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Is it true that milk is a sadative? Can it make you depressed?

(April 14, 2011)

Most of us will have some fond memories of our mothers bringing us a nice warm glass of milk just before we go off to sleep at night when we were toddlers. Little did we know that it was actually a secret ploy to get us to go off to sleep faster so we don’t give our parents the additional stress that our hyperactivity at that age could cause. Studies have shown that milk actually contains a biochemical agent known as L-tryptophan that causes a person to drift off to sleep. This amino acid is also a very essential requirement for the body. However, it is important to point out that not enough of the substance is present in a single glass of milk and, hence, would not cause sleep to be brought on immediately.  However, it is when the substance has been combined with something warm and soothing, that the full effect of sleep takes over a person’s sensations.

Going into even more detail, studies have shown that one of the main functions of the chemical agent L-trytophan is to create another chemical known as serotonin – another substance that is considered a key part of the onset of sleep in the human system.

For a number of years warm milk had been heralded as the best natural remedy when it came to treating insomnia – which is a condition where the affected patient is unable to attain sleep no matter how tired he or she was. However, after many years of use, it was noticed that while warm milk does help in most cases, it does not provide guaranteed results. There are too many variables that one must consider. For example, the quality of milk needs to be gauged as well as the effectiveness of the biochemical reactions that take place within the brain. One of the more effective methods of preparing milk to act as a sedative is to heat milk up to a point just before it boils over and add a single teaspoon of vanilla before adding a single teaspoon of sugar. Proceed to sprinkle some amount of cinnamon over the top and stir the concoction before you drink it while it is still hot. Inn most cases, this treatment option will render you asleep within 15 to 20 minutes. Steeping some amount of chamomile tea in milk and 2 tablespoons of natural honey for a period of about three minutes before you drink it will also help substantially.

Submitted by C N on April 14, 2011 at 02:48


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