Benefits Of Drinking Milk At Night

23 Mar 2021

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Do you remember being chased around the house by your mother who ran behind you coaxing you to have a glass of milk? The practise of having warm milk and cookies before bed is also common in many households. Milk is well-known to be rich in calcium and hence, beneficial to our bodies in multiple ways. Being a huge source of calcium, sodium, proteins, vitamins A, K, and B12, fats, amino acids, fibers, and antioxidants, experts consider milk to be a nutrient-packed meal in itself.  While some are fond of having it in the morning with a big bowl of breakfast cereal, others would argue that the best time to consume milk is at night, before hitting the bed. Are you wondering if we can drink milk at night? If yes, keep reading!

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It is commonly believed that drinking milk at night promotes a sense of relaxation, alleviates stress, reduces anxiety, and enables a better night’s sleep to help you wake up refreshed [1]. While drinking milk at night, warm milk is preferred because cold milk is difficult to digest. Warm liquids can also have a calming effect on the nervous system. Though it depends from individual to individual, warm liquids are usually more effective for fostering sleep than cold drinks [2]. Consuming warm milk with a spoonful of ghee stirred into it and a dash of digestive spices like cinnamon in it can go the extra mile in supporting a deep restorative sleep. 

How Drinking Milk At Night Can Benefit You?

Is it good to drink at night, you ask? The benefits of warm milk before bed are unsurpassed. Here are some of the benefits of drinking milk at night [3]. 

  1. Fosters a good night’s sleep: Having warm milk before bed can drastically improve sleep quality and facilitate the required 8-hour sleep. This is highly recommended for those having trouble falling asleep due to stress [4].
  2. Increases weight loss: Having a tall glass of milk before bed means you will not feel the need to snack in the middle of the night. The feeling of fullness from having a glass of warm milk before going to bed ensures that your hunger pangs are out of the way. This, in turn, enables weight loss. 
  3. Improves bone health: The high levels of calcium and vitamin D present in milk help in building strong bones. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium by the body. 
  4. Promotes healthy skin: Regular intake of milk can improve the skin from within, besides giving it a youthful appearance. The vitamin B12 in milk helps prevent the loss of skin’s elasticity and collagen that are essential for good skin. The Vitamin A content of milk supports new cell formations for renewed and flawless skin. 
  5. Eliminates stress and anxiety: Taking a glass of warm milk before bedtime is a great recipe for reduced stress levels. Research suggests that Lactium [5], a protein found in milk, produces a relaxing effect on the body and helps reduce cortisol levels that controls stress

How Exactly Does Milk Boost The Sleep Cycle? 

Now that we have taken stock of the numerous ways in which drinking milk at night benefits us, the real question is, why exactly is it good to drink milk at night? What makes milk at night a long-standing habit for many? Here’s the scientific reason for drinking milk at night being one of the best boosters of a healthy sleep cycle.  

  1. Tryptophan: This amino acid found in milk is a chief contributor to the sleep-inducing effect of drinking warm milk at night. As per the National Sleep Foundation, tryptophan helps the body produce serotonin, which is responsible for reducing anxiety and stress. This allows your mind to de-stress and be lulled into a deep sleep.
  2. Melatonin: This is the popular hormone that has a solid reputation for renewing your sleep cycle. Melatonin ensures the synchronisation of your master clock in the brain with the 24-hour circadian rhythm, thereby fostering a balanced sleep-wake cycle. A glass of milk before bed helps boost your melatonin hormone levels, signalling your brain that it’s time to sleep. 
  3. Protein: Have you ever gone to bed feeling the urge to snack on biscuits or cookies? Hunger pangs can keep you up at night, forcing you to toss and turn in bed! Loaded with essential proteins, a glass of warm milk before bed helps you feel full all night, aiding in a relaxed and rejuvenating night’s sleep.

In addition to being a superior health drink that supports healthy sleep cycles, having warm milk before bed at night induces a psychological effect on the body. With daily consumption, the body gets adjusted to the routine and this habit is perceived as a sign of good sleep, which in turn improves an individual’s ability to fall asleep faster and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Research is underway in terms of successfully concluding such effects. 

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25407520/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-milk-before-bed#warm-vs-cold-milk
  3. https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/10-benefits-of-drinking-milk-before-bed-at-night/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26501383/
  5. https://www.scientificwellness.com/blog-view/lactium-for-stress-relief–259#:~:text=Lactium%20is%20a%20unique%20milk,stress%20naturally%20without%20side%20effects.

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