Doing things differently (3) Foods that may help you sleep

I have struggled with insomnia for many years now and, having a demanding full time job, I need my sleep. 4 hours is just not enough. I am prescribed Amitryptyline which works for me and I only have to take a small dose to guarantee 7-8 hours of quality rest. But rather than resort to medication, there are some simple things you can consider which may help. Your diet is one of them. Tryptophan [an amino acid that has a sedative – like effect] and magnesium seem to be common to most of the following foods which are recommended for insomniacs.

Almonds: They contain tryptophan and magnesium which is a muscle relaxant.

Chamomile tea:  apparently helps promote sleep. Ordinary or green tea is also fine as long as it is de-caffeinated.

Bananas: An excellent source of magnesium and potassium. They also contain tryptophan.

Yoghurt, milk and cheese also contain tryptophan. Calcium also works to help relieve stress.

Oatmeal-porridge oats or museli : A warm bowl of oat-based cereal is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium, all important nutrients that support sleep. Avoid adding sugar as this may counteract the sleepy benefits.

Potatoes-Eating a small baked potato or mashed or roasted potatoes will clear your body of acids that can block the effects of tryptophan.

Cherries-are one of the only food sources of melatonin, an antioxidant that helps the body sleep and is found in fresh, dried, or frozen cherries . Try eating a bowl of cherries one hour before bed.

Foods to avoid: Coffee and tea (caffeinated), alcohol and heavy or spicy foods.

You may also like:

Melatonin, jet-lag and sleep disturbances

Magnesium deficiency


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