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Foods to Help Sleep

Updated on June 29, 2011

Foods to help sleep

There are foods to help sleep and others that could cause sleep troubles. It depends on what you eat and of course on how much you ate before going to bed. We all know that eating heavy meals, large amounts of food and maybe very spicy foods can cause sleeping issues.

Here we will talk about some foods that make sleeping easier and better and the other foods that should be avoided before sleep. It also depends on the timing. It is much better if you can leave 1-2 hours between last meal and bedtime.

Some people say that drinking milk before sleep can help but there is no proof that it helps sleeping. Also don't try so hard that you skip dinner! Hunger itself can cause insomnia and you might only get the same results! So a small meal/snack before going to bed can help you fight hunger, just make it light. Fruits and vegetables are healthy and can be included in this snack as well as carbohydrate-rich foods that are said to help you fall in sleep faster.

Carbohydrate rich food can help sleeping as they have a role in increasing serotonin, the famous chemical that helps and regulates sleeping.

Many of us have tried herbal teas but it hadn't worked for everyone. There is no proof that it can directly help sleep but some people can benefit from it, some might not do.

For obese people with obstructive sleep apnea, weight loss is INDEED one of the important steps in the treatment. Read more on this in this study.

Sleep supplements

Sleep supplements have results that vary from one person to another. You can use sleep supplements and get rid of insomnia if you are lucky (which is common!). However, some people just haven't noticed any improvement after using sleep supplements, so you try it if you still have insomnia, but make it the last option.

Foods to avoid

All heavy meals should be avoided before sleep. Ignoring this fact will just give you a hard time trying to sleep but you can't. Try to divide your meals as possible and specially at night, make them lighter and healthier.


It helps you concentrate and fight that annoying headache, I know, but it also causes insomnia. Reducing coffee and tea can help sleep, scientists say. Each one of us have a different reaction to caffeine. Some drink alot of coffee daily without having sleep trouble, but others are more sensitive to caffeine, even a few cups will cause sleep problems. So, consider reducing caffeine or drinking it only during the day.

Avoid alcohol

Drinking excess alcohol can affect the brain centers and will increase insomnia. Avoid drinking or at least drink little amounts, specially before you go to bed.


Smoking is associated with sleep troubles such as insomnia and snoring in many people. So, know what to do!


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    • Mezo profile image

      Motaz 7 years ago from Egypt

      yeah, doctors found that "excess" alcohol is bad...occasional glasses are okay, no alcohol at all is best :)

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      no alcohol..interesting. a "occasional" glass or two of wine usually made me sleep very well.