As many as 35% of American adults currently suffer from insomnia, the most common sleep disorder. As a result, many people are eager to find recipes that may help them get more sleep. Both diet and sleep are incredibly complex, and there isn’t any direct evidence that some foods actually induce sleep. That said, numerous studies show how certain foods can promote better sleep and make it easier to stay asleep.
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in animal products, such as turkey, eggs, and fish. It is also found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Consuming foods high in tryptophan is linked to good quality sleep, as the amino acid is a precursor to the sleep-inducing chemicals serotonin and melatonin. One study also indicated that tryptophan could reduce depression and might increase sleep duration.
Unsurprisingly, many of the recipes on this list are rich in tryptophan. Keep reading to discover three common foods that may help you fall asleep.
Herbal teas, like chamomile, are caffeine-free and have many healing properties. Chamomile tea has long had a reputation for being a sleep aid. Its sedative effects come from a flavonoid named apigenin. Apigenin helps create a calming sensation in the brain, making us feel sleepy and relaxed. The recipe below is a slight twist on traditional chamomile tea, paired with milk to create a soothing, caffeine-free latte.
Tart Cherries and Kiwi
Tart cherry juice has been shown to combat symptoms of insomnia and help you fall asleep faster. Most studies point out the fact that several types of cherries cause your body to produce higher levels of melatonin, the most well-known sleep-promoting hormone.
Similarly, kiwi may also help you fall asleep faster, wake up less often, and stay asleep longer. The exact reason for this link is still unclear. However, kiwis may promote sleep due to their high concentrations of antioxidants and folate.
A study in 2014 found that eating fatty fish may help you get better sleep, likely because they are rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Both are involved in the body’s regulation of serotonin and can make you feel sleepy as a result. Some fish, like salmon, tuna, and halibut, also have a high concentration of vitamin B6, which helps the body produce melatonin and serotonin.
Changing your diet could help you get a better night’s sleep. However, if you have a more severe sleep disorder, you should see a certified sleep specialist for professional treatment. Our team is committed to providing you with the best, comprehensive sleep apnea treatments.