10 foods that will help you sleep

10 foods that will help you sleep
10 foods that will help you sleep

10 foods that will help you sleep

Proper hours of sleep is very important, the body requires 7-8 hours of sleep in order to function effectively. A healthy sleeping routine helps the body gets enough rest and prevents the occurrence of certain health problems caused by insufficient sleep.

Studies have linked insomnia with lots of health problems including obesity, heart problems and other issues that are detrimental to health.

Lack of sleep is highly ranked as one of the factors that cause the excessive production of the stress hormone (cortisol). An elevated level of this hormone in the body is potentially damaging to the proper functioning of certain organs in the body including the heart and brain.

Insomnia is a problem that a lot of people have complained about and in a bid for a solution, people have resulted to the use of certain medications that will potentially affect their general body health in the future.

The increase in the number of people who suffer from insomnia has drawn a lot of attention from the medical community and lots of research has carried out.

The findings from the research have shown that there are certain enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants present in certain foods substances that help to enhance or improve one’s sleeping capability.

Sleep inducing nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants include:

  • Tryptophan
  • Magnesium
  • Serotonin
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Melatonin
  • Vitamin B
  • Histamine
  • Zinc
  • Folate
  • Pyridoxine

These sleep-inducing elements are present in little quantities in certain food and drinks. Eating or drinking these substances that contain sleep-inducing elements can help to improve the sleeping pattern of a person.

Listed below are certain food and drinks substances that will help you sleep better:

  1. Kiwi fruit

kiwi fruit,10 foods that will help you sleep
kiwi fruit,10 foods that will help you sleep

The constituents of kiwifruit are responsible for its ability to induce sleep, it contains magnesium, calcium, carotenoids, melatonin, potassium and folate.

Research carried out on the kiwifruit shows that it helps to promotes the sleeping capability of a person.

According to USDA 100g of kiwifruit contains;

Magnesium 4%
Calcium 3%
Potassium 312mg
Vitamin B6 5%
Vitamin C
Dietary fiber 3g
Sodium 3mg
Carbohydrates 15g
Protein 1.1g
Sugar 9g

The kiwifruit is a very delicious fruit packed with lots of nutrients, antioxidants and minerals including potassium, folate and other trace minerals.

It is also very low in calories as one kiwifruit contains only 42 calories and a very reduced amount of fat. The sleep-inducing ability of the kiwifruit has been traced to the composition of serotonin, carotenoids and other antioxidants present in the fruit.

Certain research conducted has shown that the consumption of kiwifruit an hour before bedtime can help one sleep better at night.

Kiwifruit also offer lots of health benefits to the body, it helps to reduce unhealthy fat (Cholesterol) in the body, kiwi is also beneficial to digestive health.

  1. Almonds

almonds - 10 foods that will help you sleep

Almonds are healthy nuts that offer a lot of benefits to the body. These nuts are nutrients dense(I.e. they are packed with so many nutrients including magnesium and phosphorus).

According to nutrition value, 100g of almonds contain;

Potassium 733mg
Calcium 269mg
Fat 50g
Sodium 1mg
Iron 3.71mg
Dietary fiber 14g
Carbohydrates 22g
Protein 21g
Sugar 50g

Almonds also contain riboflavin(vitamin B2), manganese, dietary fiber and monounsaturated fats which offer a lot of benefits to the body’s health.

Constant consumption of almonds has been linked to the prevention of lots of chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. This is the function of the healthy fat(monounsaturated fat), antioxidants and other healthy nutrients.

Studies have shown that almonds have the ability to improve one’s sleeping capability, nutritionists have confirmed that the melatonin present in almonds are responsible for this ability.

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the cycle of sleeping and waking up, it is responsible for giving out signals to the body in order to prepare the body for sleep.

Almonds also contain a great quantity of magnesium which is also very efficient in dealing with insomnia. Adequate intake of magnesium helps to reduce inflammation and it also reduces the production of cortisol(stress hormone) in the body.

An increased level of cortisol in the body can cause stress which can affect one’s ability to sleep.

