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Foods For Curing Insomnia

Updated on February 14, 2016
Are you having a problem sleeping?
Are you having a problem sleeping? | Source

Let's talk about insomnia


Have you ever had one of those nights when you toss and turn continuously just willing the time to pass? Sure you have. We've all had night when we watch the minute hand on our clock creep slowly around the dial. Nights where no matter what you do you eyes just won't stay shut and there's no comfortable position that you can find on a normally comfortable bed.

So what do you do. Pick up a boring book, turn on the television hoping it will lull you to sleep, count sheep? I'm pretty sure we've all tried these well known remedies. How well did they work for you? Probably about as well as they worked for me. Have you ever thought about trying to get help for your insomnia by eating healthier? Believe it or not what you eat can effect how well you sleep.

How can food help?

I can remember when I was a little girl and I couldn't sleep my mother would give me a glass of warm milk. I never developed a taste for it but somehow it seemed to help. Old wives tales were in existence because of their effectiveness. They had years of working proof behind them. The old wives may not have know why certain things worked but they knew that they did.

It had been discovered that there are certain foods that will boost chemicals that help the body to relax, and therefore making it easier to fall asleep. When you combine them with exercise and stress reduction help you have a winning combination.

Are you so tired you're slap dab silly?
Are you so tired you're slap dab silly? | Source

So...what are these foods?

Foods rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body to produce serotonin, is a good place to start. Serotonin spreads a feel good feeling throughout your body, calming your brain and slowing down activity, making it possible to relax and drift off to sleep. Also included are foods that work with tryptophan rich foods to allow more tryptophan to enter the brain.

  • Turkey
  • peanuts
  • lemon
  • mashed potatoes
  • honey
  • mulberries
  • cheese

bananas

Iron deficiency may be causing your insomnia, so, you're best bet is to add iron rich food to your diet. Iron deficiency cause anemia which in turn causes restless legs which can keep you awake.

  • oysters
  • lentils
  • red meat
  • tofu
  • shellfish

Whole grains increase the production of serotonin which helps you go to sleep.

  • oatmeal
  • whole-grain cereal
  • brown rice
  • barley
  • oats
  • whole-grain bread

Chlorophyll rich foods act as a sedative. Leafy green vegetables are extremely rich in chlorophyll.

Sometimes a food or drink will help you fall asleep because you believe it will. Many people believe that Chamomile tea helps them relax and drift off to sleep.



Are you a night owl whether you want to be or not?
Are you a night owl whether you want to be or not? | Source

Spices and Herbs that help insomnia

  • dill
  • mugwort
  • basil
  • sandalwood
  • nutmeg
  • lavender
  • sweet marjoram
  • California poppy
  • chia seed
  • valerian
  • Ylang-Ylang

Don't be cranky.  Help is on the way.
Don't be cranky. Help is on the way. | Source

Is there anything I need to stay away from?

Absolutely. For example:

  • Caffeine is one of those substances that you need to monitor if you have problems with insomnia. Drinking as little as 200 milligrams of caffeine in the morning (the amount found in two cups of coffee) is enough to cause problems sleeping at night. Don't forget other things contain caffeine, such as; chocolate, tea and cola.
  • Dinners contains high fat content can cause indigestion and heartburn. Who can sleep when that's going on?
  • Alcohol, although known as a sedative, can cause wakefulness after the sedative effect wears off. It also can make snoring and sleep apnea worse.
  • Refined carbohydrates drain vitamin B and should be avoided.
  • Monosodium Glutamate, additives, preservatives, and tobacco all stimulate rather than calm the mind. They can all cause sleep problems.


Recipes to help you  sleep.
Recipes to help you sleep. | Source

Turkey Florentine


Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb lean ground turkey

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thrawed and drained

1 pkg cream cheese (8oz), softened

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated Romano/Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a large casserole dish with ninstick olive oil cooking spray.

Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic.

Add spinach and suate for 3 to 4 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Combine cheese mixture and meat mixture and place into prepared casserole dish.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until browned on top.

Serves 6

Mediterrian Spinach

Ingredients:

1 tbsp butter

1/4 cup minced onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1 (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/4 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup cottage cheese

Directions:

Melt butter in frying pan, add onion and garlic and saute for about 1 minutes.

Add spinach and continue to saute for 5 to 6 minutes.

Add cheeses and stir until they begin to melt.

Stop stirring and let cook for about 1 minute.

Serves 3

Turkey Burgers


Ingredients:

1 lightly beaten egg

2/3 cups whole wheat bread crumbs

1/2 cup minced celery

1/4 cup minced onions

2 mimced garlci cloves

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and shape into 6 patties.

Coat grill with spray cooking oil.

Grill about 5 minutes on each side.

Serves 6

Comments

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Food Cures for Insomnia interesting and and most useful indeed. What we eat certainly has lots to do with our health in many ways

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      vox vocis, I've found that sleeping does very much depend on what I had for dinner. Sorry to hear about the gastritis.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 6 years ago

      Another useful hub! These food suggestions can really be helpful if you're healthy (my husband and I have gastritis so we can't eat everything). Sleeping definitely depends very much on what you've eaten for dinner. Consequently, the kind of food you've eaten before going to bed influences your dreams.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      kittythedreamer, sleepytime tea is one of the best bedtime drinks I know.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      Oh, very useful...so I voted up and useful. I always found that a good cup of hot sleepytime tea will help put me out, too. Great hub, though.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      ibbarkingmad, how true that insomnia helps with getting those hub finished. But as you say we all need some sleep.

    • ibbarkingmad profile image

      Brian 6 years ago from Utah

      I love it! I am so using this. While insomnia helps with getting hubs published, I really need more sleep than hubs! LOL!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Field-Of-Flowers, I love dill pickles. Just be careful with the salt content.

