You’re probably well aware that certain foods can help you sleep better. You’ve probably even seen articles about it. Most of those articles suggest roughly the same 8-12 foods.
Sleep is crucial to your health, sanity and, in turn, how your skin looks.
Some foods may not work well for you and your situation. So, we dug deeper and found more foods that can also help you sleep. The more we searched, the more we found.
This is our ultimate list of foods that help you sleep better at night.
Tart cherries are loaded with melatonin (that hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles). Feel free to add a drop of Vanilla extract for added flavor.
Cheese & Crackers
Most cheeses are okay to eat before bed. Stay away from the really-aged or smelly cheeses. The calcium in cheese can help the tryptophan in the brain manufacture more melatonin.
Warm Milk & Honey
Warm milk has a psychological effect on you to make you drowsy. Like when you were a baby. Not to mention the calcium effects just like from cheese. The honey contains L-tryptophan which turns into serotonin. Serotonin, in darkness, converts into melatonin.
Shrimp, Lobster, Crab
These crustaceans are a good source of tryptophan which, as you know, leads to more production of melatonin.
Chamomile – Lavender Tea
Some research shows that apigenin (a bioflavinoid found in chamomile) attaches to GABA receptors in the brain and has the same mild effect as a anti-anxiety drug. It can calm you and your brain down. Combined with the relaxing effects of lavender, you are all set to sleep well tonight.
Elk meat has almost twice the tryptophan that Turkey meat has. If you can get your hands on some elk meat then this may be a viable option for you to help sleep better.
Grapefruit’s magic ingredient is lycopene. Not only has lycopene been shown to improve sleep but it also is an anti-aging element to it as well.
Papaya is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps with serotonin production which gets converted to our sleep-inducing friend, melatonin.
Almonds are a great sleep-aid because of the magnesium found therein. Magnesium has the effect of helping you relax. Relaxation leads to good sleep.
B vitamins are often used to treat stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Beans contain several kinds of beneficial B vitamins.
Specifically, cooked tomatoes. Lycopene is found in tomatoes and cooking them helps release more lycopene.
Certain grape varieties, like those used to make Merlot, Cabernet, or Sangiovese wine have been found to contain a good amount of melatonin. Stick to the fruit and not the wine, as alcohol can make it harder to sleep.
Yogurt, like other dairy products is a good source of calcium. But it also has the benefit of adding good bacteria to your digestive system to help you digest better and reduce any digestive problems, which can inhibit sleep.
Spinach is high in magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which all help in the production of melatonin.
If you’re not a spinach fan, try some kale. It is also an excellent source of calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals that aid in sleeping better.
Though not common, it is great for helping you get some shut-eye. It contains somniferum, which has sleep-inducing properties.
Miso soup is made from fermented soy beans and is very common in Japan. It contains specific amino acids that help in the production of melatonin.
Walnuts are rich in tryptophan. Need we say more.
Dates have two special properties for helping sleep. 1. They contain tryptophan. 2. They contain fast-acting carbohydrates which help the tryptophan turn into melatonin more quickly.
Lycopene is the magic ingredient in watermelons, just like tomatoes.
Hummus is a great source of tryptophan.
Turkey has plenty of tryptophan in it to help you doze off.
Bananas are full of good nutrients conducive to better sleep. The magnesium and potassium can serve as muscle and nerve relaxants. Then there’s vitamin B6 which helps convert tryptophan to melatonin.
Almost everyone likes eggs. Eggs are a good source of serotonin.
Strawberries contain many vitamins and minerals. The sleep-aid ingredient in strawberries is vitamin C. Oranges contain a lot of vitamin C as well but are not great for helping sleep because of their acidic properties.
Mild Barley Drinks (Beer)
The hops in beer is what can help you feel drowsy. The only problem is if you drink too many beers or higher-alcohol-content beers then the alcohol can make it so you don’t stay asleep. Some people use non-alcoholic beers to get the desired doze effect.
Vitamin B6 is found in many types of fish. Salmon, tuna, and halibut are excellent sources.
There are plenty of seeds that are high in serotonin like, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, watermelon seeds, and sesame seeds.
Tryptophan is found in popcorn. You might want to skip the butter and oil though. Air popped is good.
Bell peppers are a surprisingly good source of vitamin C. Good for the immune system, good for sleep.
Whole grains, whether eaten in bread or cereal, offer a good source of magnesium. Low magnesium can lead to being tense and achy, which aren’t conducive to good sleep.
Chick peas are a great source of vitamin B6, just like fish mentioned above.
Studies have shown that rice (particularly Jasmine rice) can help you fall asleep faster due to its high glycemic index.
Broccoli is full of many nutrients, one of which is magnesium. Broccoli is good for you body in more ways that one.
Potatoes are also a high-glycemic food that can help you fall asleep faster.
Pretzels lead to a natural spike in your blood sugar which helps the tryptophan convert into serotonin and melatonin.
Cortisone is the “stress hormone” in your brain. Dark chocolate helps reduce the production of cortisone. Less stress means better sleep.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the crocus sativus plant. In a study on mice, a water-based saffron extract was used and it reduced anxiety and improved sleep.
Oatmeal is rich in melatonin. But it also helps the tryptophan convert quickly as well.
One cup of soybeans contains 122% of the recommended value of tryptophan. Edamame is the freshest, best way to eat soybeans.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with potassium which calms the nerves, relaxes the muscles and helps with blood circulation.
Pineapple has been found to be one of the best dietary sources of melatonin.
You shouldn’t have to go to bed hungry after reading this list 🙂