A cup of warm milk helps you fall asleep faster. True or false?
It is a trick that has existed since grandmothers time: drinking a cup of warm milk before bedtime makes you fall much faster ...
Warm milk before bedtime, does it really help?
It is a trick that has existed since grandmother's time: by drinking a cup of warm milk before bedtime you fall asleep much faster. Does that really work or is it more of a psychological effect? It is naturally tasty and feels comfortable, such a cup with warm milk.
But does it actually help to fall asleep or have we been doing it for years for nothing?
Milk contains the substance tryptophan, an amino acid that would promote sleep. Once absorbed into your body, it induces the neurotransmitter serotonin, also known as the "happiness hormone." This substance influences how you feel and also ensures the sleep hormone melatonin. Tryptophan cannot be produced by your own body, it is mainly in protein-rich food. "Favorable effects on sleep behavior have been described, particularly for milk, cottage cheese and other dairy products," a spokesperson for the Netherlands Nutrition Center explains. "People who had taken it in the evening also woke up more alert the next morning, possibly because they had slept better."
No direct connection
Yet we cannot conclude that a glass of warm milk promotes sleep. "It mainly concerned experimental research in small groups." In 2011, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also studied the substance and found that there seems to be no direct link between tryptophan and a good night's sleep. However, that does not mean that you cannot try!