Cows' 'Night Milk' May Help You Fall Asleep In South Korea, researchers have found that milk collected from cows at night contains high amounts of tryptophan and melatonin, supplements "proven to aid sleep and reduce anxiety."
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Cows' 'Night Milk' May Help You Fall Asleep

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Cows' 'Night Milk' May Help You Fall Asleep

Cows' 'Night Milk' May Help You Fall Asleep

Cows' 'Night Milk' May Help You Fall Asleep

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459871012/459871013" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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In South Korea, researchers have found that milk collected from cows at night contains high amounts of tryptophan and melatonin, supplements "proven to aid sleep and reduce anxiety."

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Hey, Audie.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hey there, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What's better for falling asleep than a glass of warm milk?

CORNISH: Hmm.

SHAPIRO: A glass of warm night milk...

CORNISH: Night milk?

SHAPIRO: ...Is better. Yeah, night...

CORNISH: Is that a thing?

SHAPIRO: Night milk is a thing.

CORNISH: OK.

SHAPIRO: Researchers tested the milk from cows that were milked at night. They looked for tryptophan and melatonin, two of the things that make people fall asleep. And...

SAMPATH PARTHASARATHY: The results are astounding. The nighttime-collected milk had almost ten times more melatonin as compared to daytime-collected milk.

CORNISH: Hmm.

SHAPIRO: That was the editor of the Journal Of Medicinal Food which published the study. His name is Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy.

PARTHASARATHY: I go by the name Dr. Sam (laughter).

SHAPIRO: Dr. Sam says the researchers found that night milk also made mice that consumed it sleepy.

CORNISH: What? All right, how did they come to this?

SHAPIRO: Well, they fed mice two kinds of milk powder - one collected during the day, the other collected at night. And here I have to quote from the research paper. "Night milk-treated animals exhibited impaired motor balance and coordination." In other words, don't drink night milk and drive.

PARTHASARATHY: This will be a very exciting finding for many people who are often sleep-deprived who have a wakening pattern in the night.

SHAPIRO: But Dr. Sam was quick to add that night milk has not yet been tested on humans.

CORNISH: Right. And most milk you buy in the supermarket is pooled anyway, so there's no guarantee what time of day it was procured. So this may not be a helpful strategy for insomniacs out there - unless you have your own cow handy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NIGHT WORK")

SCISSOR SISTERS: (Singing) Night work, got to do the night work. Punch that clock and...

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