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Does Horlicks Help You Sleep? + Alternatives


Written by Andrea

Last Updated: 1st January, 2022

If you struggle with sleep, then you will know how much this can affect your life. You might be wondering if Horlicks, or other drinks, help you sleep. Sleep studies suggest✓ that adults attempt to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night as this gives the body enough time to rest and recuperate for the day ahead. However, this is not always the case for many individuals. All too often, people are stressed with work and personal life which prevents them from getting their recommended sleeping hours.

A lot of research has been conducted into examining the effects of poor sleep on health. The results have identified the pressing issues a lack of sleep may cause. These include – and are not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression and issues with cognitive functions of the body.

As a result, many people tend to look for all possible solutions to their sleep issues.

One solution that people have been opting for is that of various drinks that have been proven to help people drift to sleep faster and more comfortably. Sleep-inducing drinks have been around for many years. They are commonly used as a natural resource to help the mind settle and keep the body calm. One of the oldest and most familiar sleep drinks is Horlicks. The brand has been around since the late nineteenth century and is still being used today.

This article will discuss Horlicks benefits in some more detail which will answer the all-important questions – does Horlicks help you sleep? Is Horlicks good for you? From here, it will look at five other drinks which are evidently proven to help make sleeping that bit easier! Stick around to find out more.


As mentioned, Horlicks has been advertising its sleeping aid since the late-1800s, meaning they have been operating for just over 140 years. The brand was first created by two brothers – William and James Horlick – from Gloucestershire. From there, the brand soon became one of Britain’s favourite go-to comforting drinks. The history of the brand is something the business takes great pride in as they claim to have nourished soldiers during the two world wars and helped athletes through the Olympics.

horlicks sleep heritage history
(Image credit: Horlicks)

From taking historical leaps to ensure the nation was sustained at the most important points, the brand continuously develops with the demands and needs of modern society. Horlicks is proud to be a provider of powdered malted milk in various forms. Their catalogue contains products such as the original, which dates back to the 1800s, powdered hot chocolate, and instant malt.

Horlicks is crafted using malted wheat and barley, each of which consists of many vitamins and minerals that benefit your health. The brand knows how difficult it is to find a moment to relax in the hectic rush of everyday life. This is why Horlicks ensures there is enough goodness in every portion so its customers can receive some nourishment along with needed relaxation. The nutritional value of Horlicks might be one of the reasons it's so popular, as it contains 14 vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, D, E, folic acid, calcium, zinc, biotin, niacin and iron. This drink is packed full of nutrients which is why people of all ages can enjoy the drink.

horlicks sleep products
(Image credit: Horlicks)

Apart from having plenty of vitamins and minerals, many people opt for a Horlicks in the evening as it is known to help you sleep. The drink is nourishingly sweet and the perfect drink to add to your evening routine. As Horlicks comes in the form of powder, all you have to do is add some water or milk and then you have a drink to see you through until bedtime. The drink can promote feelings of heat, safety and comfort which can aid you in having a relaxing night’s sleep.

Apart from the taste and smell giving people the opportunity to relax, the drink is also rich in protein. Depending on your portion size, the drink can contain up to 9.5g of protein which is enough to see your body through the night. So, if you tend to wake up feeling hungry during the night, opting for a mug of Horlicks might be a good option to keep you fuller for longer. Being warmly comforted before bed with a hot drink is also known to help people settle.

Although Horlicks clearly states in their FAQ's that there are no medicinal properties in their drinks that directly aid sleep, research on The Effects of Milk and Dairy Products on Sleep✓ suggests diminished restlessness during sleep among younger adults and longer total sleep duration for older adults.

We observed that a well-balanced diet that includes milk and dairy products is considered to be effective for improving sleep quality, although the results of some of the studies were mixed and their conclusions limited as a result of small sample sizes and poor study quality.

The Horlicks range has advanced so much that there is now something for everyone. Originally, the malted goodness was intended for cow’s milk, however, the powder is also suitable for dairy-free alternatives. You might ask yourself, does Horlicks help you sleep? The vitamins and minerals in Horlicks enrich the body and provide a suitable starting point for a good night’s rest. Whether it's the comforting warm taste, the actual health benefits of its ingredients or just placebo, it may be worth a try.

Did You Know?
There's now a vegan version of Horlicks available. This dairy-free addition to the Horlicks family means that those who choose to stick to a vegan diet can now enjoy Horlicks malt too.

Peppermint Tea

When looking for a drink to help you sleep, it is important to ensure that the facts are evidence-based. Alike Horlicks, peppermint tea also contains a great concoction of vitamins and minerals to nourish your body and that could help you sleep better. These include vitamin A and C, calcium and potassium. Tea, in general, is very soothing for the body which is why it is included in many people’s evening routines. It is known to promote feelings of comfort and heat which again, makes up the perfect recipe for rest.

