Pouring a glass of milk
IN PHOTO: A woman fills a glass with milk in this photo illustration taken in Tomares, outside Seville, January 30, 2013. European Union states will meet for the second time on February 7-8 to try and negotiate the nearly 1 trillion euro EU budget for 2014-2020. Previous talks collapsed in November and deep divisions remain over whether and how deeply the budget should be cut to reflect the euro debt crisis and harsh austerity measures being taken to address it. Arguments over farm subsidies and rebates are yet to be resolved as the EU contemplates its first real terms decline in spending. But officials are more confident that a deal will be struck this time. France is the biggest beneficiary of farm subsidies, which accounts for about 40 percent of the total budget. It has been at the heart of attempts to maintain contributions along with newer EU members to the east and countries struggling with crippling debts. However, countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom, which pay far more into the budget than they get back, are pushing for a reduction in an attempt to help balance their national books. Picture taken January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

Milk collected literally at night can help improve sleep. Researchers from Sahmyook University in Seoul, South Korea say that night milk contains high levels of tryptophan and melatonin that will aid sleep, reduce anxiety and treat insomnia.

The researchers fed lab mice milk from cows milked during the day and night. Mice that received night milk were less active and drowsier than mice that consumed day milk. These mice also explored open spaces, which indicated reduced anxiety.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps control sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in meats, grains, fruits and vegetables. Tryptophan is an amino acid needed for growth in babies and for nitrogen balance in adults. The body uses tryptophan to make serotonin, which is thought to produce healthy sleep and stable mood..

The study's authors said that the research had demonstrated that night milk is capable of producing sedative effects, comparable to those produced by the sedative diazepam. Apparently, night milk contains 10 times more melatonin and 24 per cent more tryptophan than day milk.

These results prove that night milk can be an effective natural treatment for managing sleep-related problems and possibly an alternative treatment for anxiety disorders.

Sleep Health Foundation reports that around one in three people have at least mild insomnia. For long-term relief, taking sleeping pills isn’t effective. Meanwhile, beyondblue claims that anxiety is the most common mental condition in Australia. One in four Australians will experience anxiety. Over-the-counter treatments are available but natural therapy is highly sought-after.

This new study could be the treatment everyone’s looking for but other experts believe further research is needed to show that night milk really improves sleeping habits. Studies that will clarify more about the differences between night milk and day milk are also encouraged.

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