The most common sleep disorder is, by far, insomnia. One in every three adults has occasional insomnia while one in every 10 has chronic insomnia. For many people, insomnia is normally a phase due to a variety of factors like stress. Once the stress is gone, the insomnia is gone. This type of insomnia can usually be fixed by trying many natural methods.
Changing your diet is an easy, natural way to help cure your insomnia. By eating certain sleep-inducing foods each night, there is a possibility that you will experience better sleep. Now, this does not mean engorging these foods will guarantee you more sleep. Actually, eating too much of any kind of food will hurt your chances of getting a good night’s rest. However, with moderation and a healthy lifestyle, eating these foods can help you get the hours of sleep you’ve been craving. So, what are the foods that might help you sleep? Here are the top 10.
Top 10 Foods That Help You Sleep
- Poultry – Chicken or turkey has tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that you can only get from what you eat and drink. It helps your body make serotonin (a relaxing mood hormone) which then helps your body make melatonin (a hormone that controls sleep cycles).
- Fish – Vitamin B6 is abundant in fish, with salmon, tuna, and halibut having the most. B6 is what makes melatonin, which is normally triggered by being in the dark. By eating fish for dinner, you can give that melatonin a head start before turning out the lights.
- Yogurt – Calcium processes the hormones that help you sleep, tryptophan and melatonin. Calcium, of course, can be found in anything dairy related if you don’t like yogurt. Other things you can try are milk or cheese and crackers
- Kale – Like yogurt, this leafy green is also rich in calcium which is important in making those sleep hormones go to work.
- Bananas – They are high in potassium which helps to keep you asleep throughout the night. It also has tryptophan and magnesium which are natural sedatives.
- Whole Grains – These grains encourage insulin production that result in tryptophan activity in the brain. They also have magnesium which is said to help you stay asleep. When magnesium levels are too low, you are more likely to wake up during the night.
- Honey – Glucose in honey lowers levels of orexin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that makes you more alert. Honey will put that alertness in reverse.
- Nuts – This includes walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. These all boost serotonin levels by having magnesium and tryptophan.
- Eggs – Eggs are popular in the morning, but they also can make you sleepy due to having tryptophan. Try having some breakfast for supper and see what happens.
- White Rice – White rice has a high glycemic index. This simply means that it will give you a natural increase in blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn, helps tryptophan go to work in your brain faster.
While these top 10 sleep-inducing foods have the nutrients to help you sleep, they definitely aren’t the only ones you can try. A general guideline to follow is picking items that have a mix of calcium, potassium, magnesium, tryptophan, and B6. Try these sleep-inducing foods in the evening and you may be surprised by how fast you fall and stay asleep.
Aaron Stevenson is a public educator, health freak, and founder of Snooze EZ. He is a go-to-source for many sleep related topics.
- Ask The Sleep Doctor: Sleep and Appearance, Sleep and Alzheimer’s and Sleep and Hyperactivity - March 24, 2019
- Ask The Sleep Doctor:Depression and Sleep, Sleep Apps and Sleep Apnea and Car Accidents - February 12, 2019
- Ask The Sleep Doctor:Sleep Apnea in Child, Palpitations, Coffee and Sleep and more - January 18, 2019