How foods can aid better sleep

How certain foods can help you with Sleep.

If you tend to find sleep elusive, you’re not alone. Statistics show that around 22% of us struggle to get a good’s night kip on a daily basis.

And as we get more stressed and anxious, the worse the problem is likely to get.

Various studies show that certain foods can be of service when it comes to getting better quality sleep. And seeing as we all love eating, getting more of these foods shouldn’t be too much of a problem, right?

Here are a few sleep-inducing foods to try, in in moderation of course.


Believe it or not, the old wives’ tale about drinking warm milk before bed might have some truth to it. Milk is a big container of tryptophan, which is an amino acid needed in the diet and which converts first into serotonin (mood-boosting) and then melatonin, which can help regulate sleep. In fact, studies show that when cows are milked at night their milk contains up to 24% more tryptophan. Although unless you own your own cow, I’m not sure how you’re going to check it’s been night-milked.


As well as being delicious, salmon is good for snoozing. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, men who ate salmon three times a week for five months alongside their normal diet reported sleeping longer with less disturbed sleep. They also reported better daily functioning.


We’ve all got a bag of rice languishing at the back of the kitchen cupboard; turns out, it could help you get more shut-eye. A study of the diet and exercise habits of around 2,000 men and women in Japan found that those who ate more rice also reported better and longer sleep.


Magnesium deficiency is reportedly extraordinarily common among adults, which is bad news if you’re trying to catch those Zs – the mineral plays a crucial role in deactivating adrenaline, the one thing that’s guaranteed to keep you awake. In fact, a 2012 study showed that taking magnesium supplements could result in “significant increases in sleep time”. Spinach is one of the most magnesium-rich foods and also contains calcium, which is also thought to be beneficial to getting a good night’s sleep.


They might not be good for the environment (one almond takes about a gallon of water to cultivate… oops) but they do contain high levels of tryptophan (that guy again) and magnesium (and that guy) – both of which, as we know, have been earmarked as good ways of helping sleep.

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