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Does Horlicks Help You Sleep?



It’s a question that rings out across the ages. Does Horlicks help you sleep at night?

Horlicks was first created when brothers James and William Horlick, from Gloucestershire, founded a company in the US to manufacture a patented malt milk drink as artificial infant food.

The brand has been advertised with a sleep message since the 1920s.

The colourful history of Horlicks.

The tasty, legendary drink has been drunk by generations of British throughout the years. Will the delicious beverage make you sleep any better? Or would it have you tossing and turning at night in frustration? Here is my investigation into this big issue.

Why do some people believe that Horlicks helps you sleep?

Horlicks is a devilishly sweet and malty warm drink that is traditional to drink before bed. Some question it as an old wives tale that this even works.

When you start to brew the drink and add hot milk, the aroma that drifts from it is irresistible. You instantly feel more cosy and relaxed just from the smell. You take a sip and true bliss kicks in. The senses release endorphins that cause you to feel all warm, safe and comfortable. Opening the door to get to sleep fast.

The fact that this is such a tradition for a lot of people means that those childhood memories come flooding back when drinking it. And I am sure this adds to the feeling of comfort also.


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The science bit – what’s in Horlicks that can help you sleep?

An early Horlicks advertisement.

Horlick is chock full of vitamins and minerals, and that is before you even add the milk, which of course adds even more goodness.

The fact that Horlicks has a reputation to help you sleep can be seen as somewhat ironic, due to the fact that it was originally conceived as a fortifying energy drink meant to provide extra nutrition for children, elderly and sick people. It was even included in food rations for soldiers in the second world war.

Now one theory as to why Horlicks helps you sleep is related to the combinations of vitamins plus folic acid and iron. Its is said that this particular combination is helpful for readying your body for rest.

In addition, just having a warm drink before bed fluctuates body temperature, up first, then down. This is also thought to aid sleep and is why some people believe a hot bath helps.

The malty bedtime drink has 9.5 g of protein which is no tiny amount I can tell you. And conveniently enough, this is the perfect amount to see your body through the night, without waking up hungry. As a result, you will have a much calmer and undisturbed sleep.

Our bodies are sensitive things. And need constant food and water. So if you manage to take in enough protein from the Horlicks, then you won’t get the desire to eat again until morning.

Is Horlicks recommended?

I’d have to say yes! All those people who swear by the drink as an aid to sleep can’t be wrong. And there is often truth behind these traditions. If you don’t believe me then it is always good to try these things for yourself. Let me know how it goes in the comments below.


My name is Matt and I am mad about sleep. I created ‘The Rest Investor’ from a belief that Britons just aren’t getting enough sleep. It’s becoming a national crisis.


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