Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does drinking warm milk before bed help insomnia?"
My mom used to drink warm milk before bed. I have insomnia. Will this help me or is this a myth?
Many people will suffer from insomnia at some point in their life. Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep or just sleep of poor quality. Insomnia can be a symptom of other sleep, medical and psychiatric disorders so it is important to see your primary care provider to discuss your symptoms and appropriate treatment plan. There are many things you can do to help with your insomnia. Your mother was right that drinking warm milk before bed can help you sleep. This is because milk contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid which helps induce sleep. Turkey and tuna fish also contain tryptophan. Also many people find the ritual of drinking a warm glass of milk a calming ritual that helps them wind down to sleep. Other things that you can do to avoid another restless night include no caffeine after 2pm, going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday, exercise (but not in the 2 hours before bed), keep electronics out of the bedroom (no TV or smartphone), and if you can't fall asleep after 30 minutes of lying in bed get up and do something else and then try again in 30 minutes.
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