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Some best foods for sleep

Updated on May 19, 2013

It is quite uncommon to find an individual who has not experienced difficulty in falling asleep, remaining asleep or both. According to some estimates, 30% to 50% of general population is affected by insomnia and 10% have chronic insomnia.

Apart from our lifestyle pattern, our foods also influence our sleep and its quality. There are certain foods, which are good for sleep and individuals suffering from insomnia can make best use of them to improve their sleep and its quality. The following are some of the best foods for sleep --

  • Cherries-- They are one of the best foods, which induce sleep because they contain melatonin which controls our body’s internal clock. A study also found that drinking cherry juice results in improvements in duration and quality of sleep in adult insomniacs. So it is advisable to take cherries to combat insomnia and jet lag.
  • Milk-- Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan which is a precursor to brain chemical serotonin. A glass of milk at bed time may help a person to drift off to sleep, though some say it is controversial.
  • Rice-- Rice ranks high on the glycemic index. It has been found that rice eaten 3-4 hour before bed time reduces the amount of time taken to fall asleep as compared to other high glycemic index foods. It is speculated that production of tryptophan may be responsible for inducing sleep after a high glycemic index meals.
  • Cereals-- In general, carbohydrates are good for sleep. Shredded wheat having complex carbohydrates is good for the purpose. Cereals with milk have real sleep promoting qualities.
  • Bananas – They help promote sleep because they contain natural muscle relaxants like magnesium and potassium. They also contain complex carbohydrates. They are good for the over all health.
  • TurkeyTurkey contains tryptophan, a chemical that can make people dose off.
  • Sweet potato-- They contain lot of complex carbohydrates and potassium, which is a natural muscle relaxant. Other sources of potassium include ordinary potatoes, beans and papaya.
  • Almonds-- A handful contains muscle-relaxing magnesium and sleep-inducing tryptophan, which increases the brain's level of feel-good serotonin. They are one of the healthiest foods that help you sleep better.
  • Valerian tea – Root of valerian plant has been shown to induce sleep and improve its quality. So it is worth enjoying some tea at bed time to get a good night’s sleep.

By making judicious inclusion of the above foods in our daily food intake, we can improve our sleep and its quality.


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