Foods That Help You Sleep

Using a memory foam mattress that provides contoured support for your body’s major pressure points is a proven way to help ensure you get eight hours of restful sleep night after night. But sometimes a change in schedule, stress levels, health, or other variable comes into play and disrupts your usual sleeping habits. To fight occasional bouts of insomnia due to these problems or similar issues, try adjusting your diet to include more of the following foods that help you sleep.

Simple carbs

Eating simple carbohydrates that are high on the glycemic index increases your insulin and blood sugar levels, which in turn makes it easier for you to fall asleep. So as long as you’re not watching your weight or on a special diet that is highly restrictive of carbs, eat a small serving of one of these foods about 30 minutes before bedtime:

  • Pretzels
  • White rice
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Toast with honey


A glass of warm milk has long been a go-to remedy for sleeplessness — and for good reason. Dairy products are rich in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that plays a critical role in helping to regulate sleep/wake cycles. If you’re lactose tolerant, grab a glass of milk or something from this list before bed:

  • Cheese (including cottage cheese and cream cheese)
  • Yogurt
  • Custard
  • Buttermilk
  • Cream

Foods containing B6

Vitamin B6 is important to nearly 100 different functions in the body, including the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps us sleep. Getting the recommended daily minimum of B6 shouldn’t be a problem since it’s found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Fish, such as tuna, cod, salmon, halibut, and snapper
  • Poultry
  • Sunflower and sesame seeds
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Avocado

Foods containing melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that functions as a sleep/wake cycle regulator. While it is commonly taken in supplement form by overseas travelers wishing to mitigate the effects of jet lag, it is also naturally found in the following sleep-inducing foods:

  • Cherries
  • Goji berries
  • Raspberries
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes


Given its role as a natural muscle relaxant and stress inhibitor it’s no wonder that increasing magnesium intake can help you sleep. Start by getting more of these magnesium rich foods in your diet:

  • Spinach
  • Almonds and almond butter
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Chard


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