However, more extensive human studies need to be conducted to fully ascertain the link between almonds and sleep.

Eat almonds an hour before sleep this will help you sleep better.

  1. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is a natural drink that helps to boost sleep quality, the presence of certain substances in the tea helps to soothe the nerves therefore making one sleep better.

The tea contains an antioxidant known as flavonoids, a class of antioxidants that helps to minimize the body risks to certain inflammation that may cause the occurrence of diseases in the heart or tumor around the body (cancer).

Some research has shown that chamomile tea is beneficial to our body in so many ways, it helps to strengthen our immune system, calms the body, eases off anxiety, and improves skin appearance.

Some research claims that the flavonoid compound apigenin present in the chamomile tea is responsible for its sleep-inducing ability.

According to the research, the GABA(gamma-aminobutyric acid)receptor is stimulated by Apigenin, these receptors play a role in proper sleeping mechanism(I.e they help to prevent insomnia).

A lot of studies have confirmed that chamomile tea actually improves sleep quality and offers other health benefits to the body.

  1. Walnut

walnut- 10 foods that will help you sleep
walnut- 10 foods that will help you sleep

Walnut is highly nutritious and delicious nuts that provide the body with so many health benefits.

100g of walnut contains;

Calcium 98mg
Potassium 441mg
Dietary Fiber 6.7g
Protein 15g
Folate 98 micrograms
Iron 2 91g
Fat 65g
Carbohydrates 14g
Sugar 2.6g
Magnesium 158mg
Sodium 2mg

The components of walnut including serotonin and melatonin help to regulate and improve sleep.

Walnuts are packed with lots of nutrients including copper, fiber, magnesium and potassium. These nuts are composed of healthy fats(linoleic acid and omega 3 fatty acid) and these fats play a vital role in the health of the heart.

It prevents the occurrence of certain cardiovascular diseases by drastically reducing the level of cholesterol in the body.

Walnuts also contain serotonin and melatonin which help to improve the quality of sleep. Research has shown that there are other constituents of walnuts like magnesium and healthy fats that also help to improve one’s sleeping ability.

  1. Tart cherries

Tart cherries are a healthy and delicious choice of fruit to eat before bedtime as they are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that helps to influence the sleep process positively.

155g of tart cherries contain;

Calories 78kcal
Sodium 4.7mg
Potassium 268mg
Sugar 1.6g
Vitamin A 40%
Dietary fiber 2.5g
Vitamin C 20%
Iron 2.8%
Calcium 1 9%
Protein 1.6g
Fat 0 5g

From the table above we can see that tart cherries are packed with so many nutrients including phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Furthermore, it is composed of antioxidants, serotonin, melatonin, tryptophan and anthocyanins.

Studies have shown that tart cherries help to improve one’s ability to sleep, the composition of tart cherries play an important role in boosting sleepiness.

According to researches conducted, the sleep-inducing ability of tart cherries comes from their high melatonin content.

A lot of studies have been conducted that proved the relevancy of tart cherries with regards to sleep, however, more human studies need to be carried out to establish a link between tart cherries and the sleep cycle.

Despite the lacking number of studies, the tart cherry is a healthy and nutritious fruit, you can blend it to make tart cherry juice. Add this to your diet most preferably an hour before your birthday.

  1. Lettuce

lettuce - 10 foods that will help you sleep
lettuce – 10 foods that will help you sleep

The nutritious and healthy lettuce made the sleep-inducing food list. Unlike other food listed above the sleep-inducing ability of lettuce is not linked to melatonin or tryptophan rather it is due to a compound is known as lactucin.

According to USDA 100g of lettuce contain;

Calories 15g
Sodium 28g
Fat 0.2g
Dietary fiber 1.3g
Sugar 0.8g
Carbohydrates 2.9g
Vitamin A, C, B6
Potassium 194mg

Some research has shown that the composition of lettuce helps to reduce inflammation and other disorder that may occur as a result of lack of sleep.

The sleep-inducing effect of lettuce is a result of the sedative properties of lactucin. However, further human studies need to be conducted to establish a proper link between the lettuce and the sleeping process.

