Chocolate Milk Is the Latest “Sleepy” Drink Taking Over

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A beloved beverage most memorably from your childhood might be making a comeback. Instead of chocolate milk only being popular at the school lunch table, you might want to start adding it to your nighttime routine.  

Courtney Marvin, the newest Susquehanna County Dairy Princess in Pennsylvania, is trying to make it known that chocolate milk could be the key you’re missing to get a good night’s rest. 

“I would like to challenge you to try a glass of chocolate milk in the evening to help you sleep,” Marvin wrote in her daily newspaper. (1)

She went on to explain that due to the natural properties in chocolate milk, tryptophan, it allows your body to create sleepy hormones including melatonin and serotonin. 

But does this mean instead of a sleepy girl mocktail you should turn to chocolate milk? 

History of Chocolate Milk 

Physician Sir Hans Sloane is credited with the discovery of chocolate milk. In the early 1700s Sloane spent time in Jamaica and the locals introduced him to cocoa.

According to the Natural History Museum in Britain, he found the drink nauseating so he added milk to make it more palatable. Without knowing it, he created the beloved beverage we know today as chocolate milk. (2)

When Sloane returned to England he began making his own milk chocolate drink and was sold in apothecaries as medicine. Even centuries ago it was believed that chocolate milk had some healing properties. (2)

Although chocolate milk was once seen as medicine, can it still help you sleep? We talked to the experts to find out. 

Experts Weigh In

Catalina Ruz, a registered dietitian nutritionist with a master’s degree in science of human and clinical nutrition, told Sleepopolis that ultimately it depends if chocolate milk can help you sleep. 

The type of chocolate and the amount of sugar content in your chocolate milk can either aid in sleep or actually make it more difficult, Ruz explains. 

“Milk, like other dairy products, contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which is associated with the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter,” Ruz said. “Chocolate also contains tryptophan, making chocolate milk a doubly effective source of this amino acid.” 

She explains this is why a glass of chocolate milk might help you fall asleep, but there are some things your beverage shouldn’t have. 

“Chocolate milk containing dark chocolate has more caffeine than milk chocolate,” Ruz explained. For individuals who are sensitive to caffeine, this can really make a difference before bed. Ruz adds that a high-sugar chocolate milk leads to a disrupted restful state. 

This is why if you’re going to try chocolate milk to help you sleep, she recommends drinking only half a cup a few hours before bed with a low sugar content and avoiding dark-chocolate milk. 

If chocolate milk sounds like the drink to put you to bed, add it to your bedtime routine for a restful night of sleep.

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  • 1. Marvin, Courtney. “Trouble Sleeping? Try Chocolate Milk.” The Daily Review. November 17, 2024.

  • 2. “About Sir Hans Sloane.” National History Museum.

  • Ruz, Catalina. Personal Interview. November 2024.

Julia Medina

Julia Medina

Julia is a Staff News Writer for Sleepopolis. From sleep news and education to the latest sleep trends, her goal is to keep you informed about what's going on in the world of sleep, dreams, mattresses, and more. Julia graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in communications and minors in film and sociology. In her free time she loves exploring new cities, relaxing with a good tv show, and getting some good quality sleep.

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