Moon Milk is the latest health food craze. In case you haven’t heard about it, here’s what you need to know.
Google “Moon Milk” and you’ll get nearly 150,000 hits with everything from best Moon Milk recipes to Pinterest and Instagram images that will make you want to grab a mug, milk carton and spices and start experimenting. The latest trend is like the smoothie bowls from a year ago and is essentially a visually-appealing, modern twist to a warm cup of milk to aid sleep.
Moon milk devotees suggest that their concoctions contain so-called adaptogens that are known to improve sleep. Some claim that the warm milk beverage stems from Ayurvedic tradition — a traditional Indian alternative medicine developed some 5,000 years ago.
But does it work? Possibly. Here’s why. If you develop a nightly ritual that tells your body that it’s getting ready for sleep, it will likely help you sleep. That could be drinking a cup of caffeine-free tea, reading a book or eating a piece of dark chocolate. The idea is that it’s a ritual that will trigger sleep.
Another way it may work is that milk provides the amino acid tryptophan, which is commonly reported to be sleep-inducing, but you need to have carbs with protein in order to get tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier. Since milk provides the carbohydrate lactose, it’s a good combination of carbs and protein that may help induce calming hormones to help you sleep. However, the combo could just as easily be a slice of chicken or turkey with crackers or whole wheat bread.
Milk’s nutrient composition may also naturally aid sleep because it contains calcium and magnesium, two nutrients that have been linked to improved sleep. That said, there are no real studies that have put Moon Milk to the test, but it certainly is a healthy enough option to try to see if it works for you. Try spices like cinnamon, lavender buds, ginger and flavored extracts to enhance your cup of milk without adding any sweeteners.