    • Field-Of-Flowers profile image

      Field-Of-Flowers 6 years ago from Midwest, USA

      I knew of some of the foods you have listed but not others. Thanks for sharing! I see you have 'dill' listed ... time to get a dill pickle out of the fridge... :-)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      RTalloni, I'd love it if you would link to your hub. Thanks for the comment and rating.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Good concise info, great looking recipes, interesting comments. Voted up and useful.

      Would like to link this hub to mine on insomnia and artificial sweeteners if you don't mind. Thanks.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Pinkchic, thanks for the comment.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 6 years ago from Minnesota

      This is a helpful hub! Thank you for sharing it!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Fluffy, I wonder if there is some food combination that will help with the dreams. It's an interesting idea.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      RedElf, enjoy that turkey. It's also one of my favorites, that and chicken. While the kids are away the mom will play. :)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      gr82bme, thanks. Try the recipes they are really delicious.

      Kamalesh050, I am glad you found it useful.

    • Fluffy77 profile image

      Fluffy77 6 years ago from Enterprise, OR

      Great information, and thanks for the turkey recipes. I am such a big fan of anything that will help me rest through the night, I have quite a few dreams that stop that. Thank you for this.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      Love the turkey recipes! My kids don't like turkey, so I often feel turkey-deprived... sigh.... Oh, well, they will be away camping after the deck is built, so I can eat my turkey-fill. :D

    • Kamalesh050 profile image

      Kamalesh050 6 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

      Excellent article, very interesting and informative. Thanks a lot for sharing.

      Best Wishes,

      Kamalesh

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

      KKG, wow great advice and great recipes

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      rorshak sobchak, Thanks for the comment. Believe it or not it really does work.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Auntie D, thanks for the suggestions. The chocolate would certainly make the warm milk more palatable.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Sinea Pies, I have some of the Sleepytime Tea in my cupboard. It really does help to relax you.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      thoughtforce, I wish I had this information myself a few years ago. Thank you for the wonderful comment.

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

      I have heard of food helping us sleep. I need to try it out. Great job keep up the great work.

      rorshak sobchak

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Prasetio, Thanks for sharing. It's always nice to hear from you.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Om, thanks you, I'm so glad you enjoy. I try to add recipes to give some kind of direction as to how to use the food information. Many times someone will read and think that sounds like a good idea but then do nothing because they have to work to get a recipe to follow the healthy dictates. Thanks for reading and the rating.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      You're welcome Movie Master. I find that a bowl of oatmeal for dinner is good for me. Try the recipes, you'll like them.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      tebo, the Meditterian Spinach recipe is delicious. I hope you try it.

    • Auntie D profile image

      Auntie D 6 years ago from California

      Ovaltine or hot chocolate made with dark cocoa powder put me right to sleep. I know it's not suppose to work but for me it never fails. I wasn't aware of what iron deficiency could cause. Thanks for the useful information.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Good hub. I discovered Sleepytime Tea...an herbal tea that really does relax you just a little bit if taken before bed. It tastes good too

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      I wish I had this information when I had iron deficiency, it was hopeless to go to sleep but I didn't put one and one together then. I had difficulty enough to put one leg before the other it the morning after all that walking during the nights:) Thank you so much for putting all this great information together. If I ever suffer from insomnia again I know where to look!

      Best wishes

      Tina

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      My friend, you always come up with great information. I love this hub and I'll share this to everyone. But, I'll start to show this to my mother who has a little problem with insomnia. Well done and you got my vote. Have a great day!

      Prasetio

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Great hub, full of interesting info and helpful tips. And I also love the fact that your diet & health articles usually come with bonus recipes. Rated up! :)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi KKG, very interesting hub, I like a bowl of cereal for supper and find that works well for me, some interesting tips and recipes to follow, many thanks!

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting information. The Meditteranean Spinach is a nice bonus. Thanks.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      dahoglund, I sould have thought about that. Orange juice is also a good thing to have.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Nell Rose, I don't know if it will work but it's worth a try.

    • profile image

      Genna East 6 years ago

      As someone who has difficulty in getting to sleep (my mind often races), this hub is a gold mine, and a splendid alternative to OTC remedies. Thank you!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      To answer your question it will be sugar in some form.It is the side of diabetes that people don't understand. Low blood sugar is extremely dangerous and can lead to a diabetic coma. It seems that just lately I have come to be aware of the warning signs. If my blood sugar is normal than I will opt for something with less sugar.As a matter of convenience dry cereal is a fairly safe choice and convenient.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, this is interesting, I am such an insomniac, I can get into bed at twelve and still be awake at four! I have ylang ylang perfume, not sure if it will work in perfume but its a good idea, I might just try it, the one thing that I do, is open the curtains and stare out at the night sky, watching the clouds go by makes me drop off! cheers nell

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      acaetnna, true they don't have protein but they work extremely well with tryptophan rich foods to help more tryptophan enter the brain. They increase the level of tryptophan so much that many people consider them as containing tryptophan. After reading your comment I went back and added that little bit of information. Great catch. Thank you for pointing it out.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      dahoglund, what do you eat in the middle of the night? Sometimes being hungry can make you lose sleep.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      3angelspower, thanks you. I appreciate the comment.

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

      Really interesting. since # lemon

      # mashed potatoes

      # honey and

      # mulberries are not protein foods where does the tryptophan come from? Just curious!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Sometimes I wake up at night and test my blood sugar and find it low. In that case after eating something I can go back to sleep without worry.

    • 3angelspower profile image

      3angelspower 6 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario

      Very informative... I like your style..