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Best Foods That Help You Sleep

If you need some assistance falling asleep or just want to guarantee the best possible rest, these foods can provide the necessary assistance.

Turkey is the most well-known source of tryptophan, but other poultry varieties such as chicken also contain this amino acid which aids in melatonin production and promotes sleepiness. Dairy products contain tryptophan, calcium and vitamin D – all essential for a good night’s rest.


Hummus is an irresistible dip that can be eaten as a spread or served with pita bread. It’s made with chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and tahini.

It’s high in tryptophan and calcium, both sleep-promoting nutrients. Furthermore, it contains magnesium – a mineral which has been scientifically proven to improve both quality and duration of sleep for those suffering from insomnia.

Hummus needs salt to balance out its acidity. Sea salt works best as it contains minerals like potassium and sodium.


Almonds are seeds enclosed in a hard fruit shell. While not true nuts, these drupes look similar to peaches until ripe when they split open and release their seed.

An ounce of almonds provides a beneficial dose of heart-healthy fat, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and melatonin. Furthermore, the vitamin E in almonds helps protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals which could otherwise lead to various health issues and diseases.

Studies have discovered that almonds may help improve blood sugar levels for people with prediabetes and prevent insulin resistance – an early warning sign of diabetes. Furthermore, they lower LDL cholesterol and shield it from oxidation which could clog arteries. A 16 week study of 65 adults with prediabetes demonstrated that those who consumed almonds experienced better control of their sugars and lower LDL cholesterol.


Walnuts are an excellent source of melatonin, a hormone that aids in sleep. Furthermore, they contain magnesium which relaxes both your body and mind.

Another reason walnuts are one of the best foods to help you sleep is that they contain tryptophan, an essential nutrient for sleep. Furthermore, they boast a healthy amount of ALA which converts into DHA and increases serotonin production – a chemical which lifts your moods and enhances slumber quality.

Research suggests that eating walnuts daily can improve the health of your gut microbiota and reduce inflammation, potentially decreasing your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease or obesity. Additionally, eating nuts has been known to aid in weight loss as well.

Nut Butter

Peanut butter is an incredibly nutrient-rich and high-calorie food that supplies vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Plus it contains tryptophan – a precursor to melatonin which may aid in improving sleep quality.

However, you should limit peanut butter before bed as it can lead to an increase in glucose levels in your body and keep you up at night. Instead, opt for a low-calorie snack that doesn’t contain refined sugars or carbohydrates before going to bed.

Almond butter has the highest nutritional value of all nut butters, boasting 7 grams of protein and 12 grams of monounsaturated fat per serving (two tablespoons). Furthermore, it provides more vitamins and minerals than cashew or peanut butter, such as vitamin E and magnesium.


Honey has long been used as an ancient remedy to promote sleep. A spoonful of honey mixed with some warm milk can be consumed before bed to help you unwind and enjoy a restful snooze.

Study results revealed that people who drank this mixture before bed experienced better sleep than those who didn’t. It appears the honey helps replenish glycogen stored in the liver which is depleted during wakefulness.

Before bed, taking a spoonful of honey can increase serotonin and melatonin levels in your brain – both of which promote feelings of calm and relaxation. It also decreases orexin, an orexin neurotransmitter that keeps you alert and awake at night.


Tofu is an ideal plant protein, serving as a healthier and weight loss substitute to meat. It’s low in saturated fat, packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as being an excellent source of calcium.

One of the best foods for sleep, pumpkin is packed with vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium – essential minerals that promote deep, restful slumber.

Furthermore, tofu contains isoflavones – natural compounds that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers by decreasing inflammation.

Tofu is an incredibly versatile food, suitable for many dishes such as soups, stir-fries and curries. It comes in various textures from silken to extra firm.

White Rice

Are you searching for a food that helps promote sleep? You might be surprised to know that white rice is one of the best options to include in your diet. It contains essential nutrients like melatonin and tryptophan, two substances known to aid in rest.

Eating rice four hours before bedtime has been scientifically proven to help you fall asleep faster. Plus, its resistant starch content increases your body’s fat-burning furnace for added energy.

Eating white rice should be done in moderation and combined with other nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and meats. If you do decide to include it in your diet, be sure to opt for whole grain varieties for maximum benefits.


After you indulge in a large Thanksgiving meal, it is likely that you will feel fatigued, drowsy and want to nap afterwards – this is commonly known as “turkey coma.”

It is believed that the l-tryptophan in turkey causes this sleepiness after dinner, but tryptophan is not the only factor responsible for feeling tired after a heavy meal.

Other factors, such as the food you eat and how much alcohol you drink, may also cause sleepiness after a large meal. Furthermore, tryptophan alone isn’t enough to induce deep relaxation on its own.


Lettuce is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamin K, folate and iron. Plus it’s loaded with antioxidants which have beneficial effects on your health – plus they may aid in getting to sleep at night!

Lettuces are a commonly used sleep aid in many cultures around the world due to their content of lactucin, an alkaloid that has sedative and sleep-inducing properties.

However, it’s essential to remember that these sleep-inducing effects were only observed in mice given a sedative drug and romaine lettuce extract.

Research on humans is necessary to determine if this trend truly works. Experts advise that trying it once in a while and seeing what results come from it may be beneficial.


Kiwis may not be the most appetizing fruit, but they’re packed with benefits when it comes to sleep. A study revealed that people who ate two kiwis an hour before bedtime fell asleep faster and experienced better quality rest than those who didn’t.

Kiwifruit have high levels of serotonin and antioxidants that aid in relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep quickly.

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