Most people know how important sleep is, but few know how to sleep well. A third of Britons get less than the recommended sleep hours. And people who do sleep often find it disturbed. But studies have shown that a few simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference, like a sip of golden malt milk.
Sipping “golden” milk sounds like something out of a Disney movie, but malted milk has shown real benefits in reliable, peer-reviewed studies.
The drink is in powder form and contains malted barley, wheat flour and evaporated milk. But scientists think it’s the vitamins and minerals packed in the drink that may be helpful, according to the Sleep Foundation.
Malted milk contains vitamins B and D, which are known to improve sleep. Vitamin B12 aids in the production of melatonin – a chemical that regulates the sleep cycle.
Small past studies found that malted milk eliminated sleep interruptions.
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But malted milk isn’t the only milk with benefits. A specific type of milk called night milk, which is literally milk harvested from cows in the middle of the night, may also be beneficial.
An animal study found that nighttime milk, which is high in tryptophan and melatonin, reduced sleep time. It also “prolonged sleep time”.
According to the authors, these were caused by the anti-anxiety effects of nighttime milk. About an hour after they were given milk, the animals randomly moved less and their balance was impaired, suggesting they were sedated.
The scientists explained that these effects were similar to the effects of a popular anti-anxiety drug called diazepam.
Other Habits That Can Help You Sleep
The NHS also recommends getting into a daily routine for better sleep.
“If you can wake up, relax and go to bed around the same time every day, that will really help. Also, avoid naps if possible,” says the health agency.
They also recommend managing your worries by journaling, preparing your body for sleep, and creating a calming environment.