Foods For Insomnia: Try These Sleep Inducing Foods For A Restful Night

May 02, 2016 04:30 AM EDT | By Mark Jason Alcala

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Glass of Milk
Milk, due to its tryptophan content, is one of the foods that cure insomnia.
(Photo : Photo by Marina Shemesh)

Getting enough sleep is necessary for maintaining one's health. However, the modern lifestyle does not seem to encourage one to be restful at night, with work related stress, caffeinated lifestyle and the ubiquitous gadgets demanding for one's attention. While sleeping pills would be a viable option, not everyone is aware that insomnia may be cured by eating the right foods. The following foods are proven to be effective against insomnia and could help one obtain much-needed naturally-induced sleep.

Fish and Bananas for vitamin B6

Fish and bananas contain vitamin B6 which is needed to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. To further increase melatonin production and get that restful sleep one is longing for, experts suggest limiting artificial light exposure a few hours before bedtime according to Health Extremist. Melatonin production is adversely affected by light exposure, especially blue light from smartphones, television and laptop screens.

Warm milk, Cheese and Other Dairy

One may have some reservations about that ancient advice regarding warm milk being helpful in inducing sleep. But the old belief is actually backed by science. Milk and dairy products contain tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep and also needed in the production of melatonin and serotonin. Aside from treating insomnia, tryptophan may also help in depression, anxiety and sleep apnea according to WebMD.

Rice, Pretzels and Other High Glycemic Index Food

Clearly this approach is not for those who are watching their blood sugar levels but for those who are healthy enough, eating rice and other high GI foods can help one fall asleep faster, reports Eating Well. While the mechanism is yet to be determined, scientists suspect that the release of insulin triggered by the high GI foods may also allow more tryptophan to enter the brain, inducing sleepiness.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas like chamomile, valerian and passion flower have a mild sedative effect according to BBC Good Food. Studies have shown that drinking herbal tea can help one enter into a relaxed state conducive to sleep because of the glycine in these teas, a known nerve relaxant.

Tart Berry Juice

A study done by Louisiana State University researchers concluded that tart berry juice can effectively cure insomnia. The berries contain melatonin and tryptophan which explains its sleep-inducing effects, reports Prevention. In addition, tart berry contains anthocyanins which slow down tryptophan's absorption resulting to a longer sleep.

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