Food remedies to ensure a good night’s sleep

It’s a known fact that lack of sleep leaves us feeling lethargic and terrible, and that getting a good night’s sleep is essential for a person’s health and well being. Yet many people do not get enough sleep and suffer from lack of sleep.

Lack of sleep is also believed to affect the immune system, leaving us vulnerable to several health problems. Here is a list of food items that help induce sleep.

Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed will help you to sleep better. Dairy products are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps in the production of the sleep inducing brain chemicals, serotonin and melatonin. Eating a carbohydrate-rich snack, like a few oatcakes or a bowl of cereal, an hour or so before going to bed stimulates the release of insulin which helps to clear amino acids that compete with tryptophan from the bloodstream, allowing more of the sleep-inducing amino acid to enter the brain.

Honey contains glucose, which tells your brain to shut off orexin—the chemical known to trigger alertness. One tablespoon is the amount required for a good night’s sleep.

Cherries, along with nuts and oats, are a natural source of melatonin and, when eaten regularly, can help regulate the sleep cycle.

The magnesium and potassium in bananas serve as muscle and nerve relaxants and can be effective against muscle cramps and involuntary twitches that keep some people awake at night. The vitamin B6 found in the fruit also converts tryptophan into serotonin, increasing relaxation even more.

A handful of nuts or seeds
Nuts such as almonds help you doze off in no time. Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, both help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm.

Seeds such as sesame and sunflower are rich sources of magnesium which helps the body manufacture serotonin more effectively.

Herbal teas
Chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm are the ones that has tons of sleep-promoting properties.

Vandana Singh, Correspondent (Food)

Image Courtesy: Epiphonication (, Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic | Flickr