What on earth are moon milks? And can they help you sleep?

Hot milk – the quintessential bedtime drink to help you nod off – has had an Ayurvedic overhaul.

Say hello to your new mellow sleep heroes – moon milks. The frothy milks look pretty on Pinterest and ‘saves’ of pictures and recipes on the site recently soared by over 700% in a six-month period.

A typical moon milk is made by simmering milk in a saucepan then whisking in spices such as cardamom or nutmeg chosen for their calming properties plus an adaptogen (an Ayurvedic herbal supplement such as ashwagandha, said to help support your adrenal system and balance hormones). But is it really the secret to a good night’s sleep?

I wrote an article for The Daily Express which appeared in yesterday’s (Feb19) edition in which I asked dietitian Emily Foster from glowingpotential.com to weigh up the benefits of various new-fangled health drinks.

Here’s what she says about moon milks – and whether they can help really help you get better sleep.

“Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan can be converted in the body to a molecule that’s then used to make serotonin and melatonin, which influence sleep and mood. Unfortunately the likelihood of a moon milk helping you sleep isn’t great; the amount of tryptophan found in a glass of milk is really too small to have an effect. As for the adaptogens added to the milk, be sure to research any potential side-effects and recommended dosages of what you choose (e.g. Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil or Maca Root). More is not necessarily better; especially true if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.”

“Warm milk has long been used as a sleep aid prior to bedtime – filled with a good balance of protein and carbohydrates it makes for a nice night-time snack too. As to whether the research shows it helps with sleep is debated, but as long as you know the side-effects of the adaptogen you’re choosing feel free to add it to your night-time routine.”

I agree. A warm drink can certainly be soothing and comforting at bedtime – and that in itself can help relax and prepare you for sleep. And why not make your drink look pretty, too, if you can.

Don’t forget to check out my book 222 Ways to Trick Yourself to Sleep for lots of other sleep tips! You can order a copy here

Photos by Dani Rendina and  marine Dumay on Unsplash

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