By Andy | December 29, 2012 - 7:54 am - Posted in Sleep Habits, Sleepy-Foods

What does food have to do with sleep? Our nutritional status and the food we eat always influence our sleep. Luckily, some foods actively aid falling asleep and staying asleep.
They relax tense muscles, quiet buzzing minds, and/or get calming, sleep-inducing hormones – serotonin and melatonin – flowing.

The following foods can make getting a good night’s sleep a dream come true:

1. Warm milk. It is not a myth. Milk has some tryptophan – an amino acid that has a sedative – like effectwarm milk – and calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan. In addition, there is the psychological throwback to infancy, when a warm bottle meant, “relax, everything’s fine.”

2. Turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan. To get the most from the tryptophan in turkey, eat a slice of white turkey meat on a slice of whole-wheat bread in the middle of the evening.

3. Honey. Drizzle a little in your warm milk or herb tea. Lots of sugar is stimulating, but a little glucose tells your brain to turn off orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that’s linked to alertness.

4. Chamomile tea. Chamomile tea’s mild sedating effect has helped many restless people fall asleep – it is the perfect natural antidote for restless minds/bodies.

5. Bananas. They are practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.

6. Oatmeal. Oats are a rich source of sleep – inviting melatonin, and a small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup is cozy – and if you have the munchies, it is filling too.

7. Potatoes. Eating a little baked potato or a small serving of mashed or roasted potatoes will clear your body of acids that can block the effects of tryptophan.

8. Flaxseeds. When life goes awry and feeling down is keeping you up, trysprinkling 2 tablespoons ofalmonds these healthy little seeds on your bedtime oatmeal. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a natural mood lifter.

9. Almonds. A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can be snooze inducing, as they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.

10. Whole-wheat bread. A piece of toast with your tea and honey will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain, where it’s converted to serotonin and quietly murmurs “time to sleep.”
Food avoid before sleep:

– Caffeine. A stimulant, caffeine boosts the activity of your nervous system, which makes falling asleep more hard.
– Alcohol. Although it may firstly make you feel sleepy, alcohol can cause unrestful sleep and frequent awakenings.
– Heavy, spicy foods, especially if you are prone to heartburn. Eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable when lying down.
– Drugs – make sure that your prescribed medications do not cause insomnia.


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11 Comments

  1. April 18, 2008 @ 6:57 am


    useful informations. thank you.

    Posted by bloger
  2. April 21, 2008 @ 7:57 pm


    alex delarge potato head FTW.

    Posted by rand
  3. April 23, 2008 @ 8:26 pm


    I don’t know about the rest of them, but the turkey one is a myth. Pork and cheese actually contain more tryptophan than turkey does. Also, eating the tryptophan with carbohydrates lessens the effect. Look it up! This makes me question the other foods on this list. Best way to get to sleep? Exercise during the day-you will have more energy in the day AND sleep better t night. Plus you will be healthy, you can’t really lose!

    Posted by sophia
  4. April 23, 2008 @ 9:36 pm


    I never new bananas were good for sleeping. Its to bad I eat them in the morning for breakfast along with my oatmeal.

    Posted by Hyrum
  5. January 24, 2009 @ 11:30 am


    The problem with any list of what’s good for people is that we are all not cut from the same cloth. Some people suffer from hypoglycemic response (post prandial reactive hypoglycemia), which makes certain foods extremely poor choices for them–those same foods may work wonders for other people. Additionally, some people have food sensitivities that make certain foods a bad choice.

    Everyone has to learn what’s good for THEM, not what’s good for other people. Some things are good for almost everyone universally, and those are key. Anyone that puts on weight easily should definitely ignore recommendations to eat sweet fruits, bread (almost all types), and potatoes ANYTIME, not just at bedtime.

    Anyone that eats a high fat, high sugar food like ice cream before bed is asking for nightmares and an extra layer of fat on their thighs the next morning.

    For most, milk should be avoided, but cheese can be tested, and often effective.

    While alcohol should be avoided as a general class, a half a glass of beer rich in certain types of hops can work WONDERS about an 45-60 minutes before bedtime (Bud American Ale is good).

    Celery works good. Turkey is OK. But food is not the only remedy, or a silver bullet–it is probably not even the BEST remedy. Equally important (if not critical) are: dark and quiet bedrooms, vitamin supplements, plentiful water, exercise before noon (not too late), a naturally comfortable but reduced temperature at night (but not TOO cold), wearing socks to bed, not using a pillow that overheats the back of the neck, and reducing intake of simple carbs in the late afternoon and especially evening. Try all these other things. Food should be a last resort as a remedy.

    Posted by Duane
  6. June 3, 2009 @ 6:03 pm


    Catnip tea?

    Posted by Gjyl
  7. September 23, 2009 @ 8:54 am


    Very informative. Did not not know the Banana one – will try. Nevillep

    Posted by Neville Pritchard
  8. March 1, 2010 @ 4:37 am


    i think it is useful to take these tips as apart of changing life style & to recreate your mood & way to sleep & about pork for me it is not allowed and cheese is allergic for many others and please i have a question about restless leg syndrome especially when i an on my period

    Posted by sahar
  9. March 25, 2010 @ 12:40 pm


    For decades I had trouble sleeping or getting to sleep. About a month ago, I learned that bananas are a sleep aid. Now, I eat one about 40 minutes to an hour before I want to fall asleep. Like clockwork, 40 minutes to an hour later I’m out. Excellent sleep aid without any after effects like over the counter medicine. Also, they’re good for you. Try it.

    Posted by jim
  10. July 2, 2010 @ 11:04 pm


    I can attest that the almonds can potentially make a person sleepy, at least in my case. I made some cookies using 1 C organic almond butter (locally made), 1 organic banana, 1 locally grown organic egg (no corn or soy feed), and a bit of organic unsweetened coconut from Bob’s Red Mill. I had some raw batter and some cooked…2-3 bites and maybe 2-3 small cookies.

    Within minutes my energy I had surged to a very relaxed state and I didn’t expect this at all.

    Interestingly, this was my 1st time not having a sneezing reaction afterwards either, whereas raw almonds (non-organic) and almond milk, unsweetened, both gave me those reactions. I did this test wondering if I might feel the same, while also making a treat that my teen daughter might enjoy. On the other hand, I did get a momentary runny nose and a slight cough. I may have to stop intake of all almonds.

    Anyhow, thanks for sharing the insight. :)

    Posted by Joy
  11. January 31, 2013 @ 11:25 pm


    Chronic snoring cures

    During normal breathing, air passes through the throat on its way to the lungs. The air travels past the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, and tongue. When a person is awake, the muscles in the back of the throat tighten to hold these structures in place preventing them from collapsing into the airway. During sleep, these structures can fall into the airway causing snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

    Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snroing and distrubed or interruped sleep patterns. Sleep apnea can have serious consequences including cardiac problems. Frequently patients will awaken in the morning with a headache. If they become sleep deprived they may feel sleeppy all day, and may fall asleep while driving in the car.

    Sleep apnea is diagnosed by a sleep study. During a sleep study, the patient’s breathing patterns, heart rhythim and brain waves are monitored.

    If it is found that sleep apnea is present, most doctors recommend the use of CPAP. CPAP is a breathing device worn during sleep to help keep the airway open. In some situations surgery is recommended. The uvulopalatopharyngoplasty with or without tonsillectomy are surgical procedurs designed to open the airway. In rare situations, a tracheostomy is necessary. These are procedures designed to circumvent this sleep related collapse of these structures.

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    Posted by max

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