9 Foods to Help You Sleep
Try these at-home remedies to ease you into a peaceful rest
Valerian: 600 milligrams an hour before bedtime helps some people, but give it a full month to be effective.
Melatonin: Is a hormone that works for short term sleep issues such as those from jet lag or for people whose circadian rhythms are out of whack. It doesn't seem to be super effective for other kinds of insomnia.
St. John’s Wort: This is relatively safe to try, especially at low doses, but in some cases it can interfere with other: medications (some antidepressants), so check with your doctor before taking it.
Chamomile: Is very safe, and though it won't put you to sleep like a sleeping pill will, it's relaxing and gentle. (Photo courtesy of Istock/eAlisa)
Foods to Avoid
Caffeine, spicy foods, heavy meals, alcohol right before bed, and some medications may contain caffeine so check your prescription.
People think of alcohol as a sedative, and it does cause an immediate drowsiness. But it leads to bad quality sleep that won't leave you rested. Try avoiding all caffeinated beverages after one in the afternoon. Even a three o'clock pick me up could still be causing sleep trouble at night.
The other thing to throw in here is gas-producing foods, which might cause some people to lose sleep. Everyone's sensitivity to these foods is different, but some common gas-producing foods are: apples, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, legumes, lentils, split peas, and green peppers. Try avoiding these foods after lunch time. Also, the size of the meal can impact sleep, like large evening meals can cause sleep disturbances. If getting to sleep is an issue, make your biggest meal at midday and have a lighter dinner.
As a final note, Aronica says that meditation is also a great way to relax both the brain and body. Since stress is the number one reason for insomnia, meditation and yoga can be great for helping in that area. Just be sure the yoga is not strenuous at night because activity that gets you moving can sometimes be counterproductive in inducing sleep. Exercise earlier in the day is really important. You can also try taking an Epsom salt bath. These magnesium salts allow magnesium to be absorbed through the skin, and the relaxing effect of the magnesium as well as the soak in hot water can help sleep.
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