25 Foods That Help You Sleep and Catch the ZZZ’s you Need
We all know that a cup of coffee can get you going in the morning, but for the millions who need some extra help getting to bed, is there a food that can help out? Surprisingly, the answer is: “yes, and there’s more than one.” Those who are looking to go the opposite way of coffee can find many natural choices foods for better sleep.
To help, below we have listed 25 foods that can help you sleep. They include fruits, veggies, meats, and a few others that may not be as commonly known. Don’t be afraid to combine them in all sorts of inventive ways to get the maximum benefits.
Produce That Help You Sleep
Whether grown over ground or underground, these fresh fruits and veggies can help you get a good night’s sleep and contain loads of other health benefits.
1. Tomatoes Grown on the vine, the tomato is a natural source of melatonin, a chemical produced by the body during sleep. Although it is recommended to get fresh sources, tomatoes can be found in sauces, paste, and even in ketchup. They are also full of antioxidants.
2. Cherries Far more than a sundae garnish, the cherry is also similar to the tomato. Also boasting high levels of melatonin, tart cherries where found to have loads of anti-oxidants and other nutrients. Be sure to steer clear of the sugary, canned variety which can actually detract from sleep.
source : pccnaturalmarkets.com
3. Radish Also a high source of fiber, there are many types of radishes that contain melatonin. One of the highest rating radishes was the Japanese radish. They can be prepared a number of different ways including radish butter.
4. Bananas Ever wake up in the middle of the night from a Charlie Horse? Than a banana has two ways in which it can help you sleep. A high source of potassium, it is a natural muscle relaxant. Bananas also contain tryptophan, which can help sleep.
5. Ginger The ginger root has a significant amount of melatonin. Whether in root form, ground up, or in a natural tea, they are all good sources of ginger and sleep. It can also be taken as a supplement.
6. Sweet Corn Although not available all season, sweet corn contains high levels of natural melatonin. You can eat it straight from the cob, make it into a cornbread, or even as a frozen food when out of season. Other health benefits include a high level of folate and Thiamin for the heart and mind, respectively.
7. Grapes That glass of wine might be doing more for your sleep than previously thought. Researchers at the Institute of Vegetable Virology found that Nebbiolo grapes contained the most melatonin of all the grapes tested.
8. Spinach If you have dark circles under your eyes, lack of sleep is often thought of as the culprit. But as reported on by Nature’s Basin, it could be lack of Vitamin K. They recommend eating foods high in it, which include spinach.
Main Dish Foods That Help You Sleep
Whether as an entree, side, or even beverage, all of the below foods can help you get a good night’s sleep.
9. Milk Ever wonder why mothers give kids milk before bed time? It’s probably because it will help both of them get through the night. In fact, one of the doctors at WebMD took the time out to give the medical reasons why.
10. Goat Milk Because not all milk comes from cows, check out this tryptophan loaded substitute. Both sweeter and saltier than traditional milk, goat’s milk is commonly drank in other parts of the world. Also a good substitute for the lactose intolerant.
11. Poultry One of the reasons many people feel worn out after Thanksgiving is the turkey. A natural source of tryptophan, it is like many poultry dishes that are also high in it. Other choices include chicken and even duck. Baked is best, while fried can have the opposite effect.
12. Oats Quick and easy to prepare, oats are said to be an excellent breakfast. However, especially when combined with milk and/or honey, oats can also have a calming effect useful for sleep. They are also a good source of tryptophan.
13. Walnuts A good source of protein, walnuts make an excellent snack or vegan option. They also contain high levels of melatonin in addition to many heart benefits. A quick visit to Whole Foods shows the high level of omega fatty acids and other vitamins contained in walnuts.
14. Sardines There are many reasons to eat one of the world’s most natural super vitamins. Just a few ounces of sardines provide many nutrients including vitamin B12, selenium, and Vitamin D. Click here to get the amazing amount of tryptophan levels they contain (over 50 grams!).
15. Potatoes This starch is often used as the staple in many foods, including the American. Whether baked, roasted, or mashed, the potato is also a high source of tryptophan and fiber. If fried, the high fat content can actually have the opposite effect and disturb sleep.
Other Foods That Help You Sleep
Get the best of the rest in foods that help you sleep below.
16. Honey In a study, those who drank more honey improved the antioxidant levels in their blood, making it a useful cure for insomnia. Dark honey is thought to contain more and honey also has vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5, and B3.
17. Cheese and Crackers Although alone they have the carbs and tryptophan that can induce sleep, combining the two can help even more. Keeping both the cheese and crackers natural, with as few additives as possible is also a good choice for those seeking better sleep.
18. Yogurt and Cereal Like the above, this snack combines carbs and tryptophan in one easy snack. It is also small enough to not overdo the digestive system. Best when done with a low fat yogurt and low sugar cereal.
19. Barley Often used in baking and even some beers, barley is also a natural source of melatonin. It can be purchased in many specialty stores or even in the health aisle at many national chains. Although found in beer, the alcohol in it can actually deter sleep.
20. Rice Another world staple, rice is often the main or side dish in many countries. Although brown rice is higher in melatonin content, it can also be found in many natural white rice varieties. As with potatoes, eating rice just about any way but fried is the best way to get its sleep benefits.
21. Sunflower Seeds They may be annoying to open and discard, but sunflower seeds can be high in melatonin. Along with many other useful nutrients, these seeds can also be substituted for fennel seeds, green cardamom seeds, and others.
22. Hummus Made from the chick pea and other ingredients, this is more than a Mideast favorite. The dip is high in amino acids and tryptophan that can help sleep. Best when combined with whole grain pita bread.
23. Tahini Another Mideast food, this one is made from sesame seeds, which are similar to sunflower seeds. Other health benefits include anti-aging properties and digestion. Visit Habeeb.com to get more on tahini and even a few authentic recipes.
24. Tea Although many teas contain caffeine and are stimulants, there are also others that are specifically designed for sleep. One of them is Valerian tea is made from an herb that has long been used for insomnia. Check out this entry from Cathy Wong, the alternative health expert at About.com.
25. Bedtime Snack Although eating right before bed can be a disaster, it can also be a good thing. Combining two or more of the above foods in small doses can actually help sleep. It can also keep a rumbling tummy from keeping you awake.
Although items such as melatonin and tryptophan can aid in sleep, simply changing a diet may not be enough. Because many sleep aids can be bought over the counter, it is important to consult a doctor before using any of them or if you are having consistent trouble sleeping.