7 Foods that Help You Sleep Well

“Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, move harmoniously.”
― Jean-Pierre Barral

If you find yourself staring at the ceiling late into the night, try these foods to help you drift into blissful sleep.

A cup of chamomile tea. For centuries, chamomile has been harnessed as a herb that alleviates anxiety and promotes relaxation.

A handful of almonds: soak almonds in clean water in the morning. At bedtime, slide off their skins and munch on them slowly. The magnesium in almonds relaxes muscles and their protein content keeps your sugar levels stable while you sleep.

A bowl of oatmeal: Every now and then, I stir up oatmeal for dinner because it feels so warm and comforting. Only recently, I learned that I’m actually helping myself sleep better by doing so. The fiber and minerals in them do a wonderful job of easing the body and mind. Do avoid sugar in your oatmeal, though.

Half a cup of cottage cheese: the slow-digesting proteins in cottage cheese/paneer keep your digestive system relaxed all night long. Besides, it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that plays a key role in promoting better sleep.

A bunch of grapes: I was surprised to know that grapes are the only fruit that contain melatonin, the hormone famous for coming to the rescue of those who cannot sleep. Just munch grapes on their own or stir them into a bowl of yogurt for a lovely and soothing bedtime snack.

A banana: the secret here is three-fold—potassium, magnesium and tryptophan, which combine in one wonderful fruit to help you say ‘goodnight.’

Toast: it’s hot, filling and comforting. And surprise, toast actually helps you sleep well, thanks to its being a trigger for insulin production, which in turn boosts the sleep-friendly brain chemicals serotonin and tryptophan.

What’s your sleep IQ?

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Christina B.
Christina B.2 years ago

The reason why toast raises insulin levels is because it rises your blood sugar levels first, as a result of the carbohydrates it contains. In that sense, any food containing carbohydrates should be able to do the trick, but, somehow, I really doubt that's the case.

I'm only pointing this out because the kind of oversimplified science I often encounter in Care2 articles annoys me, since it is sometimes contradictory. In this article, for instance, almonds are praised for "keeping the blood sugar levels stable", when what they actually do is lower the glycemic index of the carbohydrate meal you had before eating the almonds. In other words:

If you eat carbohydrate-rich foods, like white bread, potatoes or pasta, your blood glucose (sugar) levels will spike. [That would actually cause a spike of insulin, as well, which, according to the author and the toast example, is beneficiary for sleep.] However, if you eat a few almonds *after* the meal, they can actually help reduce your high blood glucose levels (which will also decrease the amount of insulin needed, as well).

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

All delicious!

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Shubhra Krishan, for Sharing this!

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Shubhra, for Sharing this!

Roger M.
Past Member 2 years ago

Good to know. Thanks.

Elaine S.
June S.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this information. I will try some of them.

Shanti S.
S S.2 years ago

Thank you.

Mary L.
Mary L.2 years ago

Why is everyone so hot on bananas? Frozen I can barely get half a one down.

Neil B.
Neil B.2 years ago

Hmm, very interesting, and I could certainly use the help in sleeping. Not a fan of chamomile tea but might have to get myself some grapes later.

Amber Martingale
Angela Roquemore2 years ago

I can't stand chamomile.