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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

True or False: Warm milk can help you fall asleep.

True or False: Warm milk can help you fall asleep.

The idea of warm milk as a sleep aid seems to come from the idea that an amino acid called tryptophan-which is found in milk (and turkey)-is thought to play a role in making people sleepy by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain (serotonin has sedative qualities).

However, there is no scientific proof that there is enough tryptophan in a glass of milk to actually induce a sedative effect in your brain. In fact, some sources reveal that you’d have to drink as much as a half gallon of milk to ingest enough tryptophan to make a difference.

So does a glass of warm milk really help you fall asleep? If you believe it does, then it probably will help. The benefits seem to be more psychological than scientific.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.