Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sleep-inducing Foods

Photo by nonelvis.
Just as some foods and drinks can cause insomnia, others can help induce sleep.  My own experience tells me that oatmeal over warm milk and topped with walnuts and a banana makes me sleepy. But after doing some reading, I have greater insight into why these foods make me sleepy.

This post is part of a series on insomnia.  

Foods that help people feel sleepy often help the body generate melatonin. I am not a biochemist, but you can read this page that explains the process of eating tryptophan-rich foods helps the body to release serotonin which in turn helps release melatonin.

If you want to be technical and exhaustive, you can read through this list of foods high in tryptophan. They include game meat, seafood, soy-based foods, seaweed, spinach, eggs, buffalo as well as turkey and many other foods.

Foods that are more common to the American diet and more readily available include the following:

Ilyklollipops.
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • turkey
  • eggs
  • oatmeal
  • milk 
  • cottage cheese
  • herbal tea (caffeine free)
  • bananas
  • cherries or cherry juice
  • avocados
  • miso soup
  • hummus
  • brown rice
If you want to know about the science behind these foods, look at this list by US News and this list by Woman's Day.

I offer once common-sense caution. Try not to consume too much liquid right before bed. Having miso soup, warm milk, herbal tea and cherry juice all in one evening might make you sleepy. However, it will also wake you up so that you can make a trip or two to the bathroom.  Also, don't add sugar to your oatmeal because sugar is a stimulant.  


Related:

Multiple Causes for Insomnia
Foods that Induce Insomnia

16 comments:

  1. All good ideas (and as for me, I'm used to drinking a glass of water before bed, which is a bad idea -- as you say, better to get your water consumption earlier in the day). But you forgot one thing -- a nice glass of wine, preferably by the fire or while reading a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom: Your scene by the fire place does sound very relaxing. A good night's sleep to you!

      Delete
  2. Great advice. I have no problems sleeping... except for my husband's insomnia! This will be helpful. He's a poor eater and will likely not want most of what's on the list, but I'm pretty sure he'll go for the cherry juice (just not too much!). Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry that your husband has problems sleeping. Very unfun--for you both.

      Delete
  3. I can't tell you what a service this is to me, a great reminder because it's been 20 years since I've had consistently great sleep. At least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's a long time to have problems sleeping. I hope you get several nights' good sleep in a row very soon. Best zzzz to you.

      Delete
  4. Coincidentally, I'm about to have miso soup with brown rice. Could be that I'm going to sleep very well tonight? Everything on this list made sense to be except the oatmeal. Just can't imagine oatmeal for a bedtime snack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miso! I like adding kale to my miso for lunch. I should try it minus the cabbage for a bedtime snack. It does sound soporific.

      Delete
    2. Miso! I like adding kale to my miso for lunch. I should try it minus the cabbage for a bedtime snack. It does sound soporific.

      Delete
  5. This is so good to know since I haven't had a really good night's sleep in years. Will have to watch what I'm eating before bedtime.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great info! I can get to sleep fine, but I do get up a few times for a bathroom break. Good thing is I can fall right back to sleep. I think I will be more aware what I eat before bedtime after reading this for sure! Thanks much for the info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's so great that you can fall back to sleep. I have trouble going back to sleep if I've had at least 4 hours "under my belt." But I really need 6 or 7 to function well. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. Yes, I eat many of the foods on your list. I also take a melatonin tablet before bedtime. It works sometimes and sometimes not. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tried melatonin as a supplement. Many have recommended this to me. All my best to you for a good night's sleep.

      Delete
  8. One of the finest of write-ups there is on the internet today. Kudos to the author for being so well informed. I must give it to their presence of mind and the selection of words. This couldn’t have been written in a much beautiful way. Keep it up. Good on you.
    skin care

    ReplyDelete