Eat These If You Want a Great Night of Zzzzzs
Up to 70 million Americans are plagued by chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems.[i] This makes for one drowsy population.
Worse, getting too little sleep is linked to depression, diabetes, obesity, motor vehicles accidents and other steep risks to your health.
Though you might not think of food as a way to help you sleep, what you eat really can help you get some much needed zzzz’s…
Eat These 8 Best Foods to Help You Sleep
As a natural source of melatonin, aka the “sleep hormone” your body produces when it’s time to go to sleep, cherries are a great sleep enhancer. In fact, drinking tart cherry juice has been shown to improve sleep quality, increase total sleep time by about 25 minutes and boost “sleep efficiency,” a measure of sleep quality, by up to 6%.[ii]
Remember that warm glass of milk Mom would bring you before bedtime? It really did help you fall asleep, as milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid your body converts into serotonin — which boosts your mood and promotes restful sleep. As a bonus, milk contains calcium, which helps your brain to use the tryptophan. Of course, there are ongoing debates about the other health benefits and issues with milk, so continue to educate yourself on those… and as always it comes down to your personal choice.
6. Miso Soup
Miso, made from fermented soy, contains amino acids that help boost your body’s production of melatonin. Plus, the warm liquid of miso soup is soothing to consume when you’re trying to relax.
A bit of honey before bed gives your brain just the right amount of glucose to reduce levels of the neurotransmitter orexin, which raises your alertness. Orexin is thought to help you stay alert during the day so, historically, you could have gathered and hunted for food. When you eat a bit of honey, it lowers orexin levels so your brain knows you’ve eaten and can now relax and sleep. Some like to add a spoonful of honey to that glass of warm milk before bed.
Bananas contain not only tryptophan but also magnesium and potassium, which help your muscles relax. They even have a bit of melatonin, making them one of the best before-bed snacks.
Fish such as salmon contains vitamin B6, which helps your body produce melatonin. Gals, eating salmon while you’re pregnant may even help your baby sleep better, thanks to one of the omega-3 fatty acids it contains, called DHA.[iii] Yes, there are ongoing debates about mercury and other chemicals in fish, though, so again educate yourself to make what you believe is the wisest choice.
Almonds are a good source of sleep-promoting, muscle-relaxing magnesium, and they contain just enough protein to help keep your blood sugar levels steady while you sleep (without weighing you down like heavier protein sources). Try almond butter spread on banana slices for an ultimate sleep-inducing treat.
Oats are another good source of tryptophan, and they’re ideal because they also contain complex carbohydrates which helps the tryptophan enter your brain to help you sleep. A bowl of oatmeal with some milk, bananas and honey, which many eat for breakfast, is actually ideal for promoting sleep.
What About Turkey?
We’ve all heard the notion that turkey makes you tired… but while it does contain tryptophan, it’s not in exceptionally high levels (it contains only slightly more than chicken). So the turkey, in and of itself, is not particularly remarkable for helping you sleep… but combining that turkey with complex carbs (such as whole-grain bread or rice) is much more likely to bring on the zzzzz’s.
The Best Ingredients to Help You Sleep
If you could combine all of the best natural sleep inducers into one “super food” that would improve your sleep, fast, you would in a heartbeat, right? There’s good news, because it’s already been done for you in our all-natural sleep aid Sleepzyme® (see the special opportunity available today!)
This all-natural, non-addictive sleep formula actually has 10 of the most powerful natural ingredients to promote healthful sleep, including:
- Melatonin – a natural hormonal substance that regulates the body’s circadian rhythms, which regulate our sleep cycles. It can help “reset” your out of whack sleep patterns.
- Hops Flower – historically used as a digestive aid, infection fighter, sedative, and menstrual promoter. Studies have shown that hops help support normal sleep patterns.
- Passion Flower – has been consumed since the time of the Incas as a soothing tea and to treat bruises. Europeans adopted the herb as a sleep aid and digestive aid. Evidence suggests that passion flower really is a useful supplement to promote healthy sleep patterns.
- Valerian – is a root powder that has been traditional used as a sleep and relaxation aid. Scientific evidence suggests that valerian may improve the quality of sleep and help to reduce the time needed to fall asleep when taken nightly.
- Lemon Balm – used since the Middle Ages, lemon balm has been used as a tranquilizer, sleep aid and to treat inflammation, headache and assorted infections. Studies have shown that when consumed with other calming herbs like hops and passion flower, individuals reported significant sleep improvements as compared to the placebo group.
- Inositol – plays an essential role in phospholipids. Recent scientific research suggests that inositol helps establish healthy cell membranes, which facilitate nerve impulses and help support normal sleep patterns.
- “e-d-s” Enzyme Blend – a special blend of enzymes called “e-d-s,” which stands for enzyme delivery system. They let your body break down the ingredients faster so more is absorbed and utilized. This blend is a key to achieving far better results than other natural sleep aids and delivers them faster.
- Plus more… click the link to see them all!
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Rediscover the Joy of Restful Sleep
Written By: Updated: November 29,2012
2 thoughts on “8 Best Foods for Sleep”
I find that a mug of hot milk with a large teaspoon of Milo & a teaspoon of honey gives me a good nights sleep every time.
Thank you for interesting and useful beneficial info. I am already eating most of the food mentioned eg bananas, oat for porridge at breakfast with MANUKA honey.Always nice to receive useful info. Keep up with the good work.