Will a Glass of Calcium-Rich Milk Really Help You Sleep?

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Nothing adds to stress like a bad night’s sleep. A friend mentioned to me a year or so ago that she takes Calcium supplements before bed to combat sleeplessness. I started trying this a few weeks ago and have been very happy with the results. I take two 500 mg pills that also contain 5 mcg’s of Vitamin D3 and have been able to fall asleep without trouble. If I do wake up in the middle of night, I take two more. I feel rested when I wake up, not groggy as I have when taking OTC sleeping pills. And, taking the extra calcium is great in general for women to help prevent osteoporosis.

Warm milk has long been a highly recommended folk remedy for insomnia. Regarding Calcium as a sleep aid, William Sears, M.D. says: “Calcium helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”

On his website, Ask Dr. Sears, he includes a great list of “SNOOZE FOODS”. These are foods high in the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan:

  • Dairy products: cottage cheese, cheese, milk
  • Soy products: soy milk, tofu, soybean nuts
  • Seafood
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Hummus
  • Lentils
  • Hazelnuts, Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds