?David Jago, editorial director at Mintel, explores products in the international grocery world that are designed to aid restful sleep, particularly those that target infants Hectic lifestyles, long working hours and raising a family. All these things can disrupt good sleep patterns. Consumers who want to avoid pharmaceutical options can choose a soothing herbal tea - or something stronger - but some food and drink suppliers have experimented with products that aid a restful night of sleep. In the past, several companies have introduced night-time milk. In 2004, St Helen's Farm Dairy in the UK introduced Night Time Milk - from cows milked first thing in the morning when milk is said to contain its highest levels of melatonin - a natural substance that aids sleep by regulating the body clock. Dutch company Friesland Foods introduced Slaap Lekker functional milk last year, which claimed to help good sleep thanks to added lactium - a natural protein concentrate with a proven relaxing effect. Data from Mintel's GNPD IRIS indicates the product achieved good distribution levels in the first six months and achieved good volume sales. Some infant formulae have also claimed to help promote sleep in babies, important in normal, healthy development. But a new launch in Italy takes the concept into babyfood, in a format that may also apply to adult foods. Plasmon Dietetici Alimentari has introduced Lunotte moon-shaped biscuits, under the Plasmon Nanna brand, for babies aged four months and over. The product is specially designed for evening feeding and contains alpha-lactalbumin - a whey protein from milk. It is rich in tryptophan, which helps to regulate hunger and the sleep-wake rhythm. It is an essential amino acid that has been in some dietary supplements as well as infant formulae, but it has not previously been promoted in a food product. The biscuits are also enriched with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, and B vitamins. For younger infants, the biscuits can be dissolved in a bottle, while children from 12 months can simply eat them. Lunotte retail at €1.69 for a 180g box. Plasmon also markets a camomile and melissa herbal tea for babies. Although this line is geared towards infants, we imagine there is potential for a range of adult night-time snack foods, focused on better-for-you ingredients, hunger regulation and natural milk proteins that aid sleep.