HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING MILK IN 2023
One ritual that many swear by once it’s dark outside is sipping on a glass of milk before bedtime. Drinking milk at night has sort of become a timeless tradition that is synonymous with warmth and goodness. But this is not a practice that just helps you feel calm. It also has health benefits. This is one place where science and tradition intertwine as several studies have found that there are positive effects of drinking milk before bed. So, settle in your cosy spot and grab your favourite mug full of milk to know why it’s beneficial for you.
Drinking in a warm cup of milk before bedtime has been a timeless ritual for many, and science sheds light on its potential benefits, says Dietitian Deepali Sharma, Clinical nutritionist at the CK Birla Hospital, New Delhi. Sharing more insights with us, the expert highlights all the benefits of drinking milk at night.
What are the benefits of drinking milk at night?
Milk, along with other dairy products, emerges as a commendable source of tryptophan, an amino acid renowned for its sleep-promoting attributes. Tryptophan serves as a precursor for the synthesis of both melatonin and serotonin within the body. Melatonin, often referred to as the ‘sleep hormone,’ ensures that the sleep-wake cycle is in check, ensuring a harmonious transition into a restful sleep. Serotonin, on the other hand, functions as a multi-faceted neurotransmitter, contributing not only to mood regulation but also playing a pivotal role in appetite control, sleep modulation, and pain perception. This symphony of molecules collaborates to induce a sense of tranquillity, gently guiding you toward a peaceful night’s rest, explains Sharma.
The effects of tryptophan are not limited to sleep regulation. Your liver also utilises the amino acid to craft niacin, which is an indispensable component of the vitamin B3 complex. Niacin, in turn, helps in energy metabolism and DNA synthesis, nurturing essential bodily functions.
A study published in the journal BMC Geriatrics found that consumption of milk or milk products helps initiate sleep in older adults. A few other studies have also found a positive effect of milk on sleep and how it can help have a more restful night’s sleep. While sipping warm milk may help you sleep better, it may not be suitable for everyone out there. Factors such as personal tolerance, dietary preferences, and overall health should all be taken into account when considering the timing and quantity of milk consumption before sleep, adds the expert.