Most people know how important sleep is but few know how to sleep well. One-third of Britons get less than the recommended hours of sleep. And people who do sleep, often find it disrupted. But studies have shown that a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle can make a big difference – such as sipping on golden-coloured malt milk.
Sipping on ‘golden’ milk sounds like something from a Disney film but malt milk has shown real benefits in reliable, peer-reviewed studies.
The drink comes powdered and contains malted barley, wheat flour, and evaporated milk. But scientists think that it’s the vitamins and minerals packed into the drink that might be beneficial, according to the Sleep Foundation.
Malt milk contains vitamins B and D, both of which are known to improve sleep. Vitamin B12 helps produce melatonin – a chemical that regulates sleep cycles.
Small studies in the past discovered that malted milk cut out sleep interruptions.
READ MORE: Too much folic acid could raise risk of loss of brain function
But malt milk isn’t the only milk with benefits. A specific type of milk called Night-time milk, which is literally milk that is harvested from cows in the middle of the night, may also be beneficial.
One animal study found that night milk, which contains high levels of tryptophan and melatonin, “shortened” the time it takes to sleep. It also “prolongued the sleep duration”.
According to the authors, these were brought on by the anti-anxiety effects of night-time milk. Roughly one hour after being given milk, the animals randomly moved around less and their balance was reduced – suggesting that they were being sedated.
The scientists explained that these effects were similar to the effects of a popular anti-anxiety medication called diazepam.
Other habits that might help you sleep
The NHS also recommends getting into a daily routine to sleep better.
“If you can wake up, wind down and go to bed around the same time each day, it will really help. Avoid napping too, if possible,” states the health body.
They also recommend managing your worries by journaling, preparing your body for sleep, and creating a restful environment.