The Benefits of Drinking Warm Milk Before Bed

04 September, 2020
Today, we'll list the benefits of drinking warm milk before going to bed. Milk is highly beneficial, as long as you're not lactose intolerant or you don't have an allergy to cow proteins.
 

Drinking warm milk before bed can have a number of health benefits. Although some experts have taken a stance against dairy products, there isn’t any objective data to advise against consuming dairy. So, for the time being, at least, dairy products still form part of a healthy, balanced diet.

If you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance or an allergy to cow proteins, you should try to include dairy products in your diet on a regular basis. You should only really consider cutting them out if a specialist advises you to do so. Below, we’ve put together a list of benefits of drinking warm milk before bed.

Drinking warm milk before bed helps you sleep better

Milk contains tryptophan. This is an amino acid, which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s linked to relaxation and better quality rest and sleep. A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences found a relationship between lower levels of tryptophan and obese individuals who were unable to get good quality sleep.

Regularly consuming this amino acid in combination with a melatonin supplement can be a good way of improving the quality of your rest. The synergy between these two substances can help prevent sleep disorders and other problems associated with changes to circadian rhythms.

Casein from warm milk improves protein synthesis

Another benefit of drinking warm milk before bed relates to the proteins it contains since milk is mainly made up of proteins and saturated lipids.

 
A girl on her bed drinking milk with her teddy.

The relationship between these types of fats and the risk of cardiovascular disease is currently questioned in the scientific literature. However, we do know that getting enough protein is important for avoiding sarcopenia and maintaining muscle function.

Milk contains casein-type proteins and consuming these kinds of nutrients before bed increases protein synthesis during the night, which helps maintain muscle mass and lean tissue. This is backed up by research published in The Journal of Nutrition.

In fact, this can be particularly beneficial for elderly people since they have a greater tendency to develop sarcopenia. Maintaining muscle mass in the right proportions helps to reduce the risk of death amongst the elderly population.

The calcium contained in dairy products

Whilst it’s possible to find other sources of calcium, such as plants, milk contains a lot of calcium. In many cases, it’s also enriched with vitamin D, which increases absorption and improves bone metabolism.

Making sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D will reduce the risk of fractures, particularly amongst women who have passed the menopause. There are even some types of milk that are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, which could help improve cardiovascular health and reduce systemic inflammation.

 
Two mugs of warm milk.

Drinking warm milk before bed can be very beneficial

As you can see, there are several benefits to drinking warm milk before bed. Provided you don’t suffer from any intolerance, it provides essential nutrients for bodily functions. As a result, it’s a good idea to make sure you include it in your diet on a regular basis.

Regularly drinking a glass of warm milk before going to bed can also improve the quality of your sleep and increase overnight protein synthesis. This will help your muscles to recover properly and reduce the risk of sarcopenia and a loss of lean tissue.

Ultimately, regularly drinking milk will help meet your daily requirements of calcium and even vitamin D. Both of these nutrients are needed to preserve bone health, and vitamin D is critical for preventing many complex metabolic or chronic diseases.

 
  • Samad N., Yasmin F., Naheed S., Bari AZ., et al., Serum levels of leptin, zinc and tryptophan in obese subjects with sleep deficits. Pak J Pharm Sci, 2017. 30: 1431-1438.
  • Szajwska H., Szajewski T., Saturated fat controversy: importance of systematic reviews and meta analysis. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2016. 56 (12): 1947-51.
  • Kouw IW., Holwerda AM., Trommelen J., Kramer IF., et al., Protein ingestion before sleep increases overnight muscle protein synthesis rates in healthy older men: a randomized controlled trial. J Nutr, 2017. 147 (12): 2252-2261.