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Trouble Sleeping? Try Eating These Foods

By Paul Rothbart

There is nothing more important to your overall health than sleeping well. Your body and mind need 8-9 hours of good sleep every night. Poor sleep can contribute to a myriad of diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It can also cause chronic fatigue, lack of focus, and depression. Many people have trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons, some physical, some mental. You could take sleep pills or melatonin supplements, but they do have side effects and may create a dependency. You can improve your sleep naturally by eating some of these foods.

Warm Milk

The old standard for insomnia, warm milk, actually works. Milk contains Vitamin D, melatonin, calcium, and tryptophan, all of which have been shown to help you sleep. There is also something comforting about drinking a glass of warm milk that can help you relax and sleep. It's effective physically and psychologically.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is another beverage that has a long history of use as a sleep aid. Like warm milk, it has been proven effective. It also has that same feeling of comfort and relaxation and it can become a sleep ritual. Chamomile contains apigenin, a flavonoid compound that scientists believe is the active ingredient that helps you sleep. Apigenin helps bring on sleep by activating GABA A receptors.


Almonds are a tasty nut that contains high levels of melatonin. They also have significant amounts of calcium and magnesium. These minerals can help your muscles relax and make it easier to fall asleep. Almonds are low in sugar and saturated fats and high in healthy fats and make a good before-bed snack.

Kiwi Fruit

The fuzzy little fruit native to New Zealand is another food that can work as a sleep aid. Kiwis contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, and melatonin, all of which can contribute to helping you fall into a restful sleep. A study found that people who ate two kiwis an hour before going to bed slept longer and better than they did before consuming the fruit. Kiwis also contain lots of nutrients and antioxidants, making them a good choice for overall health as well.


Leafy, green vegetables are very healthy and lettuce has the bonus of helping you sleep. Lettuce contains a compound called lactucin which has n-butanol fraction that may aid sleep. Two studies, one in 2013 and one in 2017, using mice as subjects found that subjects that received n-butanol fraction fell asleep faster and slept longer than those that didn't receive it.

Sleep is one of the most vital aspects of good health yet it can often be elusive. Natural sleep aids are the best way to go. Try eating some of these foods in the hour before bed. You may find your sleep improves without the use of drugs.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Boulder, Colo.

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