So, when people say, Hot Chocolate helps you sleep .. is that a Myth or Fact?
We all know that foods that contain tryptophan are often helpful in inducing a good night’s sleep. Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids needed in our bodies and helps us to get the proper rest; it also enables us to relax. Milk for example contains tryptophan and is a great bed time drink.
But how about hot chocolate?
First we need to look at Chocolate.
Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. During the ancient times, the Aztecs made chocolate beverages and called it – Nahuatl- meaning “bitter water”. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, but they also contain a amphetamine-like substance which heightens sexual desire and helps reduce tiredness. People think that hot chocolate helps you sleep but in fact, the phenylethylamine in chocolate, gives you a natural high. You can take it before you sleep.. but it would be for different reasons – more like to for energy to make love! Many famous lovers in history, including Casanova, the Marquis de Sade and Madame du Barry, mistress of Louis XV, were devotees of chocolate..
make your own hot chocolate
dunk a solid cube of chocolate into hot steamy milk
While the milk component in hot chocolate might help you sleep, this could be cancelled out by the cacao component. Cocoa solids contain alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Some research found that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. The presence of theobromine renders chocolate toxic to some animals, especially dogs and cats.
Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. So sugar will be another culprit that might keep you awake.
Verdict – to be safe, drink hot milk to sleep, not hot chocolate.
Unless your revving up for action in the bedroom that is;)