We have all heard the old wives’ tale to drink a glass of warm milk before bed if your ghosts are keeping you up at night. Whether or not this works for you, it may be doing something unexpected. What the wives didn't know at the time, was drinking milk before bed does more than make you rest easier, it actually makes your dreams come true. Well, one dream in particular, to burn body fat while you are sleeping. Now, I know this seems like another wives tale but it’s true, I’ll prove it.

According to the Huffington Post, there is a particular protein found in most dairy products, the casein protein that works the magic. This little miracle is a slow-digesting protein, which means it takes about six to seven hours to digest. If you are lucky enough to get that amount of sleep, you could drink a glass of milk and wake up a tiny bit thinner and a lot happier. The science of it all is simple. While you’re dreaming of your next vacation, your body is hard at work digesting this protein for hours, burning calories and increasing your metabolic rate. Because your metabolism is active throughout the night, when you wake in the morning your body is energetic and your hunger is kept at bay. There are other benefits to the casein protein as well.

Not only is the casein protein working your metabolism, but also it has an effect on your muscles. The protein provides amino acids to your muscles throughout the digesting time, six to seven hours, which repairs and strengthens muscles to help burn fat. The more muscles you have, the more calories are burned throughout your daily activities.

Consuming a food or drink with casein protein, such as milk or cottage cheese, can fine-tune your body’s appearance while you’re sleeping. This method has been proven effective in two cases, a Dutch study and a case at Maastricht University, according to the Huffington Post. But what if you can’t drink milk or eat dairy? That’s fine, there are other ways to achieve the same results.

Green tea or green tea extract works too. A major component in green tea is a flavonoid called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This component has major health benefits, including boosting metabolism rate and burning fat. EGCG can be consumed either by drinking green tea or green tea extract or by taking an EGCG supplement. Its effects are similar to the casein protein, because it boosts your metabolism, burns fat and decreases appetite, according to research found in an Intelligent Medicine article. A study conducted at the University of Chicago’s Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research noticed that rats lost just over 20 percent of their body weight when injected with EGCG daily and ate 60 percent less then they did without the injections. So if your body disagrees with dairy, you can still lose weight and curb your appetite with green tea or EGCG supplements. The casein protein and EGCG flavonoids are strong weapons to fight the war on fat, but they are even stronger when you get a full-nights rest.

The amount of sleep you obtain has a significant effect on the presence of two important hormones, leptin and gherlin. Both of these hormones target your appetite and the way your body handles energy. Leptin regulates energy levels and reduces the cravings to eat, while gherlin does the opposite. A study found in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who received more sleep had higher levels of Leptin in their system and ultimately weighed less than people who slept less.

Each of these methods will work on their own, but there is strength in numbers. Let’s say you had a bowl of cottage cheese with a cup of green tea. You lay down at 8:30 PM and fell asleep at 9:00 PM every night for a month.  By doing this, you would burn more fat through the night, have more energy in the morning and less food cravings through the day than if you only did one of the methods for a month. If you arm your body with the correct weapons like a full night of rest, casein proteins from a dairy product and EGCG flavonoids from green tea, you can win the war on fat and find a slimmer, stronger you while you are sleeping.

Works Cited

"EGCG: Potent Extract of Green Tea." DR RONALD HOFFMAN EGCG Potent Extract of Green Tea Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.
"Five Ways to Burn Fat While You Sleep." The Huffington Post UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.
"Milk Protein." Nutrition Express. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.
"Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.