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Milk protein improves sleep quality

With nearly one in two people in the West having difficulty sleeping, doctors first try to modify daily behaviors, such as when and how much food to eat. After this, doctors often prescribe pharmaceutical hypnotics, which act fast but have side effects such as morning sleepiness and mental confusion that can lead to accidents. These drugs also cause physical dependency, with insomnia returning after stopping.

Earlier studies found a bioactive milk protein peptide, alpha-s1 casein hydrolysate (ACH), had anti-stress effects including helping to control blood pressure. In this study, 48 men and women, average age 49, with mild to moderate sleep disturbance, took a placebo or 300 mg of ACH per day in two alternating four-week phases.

During the ACH phases, people got to sleep more quickly, stayed asleep longer, and woke up more efficiently after sleeping. Doctors confirmed these improvements by measuring brain waves, oxygen levels, heart rate, respiration, and eye and leg movements during sleep. 

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