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3 Foods You Should Eat for Better Sleep

January 04, 2018

Getting enough sleep is paramount to stress control and vitality.

Yet, 40% of Americans report they occasionally suffer from insomnia.

Did you know that eating the right foods can promote a more restful sleep?

Here are my top 3 food choices to help you get the sleep you need.

Drink Tart Cherry Juice.

Having a little tart cherry juice before bed can help you sleep longer. A 2014 pilot study from Louisiana State University shows that when compared to placebo, drinking tart cherry juice increases sleep by almost 90 minutes.

While more research needs to be done, this pilot study is encouraging. Tart cherries are naturally high in melatonin, which regulates the sleep wake cycle.

They also fight inflammation and pain, especially from arthritis or gout, which worsen sleep issues for many older adults.

Have a Bowl of Oatmeal.

Complex carbohydrates in whole grains like oatmeal encourage insulin production, and the release of serotonin and tryptophan which help you relax and fall asleep faster.

Oats are very high in anti-stress vitamin B6 and melatonin, a natural sleep aid.

Oatmeal is a satiating food for better sleep. Add a sliced banana for more magnesium and potassium if you also have nighttime leg cramps, another big cause of disrupted sleep.

Eat Leafy Greens.

Here’s another reason to eat your veggies. Kale and dark leafy greens are high in calcium, which improves REM sleep and the body’s use of calming tryptophan.

Romaine and green leaf lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties similar to opium, but much milder and without the side effects.

Add a fresh green salad with your dinner to encourage a more restful sleep at bedtime.

We all struggle with sleep from time to time. Before you reach for an over the counter sleep aid, experiment with sleep enhancing foods like the ones mentioned in this article.

In addition, watch your caffeine and energy drink intake as they are major insomnia triggers for Americans today.


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Elias, N. (2014, April) Drink this, sleep 90 more minutes at night. Retrieved from Prevention,
Jung, A. (2016) 16 Foods that help you sleep. Retrieved from Reader’s Digest,
Longo, N. (2014, April). Ten reasons you should be eating romaine lettuce over all the others. Retrieved from Prevent,
Main, E. (2015, May) 9 Foods that can help you sleep better. Retrieved from Prevention,
Moody, C. (2013, Aug) 10 Foods which make you sleepy and 10 foods which keep you up. Retrieved from Good Housekeeping,
Pigeon, W. (2010, June) Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: A pilot study. Journal of Medicinal Food, 13(3), 579–583. Retrieved from