Peppermint is one of the most useful ingredients from the mint family as it has various medicinal qualities. For example, peppermint is known to ease and help with gastrointestinal problems such as poor digestion and acid reflux. If you suffer from acid reflux at night, it is recommended that you try some peppermint tea to soothe your digestive tract and stop the burning sensation. As a result, your upset stomach will ease and no longer keep you up at night, meaning you can likely sleep better.

Tea can help you sleep

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is also said to help people with their sleeping pattern and has been known for doing so for many years. It has been proven✓ to have multiple health benefits. Some of these include reducing inflammation as well as relieving skin issues and reducing cold symptoms. Therefore, this drink is known to be one of the first choices when it comes to sleeping when we’re feeling a bit under the weather.

Evidence-based research✓ has also shown that chamomile tea can help relieve menstrual pain. It is important to note that the research has yet to find whether chamomile tea can significantly improve insomnia and anxiety, so we should take this into consideration. Ideally, you should explore your sleep drinks with an open mind. This tea is also a popular drink for people who are just looking to get a nice cuppa and it's suitable for any time of the day. However, it does have relaxing properties so unless you are prepared to take some rest out of your busy schedule, it might be a good option for your evening instead.

Cup Of Horlicks

Cherry Juice

Another drink that could help improve your sleep naturally is tart cherry juice. It could be the drink that helps you catch the z’s that you deserve. The natural ingredient in cherries that results in improved sleep quality is tryptophan; this is an amino acid that helps aid sleep. Melatonin is commonly used as a supplement by those who cannot sleep very well each evening. The hormone plays an important role in the body’s sleep and wake cycles so this might be a good option for you when looking to improve your sleeping pattern.

Although studies✓ only show small improvements in sleep habits, and especially in older adults, it is still an option worth considering. Experts recommend that we consider the type of cherries that we use as different types vary in the amount of melatonin. For example, Montmorency cherries✓ are known to have higher amounts of melatonin and tryptophan than many other types of cherries and has been reported to have a positive effect on insomnia in elderly people as measured by the Insomnia Severity Index. The cherries might be less sweet but it can be worth it if your sleep cycle is improved.


Valerian Tea

Tea is known for being naturally relaxing, but when adding sleep-inducing qualities, that’s when you can really get excited. Valerian tea is another of many warm brews that can make you feel comfortable and ready for a good sleep. As a member of the honeysuckle family, valerian is a sweet plant, which is why many people enjoy drinking it. It is known to enhance the quality of sleep by alleviating the issues associated with insomnia.

More specifically, this particular tea has been said to improve sleep quality among menopausal women✓. Although research has yet to determine whether valerian tea can entirely help with insomnia, it does contain relaxing qualities that can aid with sleep improvement. It is important to note that research✓ has found that too much valerian consumption can increase anxiety levels. So, if you are willing to try this tea out in order to sleep better, be mindful of how much you drink to not achieve the opposite effect.

Banana And Almond Smoothie

Taking a smoothie before bed – who would’ve thought it? Usually, people make smoothies in the morning to give them a quick energy boost for the day ahead. However, some people have been opting in for a banana and almond smoothie during their evening routine. When looking to improve your sleep, your main goal should be getting to sleep with ease. However, it is important that you don’t forget to take the necessary steps to settle yourself and unwind after a long day.

Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium which are known to help relax and calm the muscles. They also contain melatonin and tryptophan, which as we've already mentioned, help aid sleep quality. If you blend some bananas with almond milk, you could be in for a relaxing treat as almond milk has also been shown to improve sleep. The fact that both almonds and bananas consist of magnesium makes this drink great for bedtime.

banana almond horlicks drink alternative

Does Horlicks Help You Sleep? Conclusion

Overall, this article has discussed some of the many different drinks that could help you sleep. When choosing one to try out, you should consider its flavour, ingredients and soothing effects. For instance, although a banana-almond smoothie might be able to enrich your body with magnesium, it won’t give you the same soothing and relaxing effects as a hot drink. This is why teas and milk are such a popular part of people’s evening routines.

Research has shown that the ingredients in teas and milk could help you sleep. When it comes to choosing the best one, you must consider the options that will allow you to relax. Also, take your age, and overall health into consideration. Do you suffer from anxiety? Go easy on the valerian.

If you are looking for a trusted brand you can rely on, many people recommend Horlicks. This is why it has been so popular for so many years. A mug of Horlicks is very easy to make as all you have to do is add some water in order to receive a warm cup of malted goodness. This would save you the hassle of brewing up a loose-leaf tea. Overall, consider the suggestions in this article when looking for a drink to help you sleep.


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