milkDid you know as many as 2 out of every 5 persons are suffering from insomnia? This statistic is according to the National Institutes of Health. Millions of others are also suffering from sleep disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea and nighttime wakening, even if they sleep the appropriate number of hours every night.  With the constant flow of technology, work, and familial obligations, our nation’s sleep habits are being greatly impaired.  When people lack proper sleep, their bodies and minds begin to suffer from fatigue, stress, increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, irritability, and have shorter attention spans throughout the day. Over a longer period of time, these problems can worsen and lead to serious or chronic health problems.


Thankfully, there are easy ways to combat this problem at its early stages. One of the solutions can be as simple as drinking milk before going to bed. That’s why the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB), the creator of GOT MILK?, has partnered with renowned sleep expert, Dr. Nina Shapiro, to educate Californians about the importance of establishing a nighttime routine that starts with the real and simple beverage, milk. “Whether you drink it warm or cold, drinking milk has been scientifically proven to help relax the body,” says Dr. Shapiro, who practices at the UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine and the Sleep Center.  “Milk is high in protein, vitamins, calcium, and the amino acid tryptophan which all have a positive impact on sleep quality.”   The doctor adds that getting proper rest not only helps people recover from their busy day, but it also helps them prepare their mind and body for a successful start the next day.  Along with consuming the nighttime drink prior to bed, Dr. Shapiro also encourages practicing the following routine nightly:


  • ·         NO SUGAR – A bowl of frosted marshmallow flakes or a scoop of ice cream can be very tempting as nighttime snacks. Sugary foods will cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a crash one to two hours later.  This may lead to restlessness and nighttime wakening. Avoiding sugar will help relax the body before bed and enhance both depth of sleep and sleep quality.


  • ·         SHUT OFF – Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep because we’re always “ON.” We’re over-scheduled and over-stimulated with television, computers, smartphones and other electronic devices.  Why not dedicate the last hour before bed to YOU?  Take the time to decompress, take a bath and turn off electronic devices.  Doing so will keep your mind at peace, preparing you for a good night’s rest. 
  • ·         TO-DO LIST – If you find yourself thinking of things you need to do after you’ve left the office for the day, write them down on a piece of paper (or your phone’s notepad) and put them away. Not only will you have a clear roadmap for the next morning, but you’ll also clear your head and focus on rest.

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