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Foods to help you sleep better

Scientific studies indicate that what a person eat and drink before bed can affect his sleep. Studies show that food that has significant amount of amino acid tryptophan could make a person drowsy. Food such as turkey, chicken, egg, fish and nuts contain a significant amount of this sleep-related chemical serotonin building block. Carbohydrates also contain tryptophan. A good snack before bedtime is cereal with milk or a few squares of whole wheat crackers with peanut butter. Fatty, spicy and fried food should be avoided before bedtime. What other foods are recommended for a good night’s sleep?

Fish such as halibut, salmon and tuna are rich in Vitamin B6 which is needed to produce melatonin. This chemical is the sleep-inducing hormone which is triggered by the amount of light in the sleeping area. The darker the sleep environ is, the better the melatonin will respond.


Jasmine rice has been proven to trigger sleep faster than ordinary long-grain rice. This is because Jasmine rice has a high glycemic-index than ordinary rice. It is speculated that the higher amount of insulin triggered by the high glycemic-index food increased the ratio of tryptophan against other amino acids in the blood. This process allows a greater amount of tryptophan to reach the brain.

Tart Cherry Juice is rich in melatonin and has been known to help one sleep better. A study indicates that adults with chronic insomnia who were given a cup of tart cherry juice twice daily found some relief with their sleeping disorder.


Yogurt, milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium. In connection, there are researches that suggest that calcium-deficient persons may have difficulty falling asleep. Much has been said about super food Kale. This green leafy vegetable is also rich in calcium.

Magnesium aids one to sleep and stay asleep. Food rich in magnesium are barley, whole grains and bulgur. Potassium-rich food also aids in sleeping. Banana is a great source of potassium and vitamin B6. These are needed to produce melatonin. Chickpeas and fortified cereals are also B6-rich food.

Alcohol somehow makes one drowsy and in effect helps one to fall asleep. However, alcohol could make it harder for a person to sleep continuously and deeply throughout the night so it is best to avoid it a few hours before bedtime. Any beverage with caffeine is best not to consume after mid-afternoon as it is a stimulant.

There are more food that could promote better sleep, but it is best to eat lightly before bed time. Heavy and large meals are best taken at breakfast and lunch.

There is certainly a link between sleep and food. What one eats affects his sleep. On the other hand, sleep-deprived people are more inclined to eat simple carbohydrates, fat-rich food, and less fruits and vegetable. This could be attributed to the fact that sleep loss changes the chemical signals linked to hunger and metabolism. Some researches show that sleep deprived persons are more likely to be overweight.

If you think you have a sleep problem, it is best to consult with a qualified medical practitioner to assess and determine the root cause of your sleep problem.

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