Posted on

Warm Milk and Honey – Give it a shot!

Warm Milk and Honey – Give it a shot!

It is a remedy as old as time. For decades, mothers and grandmothers have given their children a glass of warm milk and honey before bed as part of the bedtime ritual. Is the supposed sleepy time effect of this sweet treat just an old wives’ tale, or are all of these generations of moms on to something? It might be a bit of both.

Tryptophan and Sugar Regulation

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and its effects on the human body, and particularly insomniacs, are well-documented. The scientific community is still in the process of understanding which method of consuming of tryptophan is the best way to trigger sleepiness. So far, ingesting this amino acid through food seems to be the most effective. Carbohydrates have also been shown to boost the effects of tryptophan, so eating a tryptophan-filled protein with a nice side of carbs is the one-two punch you should aim for.

What does this have to do with warm milk and honey?

Milk is a source of tryptophan. One cup of milk has about 510 mg of the amino acid. It ranks relatively high on the list of foods that are a good source of tryptophan. The addition of honey may offer the added benefit of sugar regulation and a general soothing effect, but at the moment there is still more research to done on the subject. Some anecdotal evidence and home research conducted by insomniacs suggests honey taken before bed can improve sleep quality and increase the chances of feeling well-rested in the morning.

Can warm milk and honey really give you a goodnight’s sleep? It seems like it depends on the person, so why not give it a try! Check out the recipe below for one of the most popular sleepy time warm milk and honey recipes:

The Best Warm Milk and Honey Recipe

Serves- 4

Ingredients:

4 cups of milk

2 tablespoons of honey

1 teaspoon of fresh vanilla bean or vanilla extract

1 pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

  1. Pour the milk into a medium size saucepot and set it over medium-high heat.
  2. Take the milk off the heat just as it begins to boil.
  3. Add in the vanilla, honey and the spice of your choice.
  4. Stir everything together until fully blended and slightly frothy.
  5. Pour the milk into your mugs and enjoy!

*For an extra frothy drink, use an immersion blender.

Posted on

Sleeping in Stressful Times

Restful sleep often seems elusive at the best of times. Add economic, workplace or personal stress into the mix and suddenly, increased difficulty in sleeping turns a bad situation worse. Proper sleep allows us to recuperate and operate at maximum efficiency the next day. It is paradoxical, then, that at times when we most need sleep we spend hours in bed staring at the ceiling. Instead of operating at peak ability, we are fatigued, irritable and lack concentration. Even more worrisome, over time chronic insomnia will increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and depression. In recent studies work place stress doubled the risk of insomnia.

Benzodiazepines, the traditional medications used for the treatment of insomnia, help in the short term but bring with them significant side effects including tolerance and dependence. Rather than resorting to leaving civilization and living in a yurt, there are actually changes you can make to mitigate the sleep erosion caused by stress. A comprehensive approach which includes optimizing changes to chemistry and psychology is best. The One Week to Better Sleep Program is a comprehensive, clinically proven strategy that employs the BED approach. By incorporating small changes to Behavior, Environment and Diet (BED) over the course of one week you can increase your time asleep and achieve a good’s nights rest when you need it most.

To increase your subjective sense of sleep quality, one of the key changes to behavior is increasing the amount of time asleep in bed, even if you need to decrease the total time in bed. Another positive step is eliminating all ambient light in the room and finally, some carbohydrates can have a surprisingly positive effect on sleep, if combined with specific proteins.
The One Week to Better Sleep Program is based on published clinical trials that significantly reduced time awake in the middle of the night, resulting in an increase subjective sense of sleep quality.

Some Highlights:

  • Why distractions affect sleep
  • Why alcohol is a counterproductive sleep aid
  • What foods help with sleep
  • Why getting out of bed may just help you stay asleep

This and much more is covered in Dr. Craig Hudson’s One Week to Better Sleep Program based on the best clinical and sleep medicine research.