A healthy and restful sleep is essential for our health. Waking up refreshed enables us to perform better during the day, concentrate more and have higher energy levels. However, the sometimes stressful daily routine can keep us awake or cause restless sleep.
In order to support the organism during sleep, there are numerous household remedies and tricks. Among other things, it is often recommended to drink a warm glass of milk with honey in the evening before bedtime. This is definitely not a bad idea – because in milk and honey are several useful components for the body.
But with an evening glass of warm milk, the warmth and the feeling of well-being while drinking it probably helps even more than the ingredients themselves. Milk does contain some sleep-promoting substances such as calcium, magnesium, melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan, but actually in far too small quantities to have their full effect on our bodies. At least there are no scientific results that can confirm this famous effect.
The ingredient alpha-lactalbumin, which contains a particularly large amount of tryptophan, is found in greater quantities in the whey content of milk. Lactalbumin is said to ensure a deeper sleep and makes you wake up refreshed the next morning. In a small study, Dutch scientists found a pleasing improvement in the general well-being of sleepless people after they were given a drink enriched with the protein alpha-lactalbumin before going to bed. (1)
In addition to whey protein, milk also contains casein as its main ingredient – another important protein that can have great effects during sleep. This is because unlike whey protein, casein is slow to pass into the blood. The casein protein in milk therefore promotes muscle formation during sleep, provided you were active during the day. In addition, casein boosts the metabolism and supports fat burning. (2)
So if you don’t want to miss out on your delicious warm milk with honey in the evening, you can add an extra spoon of whey powder or casein to your evening nightcap for a higher lactalbumin content. It is certainly good for the body – even if an improvement in sleep cannot be 100% scientifically confirmed.
For food manufacturers who are looking for “sleep-enhancing” ingredients, e.g. for an instant nightcap, we are happy to offer individual advice on our whey proteins. Set a high value on qualitative ingredients for your sleep drink and develop together with us a supporting recipe for your poorly sleeping customers!