Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - Ireland is a country that has the reputation of being head-and-shoulders ahead of the U.S. in terms of fluid milk innovation. Gerald and Liz Burns of County Cork are adding to that reputation. Part of their dairy’s production is sold to the Lullaby Milk Company as ‘night milk”.
The company’s website claims that “night milk”, which is produced “before daybreak,” is naturally produced with more melatonin, which cows make while they sleep – and all mammals do during times of darkness. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your daily cycle of being awake and asleep. Night milk also has more tryptophan, the compound known for inducing sleep from turkey.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on an animal study in the Journal of Medicinal Food. That study showed mice fed night milk were more likely to explore open spaces, decreased their physical activity, balance, and coordination, and increased their sleep time. In other words, the researchers thought the activity showed a more sleepy behavior, but also less anxiety.
The experiment used powered milk collected in day versus night, with the night milk showing 24% more tryptophan and 10 times more melatonin.
While the study has not been conducted in humans, early-rising farmers may need to reevaluate the type of milk they are adding to their coffee.
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