No particular food or beverage can guarantee you a good night’s sleep! However, some of them may potentially improve your sleep by providing your body with sleep-promoting compounds, such as melatonin.
One of the beverages that may help you sleep is almond milk, which is made from whole almonds.
Almond milk contains a decent amount of magnesium and is said to be rich in both melatonin and tryptophan. According to science, these nutritional components contribute to good sleep in different ways.
In this article, we’ll find out how almond milk may influence your sleep.
Diet and Sleep
People use different strategies to improve the quality and quantity of their sleep. One strategy people have been using for centuries is to consume certain foods and drinks before going to bed.
Although there is no magic food that can erase all sleep problems at once, research indicates that certain foods and drinks may help with sleep.
Almond Milk and Sleep
Almonds are considered to be good for sleep because they contain certain sleep-promoting compounds. More importantly, in some studies, almonds have been shown to promote good sleep.
Since almond milk is made from whole almonds, almond milk is also associated with better sleep.
It is worth noting that when processing whole almonds to make almond milk, some nutrients that are naturally present in almonds remain in the pulp, meaning they don’t pass into almond milk!
In other words, certain nutrients in almonds aren’t found in almond milk or are found in very small amounts (unless the milk is fortified). These nutrients include fibre, calcium, protein and a large portion of almonds’ antioxidants.
The good news, however, is that sleep-promoting compounds found in almonds, such as tryptophan, melatonin and magnesium are also found in almond milk.
Sleep-promoting Nutrients in Almond Milk
The presence of melatonin, tryptophan and magnesium in almond milk is the main reason why almond milk is linked to better sleep. So let’s briefly explain how these nutritional components may affect your sleep.
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin — often called the sleep hormone — is produced mainly by the pineal gland in the brain as a response to darkness.
According to the National Institutes of Health; melatonin helps with circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and promotes sleep.
As per the Cleveland Clinic: you sleep better when you have the highest levels of melatonin in your body.
Because almond milk contains melatonin, this popular plant-based milk may contribute to your sleep.
Tryptophan and Sleep
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays several important roles in the body. The human body can’t produce this amino acid on its own, so it has to be taken through diet.
As for tryptophan’s role in sleep: tryptophan is needed in the body to produce serotonin. With the help of other enzymes, serotonin creates melatonin.
Studies found that increasing tryptophan intake in the diet may promote good sleep because tryptophan helps increase the concentration of melatonin in the blood.
While tryptophan is found in a variety of foods, some foods are particularly high in this essential amino acid. Nuts, including almonds, are a good source of tryptophan.
Almond milk (made from whole almonds) contains the amino acid tryptophan, which may improve sleep.
Magnesium and Sleep
In two ways magnesium may help with sleep:
According to a study, adequate intake of magnesium may help to improve sleep quality, especially in people with insomnia.
Almond milk is considered high in magnesium. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture; 1 cup (244 g) of almond milk contains 14.6 mg of magnesium.
To our knowledge, almond milk has never been investigated for its effects on sleep. However, researchers have tested the sleep effects of almonds in some studies and concluded that almonds may help improve sleep.
In one study researchers fed rats with 400 mg of almond extract to evaluate the sedative and hypnotic effects of almonds. It was found that the rats slept longer and more deeply than they did without consuming the extract.
In another study, Iranian researchers aimed to see the effect of sweet almonds on the quality of sleep. Medical students living in dormitories were given 10 almonds for 2 weeks. Almonds were found to help reduce insomnia symptoms in many students with insomnia.
When available scientific research (although not enough to draw a certain conclusion) and nutrition profiles are taken into account, almonds and almond milk appear to have the ability to help with sleep.
Homemade vs Commercial: Which Type of Almond Milk is Better for Sleep?
Generally speaking, more almonds are used when making homemade almond milk. This means that the concentration of sleep-inducing hormones — such as melatonin and tryptophan — is possibly higher in homemade almond milk than in commercial almond milk. Besides, homemade almond milk doesn’t contain additives like carrageenan, which is found in some almond milk brands. Based on these reasons, homemade almond milk appears to be a better option for sleep.
However, if purchasing is your only option, then opt for an almond milk brand that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Because these nutrients are known to help sleep.
Similarly, calcium is known to help the brain use tryptophan, the amino acid that the body uses to produce melatonin.
Note: Try to avoid buying sweetened almond milk as added sugar can easily disrupt your sleep.
How Much Almond Milk For Sleep?
Since the effects of almond milk on sleep haven’t been tested in scientific studies, it is hard to recommend any amount of almond milk that can induce sleep.
Though, one thing is certain: Drinking too much of any kind before sleep can cause you to urinate several times during the nigh, which can disrupt your sleep. Based on that, not more than one cup of almond milk at night appears to be ideal.
The Bottom Line
Scientific studies that investigate the effects of foods on sleep tend to produce different results. This is mainly because of the fact that sleep is influenced by many factors and people respond differently to food.
According to science; both diet and sleep are complex and no particular foods can work wonders when it comes to sleep.
That said, science does not rule out the possibility that certain foods and beverages may aid sleep by providing the body with certain nutrients. In this article, we discussed one of them: almond milk.
Tryptophan and melatonin-rich almond milk may help improve your sleep.
To see whether almond milk affects your sleep, consider drinking it each night an hour before sleep for two weeks and keep a sleep diary.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.