January 11th is National Milk Day, a tribute to when milk — which has long been thought to have sleep-inducing properties – began being delivered in sterile glass bottles in 1878. Milk has nine essential nutrients, including tryptophan (also called L-tryptophan), albeit a small amount. The recommended daily intake of this amino acid is 3.5 to 6.0 mg. per kg. of body weight. Tryptophan is needed for growth and development, to produce niacin and to create serotonin in the body. Studies show that proper serotonin levels equate to better sleep.
Because of its ability to boost serotonin levels, 5HTP synthesized from tryptophan, and consuming more L-tryptophan itself, have been used to help treat numerous disorders, including sleep disorders. Better sleep can improve overall health. A lack of sleep is a risk factor for depression, decline in motor coordination, reduced concentration and memory, muscle aches, and weight gain.
Tryptophan acts as a natural mood regulator since it has the ability to help the body produce and balance certain hormones naturally.
However, not everyone can tolerate dairy products. Members of my family are lactose intolerant, and we can’t drink dairy milk. But, I’ve found we don’t need it for better sleep and there are many substitutes for dairy products that contain more tryptophan. Click here to read the rest of the article via my blog.
Delicious, healthful milk alternatives include:
Foods with high levels of tryptophan include:
Consuming milk or milk products may (or may not) induce drowsiness — a glass of warm milk can have a relaxing effect, after all. But dairy products are often delicious and nutritious for people who can tolerate lactose. For those who can’t, they are many alternatives with higher levels of sleep-promoting tryptophan, so explore your options. A healthy diet of fresh, unprocessed foods, like those containing tryptophan, is always best for promoting sleep and health.
Now, hop on my Instagram account for a savory sleepy time milk recipe that you will definitely want to include in your sleep routine nightly! If you are still struggling with sleep, remember, I am here to hop on a 20-minute call with you anytime. Just book your call here: Book a Call with Ingrid