The Best Foods for Stress-Free Sleep

We have all experienced those nights where falling asleep seems impossible. Perhaps your mind is just too wired, or your body is exacting revenge for that 5pm espresso. In these cases, a mug of Sleepy Time tea just won’t cut it. Luckily, there are some natural foods that can help make your journey to dreamland a little easier.

Here are a few powerful, stress-busting foods for when you just can’t fall asleep.

Opened ripe cocoa pod on drying raw beans background

Raw Cacao

Cacao is incredibly rich in magnesium, a mineral that is profoundly associated with relaxation. At least 50 percent of the US population is magnesium deficient, so enjoying a little raw cacao powder isn’t a bad idea.

Around 70 million Americans also struggle with sleep disorders. Interestingly, insomnia can actually be a symptom of magnesium deficiency, so if you’re struggling to snooze, a little cacao dessert after dinner might just be the doctor ordered.

Just be warned, cacao has more caffeine than its roasted cousin, cocoa. While the caffeine content of cacao is still very small, if you’re ultra caffeine sensitive, this may not be the best food to have at bedtime.

Hand holding bottle of Cannabis oil against Marijuana plant

CBD/Hemp Oil

CBDs are the latest and greatest thing to hit the wellness marketplace, and while a lot of the proposed benefits of CBDs are (as of yet) unsupported, science does back CBD’s sleep boosting benefits. Since it is such a powerful pain and anxiety reducer, CBD can be incredibly helpful at bedtime if anxiety and overthinking are what keep you tossing and turning.

Note that hemp oil is naturally high in CBDs and low in THC, so if you can’t find dedicated CBD oils near you, hemp oil still comes with a spectrum of similar benefits—and you can easily find it in your local health food store.

Honeycomb in honey Jar on the table

Raw Honey

There’s a reason milk and honey is a traditional sleep remedy. Raw honey comes with the benefit of improving the brain’s uptake of tryptophan, that sleepy amino acid that is famously found in Thanksgiving turkey and cows’ milk.

At night, your body uses tryptophan to create melatonin, a hormone which makes us sleepy by informing the brain that it’s time to shut down and get some shuteye. So, a little raw honey at bedtime can support healthy melatonin production to ensure you get some quality Zzzs.

To really amp up the benefits, pair it with a little serving of a tryptophan-rich plant food like cashews, almond or soy milk, or chia seeds.

Additionally, according to Dave Asprey, creator of the Bulletproof lifestyle, “During the night, your brain uses a lot of energy. One efficient form of brain energy comes from sugar stored in your liver, called liver glycogen. Your brain taps your liver glycogen before hitting your muscle glycogen (stored sugar in your muscles), so having a little extra sugar before bed can help your brain function better at night.  Raw honey is preferentially used to stock liver glycogen, so it is used first for brain function.” Raw honey can really help you make the most out of your snooze time.

Whats your go-to home remedy when counting sheep just isnt working? Share in the comments section below! 

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Images via Getty


Jessica K
Jessica K4 days ago

A caffeine rich food and hemp oil. Interesting combo! Thanks.

Kevin B
Kevin B4 days ago

Thank you

Frances G
Frances G4 days ago

thank you for posting this

Greta L
Greta L6 days ago

thank you

Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers6 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers6 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

Michael Friedmann

I don't agree with the honey part (aka bumblebee hive robbery), Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Berenice Guedes
Berenice Guedes8 days ago

Thanks for sharing!!!

Mariana O
Mariana O9 days ago

Useful info. Thanks

Paulo R
Paulo R9 days ago