Milk is a staple diet for many people since ancient times. It offers a host of health benefits as it possesses several vitamins and minerals essential for good health. It is considered a wholesome food. Therefore, it can be advantageous to begin your day with a glass of milk. Most experts, however, also propose drinking warm milk before retiring for the night. Consuming milk before bed can help you relax and sleep better after a hard day’s work.
Nutritional Value – Milk
Milk consumption is considered to be a pointer of a healthy diet owing to its significant nutritional value. The nutritional value of milk is high when compared to its small calorie content.
|Nutrient||Milk Fat-free (A cup)||Low-fat (A cup)||Whole (A cup)||Reduced (A cup)|
|Vitamin A (IU)||500||478||395||464|
|Vitamin B12 (ug)||1.2||1||1.1||1.3|
|Vitamin D (IU)||115||117||124||120|
Is Drinking Milk at Night is Good or Bad?
There is no doubt about the fact that milk does us good. But what about drinking milk at night? In most households, milk is given to kids at night with the promise that it will deliver good sleep. It turns out this notion may be right after all. Milk and dairy products have tryptophan, an amino acid which can help promote sleep. Tryptophan has a soothing and sedative effect which may, in turn, induce sleep. Milk also has melatonin, a hormone which functions as a neurotransmitter and aids in regulating sleep-wake patterns. Specific proteins contained in milk are supposed to trigger GABA receptors of the brain which help in reducing anxiety and stress thereby instigating sleep.
But the intake of milk alone may not encourage sleep as its tryptophan content is inadequate. Therefore, drinking milk along with consuming protein and carbohydrates is likely to prompt sleep more effectively as they collectively stimulate insulin release which assists in facilitating the admission of tryptophan into the bloodstream to bring about the sedative effect.
But some experts believe that milk actuating sleep is merely a myth. The sleep-inciting effects of milk can be attributed more to the act of having a cup of milk at bedtime rather than the actual consumption of it. The psychological association (memory of mom offering milk at night) is probably stronger than any sleep-urging components milk has in promoting sleep.
It may be more beneficial if milk is taken around 3 hours before hitting the bed. It may not be best to sleep immediately after consuming milk. Also, it may not be a good idea to drink milk in large quantities before sleeping. Doing so can have a negative impact on the digestive system.
Health Benefits of Drinking Milk at Night Before Going To Bed
Some of the health benefits of drinking milk at night before going to bed can include:
1. Helps Sleeps Well
Having milk before bed can remarkably improve your sleep quality. Milk has tryptophan and bioactive peptides which can positively affect sleep patterns. In many cases, people who have trouble falling asleep due to stress, a glass of milk at bedtime usually does the trick in getting the much-required relaxation and 8-hour sleep.
2. Aids in Weight Loss
With drinking milk at night weight loss can be achieved. Drinking milk at night-time may infuse you with a feeling of fullness which can prevent you from waking up due to hunger pangs. People can successfully combat their midnight-snack urge by merely having a cup of warm milk without worrying about gaining weight. Also, milk is an essential source of protein which can help maintain blood sugar levels and ensure sufficient energy levels. Be sure to go in for the low-fat milk version of milk.
3. Builds Healthy Bones
Milk has high levels of vitamin D which is required by the body for absorption of calcium necessary for the formation of healthy bones. Thus, milk can support the body in healing itself and in the renewal of any depleted vitamin D content. Furthermore, vitamin D can offset the occurrence and harm caused by many diseases like osteoporosis, also called the ‘brittle bone’ ailment, heart disease and diabetes.
4. Fosters Good Skin
There can be numerous benefits of drinking milk at night for the skin. Regular milk intake can improve skin condition by giving it a youthful appearance. Milk has vitamin B12 which can help avert the loss of skin’s elasticity and collagen infusing it with a beautiful glow and look. Vitamin A existing in milk may endorse new cell formations and help fight different skin ailments making it radiant and flawless.
5. Provides Energy
Drinking warm milk before sleeping at night can significantly impact your following day. You may wake up full of energy and revitalised. It may help you jumpstart your day on a high note and enable you to remain active and in good spirits all day long.
6. Reduces Stress Levels
Pouring yourself a cup of milk before bedtime can be a great technique to diminish stress. The protein, Lactium found in milk can produce a soothing influence on the body by reducing blood pressure, relaxing the muscles and lowering cortisol levels, a hormone released by the body when under stress. Lactium may affect brain receptors to help control stress and anxiety.
7. Controls Cholesterol Levels
Drinking low-fat or no fat milk can do wonders to lower cholesterol levels. The proteins included in milk can decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) and augment good cholesterol (HDL). Cow’s milk is full of vitamins A, D and calcium which can positively contribute to the health of your heart.
8. Improves Digestion
The magical mix of honey and milk can have various desirable health benefits. One of the benefits of drinking milk with honey before bed may include the advancement of healthy digestion. Milk, when combined with honey, works as a prebiotic which may nurture the growth of good bacteria and eliminate disease-causing bad bacteria in the gut.
9. Safeguards against Cold and Cough
Sipping warm milk prepared by adding a little turmeric at night can be a potent natural remedy to relieve symptoms of cold and cough. The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of turmeric milk can hasten the recovery process and even prevent its manifestation in the first place.
10. Combats Intestinal Disorders
Drinking cold milk at night can bring about immediate relief from acidity and may aid in keeping other common stomach issues like constipation, flatulence at bay. The lactic acid present in milk can help neutralise the build-up of acidity in the gut. Moreover, milk’s high content of calcium can absorb any excess acid produced in the stomach thereby successfully reducing its symptoms.
Merely consuming milk at night may not necessarily induce sleep. But night milk as part of your daily routine can prove a healthy habit and possibly an effective natural sleep aid. Relishing a cup of warm milk at bedtime can be a comforting way to conclude your day and settle for the night.
Also Read: Vegan Sources of Protein to Add in Your Diet