Scientific Explanation – Does drinking milk before bed have benefits?

You have heard from elders, your teachers and friends that drinking milk before bed can result in a good sleep. We will help you to explore whether it is true. Also, we will see other benefits of drinking milk before bed. The analysis and discussion is assisted by a bunch of scientific research papers, which are mentioned in the reference section. We also include perspective of experts in here.


DopeHealth and our staff are not licensed medical care providers, therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, relationship counselors, life coaches nor health professionals. However, our posts are based on detailed and extensive research. We recommend you to consult a physician or professional consultants.


Milk is not for everyone

For people who are lactose intolerant, drinking milk before bed is not a good idea. So if you are lactose intolerant, avoid drinking the milk.

drinking milk before bed

Drinking Before Bed increases the chance to have a good sleep?

P. R. Southwell et. al compares the effect of hot drink of milk and Horlicks on sleep in [2]. In this, the subjects were tested under three conditions, namely without water, water and hot milk.  Although this research was done in 1971, even this and many recent papers suggest that the consumption of hot milk resulted in less number of movements during the sleep. If you google, you can find tons of articles stating that drinking a glass of warm milk before bed will help you to get a good and probably a much deeper sleep than the usual. However, the truth is that, till date you can’t find any solid clinical studies that certifies this. Hence, this remains as myth. Let’s get into the scientific part of it.

Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan which produces serotonin which facilitates neuro-transmission. Hence, many believed that it have a hypnotic influence. In [3],  SN Young tells a small dosage of tryptophan will help in attaining sleep quicker but have no effect on sleep architecture. So, the sleep pattern doesn’t seems to have take much impact from these chemical reaction inside.

However, many still believe drinking milk before bed is good for them.For people who grew up with parents who gave them warm milk before bed, it have become a routine. Hence, for them warm milk before bed has been a trigger for sleep. This is mostly the mind psychology has been set to this routine. Beyond that, science doesn’t own an explanation.

Let’s see some of the benefits of milk claimed by the majority people.

Other benefits of drinking milk

  • Sooths brain
  • Helps you wake up fresh
  • Helps in Digestion
  • Reduces Constipation
  • Prevents Type II diabetes
  • Good for Heart and Reduces Cholestrol
  • Low fat milk helps in weight loss

Try Drinking Turmeric Milk Before Bed

Turmeric have been considered as a great healthy spice because to it’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  If you want to know to the recipe for turmeric milk check below. Below are the benefits of consuming turmeric milk.

  • Fatty liver to Normal Liver
  • Excellent Blood purification
  • Anti-cancer properties
  • Reduces night time cough

As it acts as a blood thinner, if you are under any medication you are advised not to have this.

Recipe – How to make Turmeric Milk?

Add an half inch of turmeric piece to a full glass of milk. Transfer this to a bowl and boil it for 10 minutes at medium flame.  Take out the mixture and allow it to cool. Once it is lukewarm, you can strain out the turmeric from it. That’s it, your turmeric milk is ready.


If you are one person who fall asleep on drinking milk at night, try avoiding sugar in the milk.  Fat milk in small quantity couple with carbohydrate is recommended for the inducing of tryptophan into brain. This will help you to get sleep quicker. Also, share your views about drinking milk before bed! We would love to hear them.


  1. Thorning TK, Raben A, Tholstrup T, Soedamah-Muthu SS, Givens I, Astrup A. Milk and dairy products: good or bad for human health? An assessment of the totality of scientific evidence. Food & nutrition research. 2016 Jan 1;60(1):32527.
  2. Southwell, P. R., C. R. Evans, and J. N. Hunt. “Effect of a hot milk drink on movements during sleep.” Br Med J 2.5811 (1972): 429-431.
  3. Young, Simon N. “Is tryptophan a natural hypnotic?.” Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience 28, no. 2 (2003): 160.

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