagged with a head cold and a little anxious about my sleep, milk didn’t seem to make a difference.

7 comments… add one

  • kevin

    I found this article on the PureBotanicals website :http://www.purebotanicals.com.au/x/files/insomniaarticlepb.pdf

    This article doubled with Fran’s should be effective at combating insomnia.

  • Sammantha

    Hey Fran, Its sammantha I love your videos and your blogs they are amazing really informative and i was just wondering when your next video will be i think that your back home now in australia arent you lol did you enjoy the travelling :) I was just wondering how long will it take for the red marks after spots to fade because my face right now is completely spot free however i have lots of red marks on my face and it looks really really bad so i was just wondering are these permanent or can i get rid of them are they any remedies i could do, if you could reply that would be really helpful and appreciate. im gonna stop rambling now :) haha, hope to speak to you soon bye and Merry Christmas !

  • Marta- Unfortunately melatonin didn’t work for me! I bought some in Singapore and it didn’t make a difference. It’s also now illegal to sell in both the UK and Australia.

    Daniel- I love sudoku too! I might try that one.

    Renee- Yes, leading a healthier lifestyle and a healthier diet can definitely cure all sleeping problems. When I finally get back into doing yoga and meditation every day and I go on my new healthy eating plan, I think it will work wonders.

  • Hi !

    yep—> vegans=no milk ;-)
    I make sure to have melatonin + tryptophan every night. The one I am using is from Life Extension.
    It is always good to find melatonin that releases itself over period of time ( through 8 hours). Melatonin is very important and gets nice press lately ( besides helping you to sleep better/deeper it is also anticancer – more : http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/melatonin/NS_patient-melatonin)
    Remember to sleep in total darkness.

    Tryptophan affects the cortisol levels ( Whoo-hoo! ) and rises our seratonin levels – that is why we sleep and feel better.
    Marry Christmas everybody!

  • Daniel

    Fran,

    I also have sleeping problems – the kind caused by anxiety before bed. On a normal day, I’m busy from the moment I wake up to the moment I get into bed, so, naturally, my mind is racing. I’ve found that the best solution is to distract my mind, to focus on just one thing so that all my other thoughts quiet down.

    I do this by playing Sudoku, but I’m sure there is a plethora of other things someone could do to quiet their minds. I also fall asleep better on an empty stomach.

  • Renee

    An alternative to milk can be rice milk or almond milk to solve insomnia problems. I went to see a naturopath for my skin condition and she put me through a detox which included cutting diary products out. Instead, she recommended rice milk and almond milk. I have got to say replacing dairy milk with these alternatives was the best part of my detox. I still drink rice milk and almond milk instead of dairy milk even though I’m off the detox now. My quality of sleep is amazing, and I no longer have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the washroom. My aunt used to have to go to the washroom THREE TIMES a night, but then she tried rice milk and she never has to go anymore during the night. Now my whole house drinks it and we get such amazing sleep, and everyone’s mood is great too cause we’re all getting enough rest. Even my friends drink it! Hahaha, I should really be sponsored by them or something, I keep advertising them for free. You should definitely try it!

  • Chrissi Chrissi1981

    Hola! Yeah I’d love to give it a go but milk unfortunately upset my candida .. I didn’t sleep well last night either … but it’s one of two possibilities and then again it could be the both of them ! First being I drank a hot cup of cocoa before bed which I noticed before coincidently it get me awake or it could be cause it’s almost Christmas !!!!

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