  1. Turkey

turkey – 10 foods that will help you sleep

Turkey is a highly nutritious and healthy food packed with so many nutrients including potassium, cobalamin and magnesium.

According to USDA, 1000g of roasted turkey contains;

Protein 29g
Cholesterol 109mg
Magnesium 7%
Potassium 239mg
Cobalamin 16%
 Calories 189kcal
Fat 7g
Sodium 109mg
Vitamin D, B6 3%, 30%
Calcium 1%
Carbohydrates 0.1g
Iron 6%

The sleep-inducing element of turkey can be traced to the high amount of tryptophan it contains, tryptophan is an amino acid that helps to elevate the production of melatonin in the body. The melatonin in turn helps to regulate the sleeping and waking cycle.

In addition to tryptophan, turkey also contains riboflavin(vitamin b2), selenium, phosphorus, Vitamins and lots of minerals.

Turkey is also a very rich source of protein, it helps to build up the muscle mass, it also has a high satiety rate(makes one feel satisfied easily).

Some research also claims that the high amount of protein in Turkey also plays a role in improving sleep quality. Human studies have been carried out and the conclusion arrived upon is “protein eaten moderately can help to improve one’s ability to sleep at night.”

Furthermore, more research has to be carried out to fully understand the relationship between Turkey and the sleep cycle.

  1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish are rich in healthy nutrients that the body requires in order to function properly and effectively. Fatty fish is also composed of phosphorus, zinc, potassium, folate, calcium and vitamins.

According to USDA 154g of a Wild Atlantic salmon fillet contains;

Protein 39.2g
Sodium 86mg
Fat 12.5g
Calories 280mg

There are different kinds of fatty fish including tuna, salmon and mackerel. These fishes are extremely healthy and nutritious, they provide the body with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Fatty fish are a very rich source of vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids(Eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA) and (docosahexaenoic acid(DHA). These fatty acids are essentially necessary for a healthy heart, they protect the heart from the occurrence of certain heart diseases and also improves the health of the brain.

Vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids help to regulate the production of serotonin. Serotonin helps to improve sleep quality, it regulates the sleeping and waking cycle.

Although human studies have shown that people who eat fatty fish tend to sleep faster and better than people who eat pork, beef, or chicken. More extensive studies need to be carried out to understand the relationship between sleep and fatty fish.

  1. White rice

White rice is popularly recognized as the most consumed grain in lots of countries in the world. Though the brans and gems of the rice have been removed, it still contains some quantities of nutrients.

According to USDA 100g of cooked white long-grain rice contains;

Carbohydrates 28g
Fat 0.3g
Protein 2.7g
Sodium 1mg
Potassium 35mg
Calories 130kcal
Sugar 0.1g
Dietary fiber 0.4g

White rice also contains folate, thiamine, and manganese, the sleep-inducing ability of white rice is not a function of melatonin or serotonin rather it is a function of its high glycemic index.

White long-grain rice is composed of low quantity of fiber, this plays a role in the high glycemic index of the rice.

According to the English dictionary, glycemic index is a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a particular type of food, on a scale where the index of glucose or ordinary table sugar is 100.

Some studies claim that food with a high glycemic index can cause one to sleep better at night. More studies need to be conducted in order to understand the relationship between rice, high glycemic index and sleep.

Note: White rice should be eaten in little portions as they supply the body with very little nutrients.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a very great source of melatonin which helps to boosts sleep quality. Oatmeal also plays a role in weight loss, it is packed with lots of nutrients including dietary fiber.

According to USDA 100g of oatmeal contains;

Calories 68g
Sodium 49mg
Potassium 61mg
Fat 1.4g
Dietary fiber 1.7g
Protein 2.4g
Carbohydrates 12g
Iron 33%
Sugar 0.5g
Magnesium 6%


Proper sleep is really important to the health, it helps to relax our system.

If you suffer from insomnia try to eat or drink substances that contain sleep-inducing elements e.g. serotonin and melatonin.

Sleep inducing foods should be consumed 2-3 hours before bedtime in order to experience their effectiveness.