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Foods to help you snooze

by Georgina Tsel (follow)
I'm an everyday girl who enjoys the simple things in life. Absorbing the beauty of the world one day at a time and learning new things along the way.
Therapeutic Foods (53)      Sleep Naturally (13)     
There's nothing like a good quality deep sleep. However, it's easier said than done, particularly if you struggle to stay asleep, work night shifts, or study. Research states that many foods or condiments assist in promoting sleep through naturally occurring substances that help relax the body.

Chamomile tea

In my opinion, there's nothing as soothing as a cup of warm chamomile tea. It does wonders for the human body, and was traditionally implemented in alternative medicine to calm the body from anxiety. Research states that the chamomile flowers contain terpenoids and flavonoids, making it one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind.

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Similarly, it has been used for various human ailments such as hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, anxiety, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and haemorrhoids.


Honey is a great addition to your pantry for many health reasons, and one of them is its apparent ability to promote sleep. Honey's natural sugar triggers a slight insulin spike, which then stimulates the release of tryptophan in the brain. The tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin. Melatonin in return inhibits the release of insulin - stabilising blood sugar levels during the night.

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According to research, a teaspoon of honey before bed or mixed into a cup of chamomile tea could help you have a more restful slumber.

Shrimp and other crustaceans

Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee Via Freedigitalphotos.net

Crustaceans are also rich in tryptophan and can apparently help you achieve a more restful sleep. As mentioned above, the tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which acts as a natural sedative and induces feelings of calmness and sleepiness; a greater production of serotonin means an improvement in mood and daily function. Similarly, consuming foods containing this essential amino-acid, should be eaten about one to one and half hours before bed time, as it takes approximately this much time for tryptophan to reach the brain.


Photo by Jules / Stonesoup Via Wikimedia Commons

According to Jacob Teitelbaum, the medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centres and author of the bestselling book From Fatigued to Fantastic!

"Almonds are a winner, as they contain magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation".

If you're wanting to try something different, almond butter is both delicious and nutritious.


Photo by Benson Kua Via Freedigitalphotos.net

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Rochester found that cherries naturally boost the body's supply of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain to regulate sleep patterns. Cherries or even cherry juices are extremely healthy, increase your melatonin levels and add more antioxidants into your body. However, try to avoid cherry juices with added sugars, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, artificial colours and preservatives.

Sweet potato

Not only is sweet potato delicious, but it's also loaded with health benefits that can impact sleep positively. One of these things is their high potassium content, which is known to help you fall asleep easily. Potassium plays a significant role in muscular and cellular functions, cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and even converts glucose into glycogen. Similarly, low potassium levels contribute to sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome (RLS) and leg cramps. RLS is a major cause of insomnia in individuals.

Photo by Sommai Via Freedigitalphotos.net

Unlike processed carbohydrates, sweet potatoes possess a low glycaemic index, making them slowly digest, as they release body-repairing energy at night. Additionally, they won't cause a sudden spike in blood sugar and are gentler on your digestive system.

Whether you struggle to sleep or not, these foods and condiments provide numerous health benefits through their nutritional qualities that have been known to assist with ailments. If you're looking for a natural and holistic way to sleep better, try and include these simple foods in your daily diet.

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Great article Georgina!

Brown rice is also said to be great for encouraging healthy sleep patterns, and I certainly find it works for me.

But I'm happy to take any reason to eat more cherries and sweet potato!
Thanks heaps :) I didn't know brown rice helps, but that's good to know. I need to eat more of that actually! Yep, any chance to eat more sweet potato is good, I'm obsessed with it!
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