Warm Milk & Cinnamon For Sleep: The Amazing Benefits Before Bed!

Woman drinking from a cup at home

Last Updated on November 13, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff

It’s been a old wives’ tale for generations. Drink warm milk before bedtime and you’ll sleep soundly.

However there’s actually some truth to this, and when you combine warm milk and cinnamon for sleep, the benefits are really impressive.

As you’ll find out here, those benefits stretch past bedtime too.

Disclaimer: You must always consult your doctor before including a new supplement or food into your daily routine as only your doctor can explain any pros or cons that are specific to you. Some supplements & foods may interfere with medications and/or cause allergic reactions.

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Cinnamon sticks and powder in wooden scoop

Warm milk and cinnamon for sleep: Why it works

The combination of warm milk and cinnamon isn’t just tasty, it’s also a proven method of relaxing the body and promoting rest. Cinnamon is also something of a ‘superfood’ and has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities – as we will explain later.

Milk has been touted as a sleep aid for generations, and in recent years this appears to have been backed up due to the presence of the compound tryptophan in milk.

This compound in cinnamon milk is important as it plays a role in the production of serotonin, a hormone that promotes relaxation and helps with the production of another hormone – melatonin – which regulates the wake-sleep cycle.

Yet whilst tryptophan does appear to help promote falling asleep, it may be disruptive for deep sleep in large amounts.

However it’s not just tryptophan that can make you feel sleepy. Most likely there’s a psychological aspect involved in settling down to drink a warm milk in the evening. That encourages a calming and soothing effect, which in turn, brings about a sense of rest.

Milk contains tryptophan that appears to promote falling asleep, whilst the actual act of drinking a warm milk is believed to have a soothing psychological effect.

Man sleeping on side in bed

But combine warm milk and cinnamon for sleep and you do have a real mix of psychology and science.

There is evidence that cinnamaldehyde – a compound in cinnamon – has an effect on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep – a type of dream sleep that happens several times during nighttime.

One study – albeit with rats – showed that when treated with cinnamaldehyde there was a direct increase in REM and non-rapid eye movement sleep in rats that had been put under stress. The conclusion of the study was that the compound was helping the stressed animals sleep.

Cinnamaldehyde is also an anti-inflammatory, and so can help fight infection and in turn reduce pain due to inflammation. That can have an effect on sleep quality too.

But combine warm milk and cinnamon for sleep and you do have a real mix of psychology and science.

In fact insomnia and sleep problems create oxidative stress – which damages cells and tissue. That’s because a good sleep itself has antioxidant effects. Therefore making sure you’re incorporating antioxidant spices and foods into your diet, can help bring the body’s balance back and restore what you may be missing from a lack of sleep. That in turn, could have an effect on sleep quality.

The consumption of cinnamon could be beneficial for individuals suffering from stress-related sleep issues, whilst its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects could help restore balance in internal health.

cinnamon spice on a wooden spoon
iStock.com/Liudmila Chernetska

Warm milk and Cinnamon for sleep: incorporating it into your diet

It’s easy and cheap to incorporate warm milk and cinnamon into your diet, and it can quickly become a relaxing part of your evening routine. We recommend drinking warm milk and cinnamon around 30 minutes before you go to bed. Add a dash of vanilla for extra taste.

You can also incorporate cinnamon into other aspects of your diet.

Adding a sprinkling of cinnamon on your coffee, breakfast cereal or on porridge would be a quick and tasty way to ensure you gain the powerful health benefits of this spice. A little cinnamon in soup or a curry, can add a sweet side to popular dishes too.

Woman drinking from a cup at home

Warm milk and cinnamon for sleep: Any side effects?

Drinking milk usually causes very few issues, although excessive consumption can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain.

Cinnamon has been enjoyed for thousands of years, and usually causes no issues. However excessive consumption could lead to side effects such as liver damage, anxiety, difficulty breathing, dizziness, mouth sores, and digestive issues too.

As always, we recommend consulting with your doctor if undertaking a diet change, or if you have concerns about how a specific food may interact with any preexisting conditions or medicines.