Post-partum insomnia results from inevitable sleep disturbances and sleep deprivation after the birth of a baby, but it can leave you dysfunctional, irritable, and forgetful. Before you make any major mistakes, you need to take care of yourself as well as you take care of your newborn.
A glass of warm milk or warm chocolate milk before bed relaxes you before you get ready to go to sleep. Warm milk helps you replace nutrients depleted by your nursing baby and strengthens your bones, muscles, and teeth.
Milk Can Make You Sleepy
A glass of milk at the end of the day is comforting and soothing. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can leave you feeling drowsy. Tryptophan is a component in the formation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, and melatonin, a hormone. The tryptophan in milk is more effective on an empty stomach while you sleep. To be effective, the tryptophan has to enter the brain.
Eating carbohydrates and proteins together stimulates the release of insulin which clears the bloodstream and increases the chances that the tryptophan in milk will enter the brain.
Circadian Rhythm of Activity and Sleep
The circadian rhythms of activity and sleep are affected by both melatonin and serotonin. Disturbances of the rest and awake states impact the quality of your sleep. Lack of quality of sleep can also lead to pain in your hips and back which a poor mattress can exacerbate. Post-partum women need to sleep on a mattress made for their needs just like they need to take care of their diet to achieve quality sleep.
Three days of a meaningful amount of melatonin found in milk and other dairy products can restore patients’ serotonin levels and lead directly to safe restorative sleep. Increased melatonin and tryptophan slow patient’s brain waves and induce sleep or increase the number of hours that the patients sleep.
There is some evidence that a glass of milk before bed increases the number of hours that you sleep deeply without dreaming. If sleep is measured by depth, duration, and intensity, periods of deep sleep coincide with high melatonin levels in the bloodstream. Tryptophan and melatonin increase the amount of serotonin produced and the number of hours spent deeply sleeping.
Depression of the Immune System
Sleep deprivation results in the depression of the immune system which can affect the number of white blood cells circulating in your blood stream. A glass of milk before bed might help you sleep through the night and not wake up at the slightest sound. Melatonin from your glass of milk at bedtime can reduce the amplitude of your sleep waves keeping you in a deep sleep for longer periods of time. Melatonin can also lower your body temperature
Finally, cytokines found in milk influence your immune and inflammatory systems that play a role in the regulation of human sleep. Interleukin is a cytokine. Interleukin is also correlated with sleep and wakefulness. Cytokines synthesized from a glass of milk before bed may improve the quality of your sleep.
Higher cytokine levels in your blood stream reduce the amplitude of your core temperature brain waves reversing damage to sleep, temperature, or waking circadian rhythms.
Milk at Bedtime May End Your Post-Partum Insomnia
A glass of milk before bed may play a role in helping post-partum fall asleep and stay asleep. The release of melatonin or tryptophan in your warm milk or hot chocolate before bed may replace depleted calcium in your blood stream, bones, and teeth.
The glass of milk before bed can help you repair your damaged sleep-awake circadian rhythm without undue concern about your post-partum worry and anxiety.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.