Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

A German firm milks cows at night, patents 'nocturnal milk'

October 26, 2010 |  2:04 pm

Conventional wisdom touts the benefits of drinking a warm glass of milk to help you get to sleep. Now, a Munich-based company has patented its process for creating “nocturnal milk,” which the firm claims has far more sleep-inducing melatonin than normal milk.

Dairycow The company, Milchkristalle GmbH, has a theory that if its herd of cows is milked in the middle of the night -– specifically between 2 and 4 a.m. -– the animals will produce more melatonin than during the daytime.

That milk is then freeze-dried, packaged and sold under the brand Nightmilk Crystals (link in German), which can be mixed with milk or yogurt. (The product is not sold in the U.S., though the company does sell it online. Tony Gnann, the company's chief executive, recently told that his firm had fielded order requests from India, Israel and the U.S.)

According to a statement on the company's website, officials say they have scientific research to back their claims, but several consumer watchdog groups are far from sold on the idea. Gute Pillen – Schlechte Pillen (link in German), a firm that investigates pharmaceutical claims, reportedly found that the powder would have to be consumed in gigantic amounts to have an effect.

Perhaps counting sheep is easier...

-- P.J. Huffstutter

Photo: Moo. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times