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Tryptophan foods and other natural sleep remedies

Updated on September 14, 2010

A good nigth's sleep is simple!

The simplest methods of insuring that all important good night's sleep can be reduced to basically just a few healthy habits and adequate nutrition. From tryptophan rich foods to a little snack before you go to bed, you will be surprised at just how easy it is to create the right conditions for a relaxing and recharging night of sleep.

Eat tryptophan rich foods

Everybody knows it from their parents: a warm cup of milk does wonders for a good night's sleep, but why is that? Dairy products contain a special ingredient called tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that acts like a natural sleeping pill. Even if you're lactose intolerant you can still find tryptophan in other products like bird meat, bananas and honey. Other sources of tryptophan include eggs, cod, soybeans, cheese and sunflower seeds. Tryptophan foods help treat a lot of common causes of sleeping disorders like anxiety, nightmares, headaches and depression.

Other important tips

A little snack helps

If you're suffering from insomnia then a little snack before going to bed might help but be warned: keep it as little as possible! A snack is not a meal, eating too much will trigger your digestive system into action and will have the opposite effect not the desired one. Also remember that a snack doesn't mean junk food!

Careful about Caffeine

Everybody knows not to drink coffee in the evening when they want to sleep, but we must always remember that Caffeine is found in other products as well. Coke, chocolate, some types of tea, diet pills or sedatives can all contain caffeine so be sure to read the labels carefully.

No alcohol or smoking

Even though alcohol can help you fall asleep by making you more relaxed, you will most likely not benefit from it. Having nightmares or waking up with a headache is a risk you don't want to take. That goes for cigarettes too, even if you find smoking relaxing, nicotine is a stimulant and has similar effects to caffeine so remember not to smoke before going to bed.

Reduce liquid consumption after 8 o'clock

While hydration is an important aspect of a healthy life, it is recommended to reduce liquid intake after 8 o'clock to combat the need of going to the bathroom late at night. Interrupting deep sleep is very bad.

No protein rich or spicy food

While protein rich foods are important they are also hard to digest, so it is recommended not to eat any for at least 4 hours before you plan on going to sleep. Spicy foods will give you stomach burns or gastritis which will also reduce your chances of getting a good night's sleep significantly!


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    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for this great info. I am a light sleeper and will try some of your ideas and advice. Will also be Sharing this.