20 Foods To Help You Sleep Better

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20 Foods To Help You Sleep Better
20 Foods To Help You Sleep Better. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Image credits – see foot of page.

Did you know that certain foods can affect your sleep? Many people are aware that the turkey they eat on Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner contains tryptophan, which assists with sleep. This is part the reason why you zonk out on the couch afterwards. But it turns out that there are many other foods that can affect us in a similar manner.

I discovered a post that really grabbed my attention – and it lists 20 of these foods.

We have also created a page called Top 10 Herbs For Insomnia which takes a look at herbs that are highly regarded for their ability to assist with sleep. So you can see these twom as “companion pages”… and now you now have plenty of tactics at your disposal in the quest for better sleep without resorting to meds. 🙂

I speak from experience when it comes to insomnia. I think that partly because of all the “brain stimulation” I get from working all evening on the computer, I am still “wired” even when it gets really late – and it is often 6am before I wind down. I also think that being self-employed has something to do with it: I can set my own schedule and therefore tend to end up sleeping later and working later… and so it gradually drifts.

I am including a couple of additional tips for better sleep, my own observations “from the trenches”.

1. Avoid caffeinated beverages for at least 4 hours before the scheduled sleep time! Any less than that and I find I am still zinging.

2. Turn off the computer at least 1 hour before bedtime. Otherwise you’ll likely end up randomly surfing the web and not necessarily getting anything constructive done – and I think the computer has a stimulating effect on the brain.

3. If I really can’t sleep, I use a herbal / hormonal formula that works like a charm for me: Sleep Optimizer from Jarrow Formulas. This contains valerian, L-tryptophan, hops, lemon balm, GABA and melatonin. One cap often works, unless I am really thinking too much, in which case two will almost certainly put me out. I’ve not experienced any side effects from using this product for the last couple of years, though once I tried taking 3 capsules (2 is the recommended dose) and it made me feel really weird, slightly delirious and not in a particularly pleasant way. I’ve linked to Jarrow Sleep Optimizer on Amazon (my affiliate link) if you are interested to read the reviews. Do not use if you are using MAO inhibitors.

Ok here is the link to the original list and tutorial:


What natural methods are you using to sleep better? Got any other tips? Please let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments. 🙂

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28 thoughts on “20 Foods To Help You Sleep Better

  1. I love your page on facebook very much..There are so many things I,ve learned…Thank you

  2. 5 leaves Lemon verbena, thumb size piece of lavender.Put in mug pour boiling water over.Put saucer on mug and let stand for 6-8 minutes. Sweeten with honey or sugar. Sip warm and relax.

  3. I don’t ‘do’ caffeine; melatonin keeps me awake; do get off computer a couple hours before bed. I have had this sleep problem since jr. high and I graduated in ’70. The older I got the more I can’t do without sleep so was prescribed Ambien a few years ago. My brain was and still is w/o Ambien like the energizer bunny. Doctors can’t find anything that would cause this.

  4. I read this article with a great deal of interest because I have been suffering from sleep deprivation for the last several months. I am desperate for sleep and will try to remedy this with some of your suggestions. A friend of mine recently gave me some melatonin tablets so I tried them and they actually seemed to help. Perhaps the Jarrow Sleep Optimizer is just what I need for this annoying problem. Thank you.

  5. Shannon…there is a prescription drug called Requip (ropinirole) that works well for RLS. I’ve taken it for several years. My doctor prescribed the 1 mg tablets but they made me feel queasy so I cut them in half which works perfectly for me. I also avoid caffeine and anything that contains antihistamines as these seem to trigger the symptoms.

  6. I like your page very much’i want more information
    about all hearbs.its very helpful.
    So I need more information.Thanks.

  7. People do not believe me when I tell them this. I had tried the suggested soap under blanks which did not work. One night cramps so bad, I got up and wet a bar of soap rubbed on affected area, let dry. When I went back to bed it was amazing. Cramps instantly gone.

  8. Shannon. For what it’s worth. I was told by another person to try this and it seems to be working. Put a bar of soap. any kind in your bed kind of rub the sheets with it and just leave it in your bed. It takes a few days but seems to work.

  9. Re restless legs: I was hit hard with this as a side effect to immunosuppresents (Crohn’s Disease). As I cannot go off the medication I tried everything to cure it. The only thing that works for me is the soap under the bottom sheet. I rest my feet on it as I go to sleep. I use lemon myrtle soap. Also works on restless arms (hold it as you go to sleep). Good luck. It really is a horrible syndrome. You may also get your magnedium and D levels checked too.

  10. Thanks for nice tips I enjoy learning
    New stuff I have brown pigmation
    On my face what do u recommend best
    Please help me thanks for u r time

  11. You have the coolest tips. So helpful and one learns at the same time.
    Thank you

    You’re simply C.O.O.L.

  12. For those who have trouble sleeping researchers say that one week of camping, without electronics, resets our biological body clock and synchronizes our melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset.

  13. This is for all of you ,Wife & i go to swanson Herbs.Com They have herbs,Homapathy,Etc,I cured my RLS, & Pre -Dieabeties.Wife cured her over active liver,No were not assoated with this company. Just trying to pass along info. my next project is to try & fix my BP & my
    arties from reclotting ,useing nature & throwin g away Dr prescribed pills with there bad side effects.

  14. Leg Cramps are caused by a depleted potassium level. Try taking a good potassium supplement, or just eating baked potatoes or bananas (which are less potassium than potatoes..)
    Also try taking L Tryptophan supplement ( what makes you sleepy after eating a turkey dinner).
    Making sure that you have NO electronics close to your bed….no closer than three feet will also help. A VERY dark bedroom.
    Also, some use a supplement like Calm or Calm Plus, a combination of calcium and magnesium. Magnesium deficiencies are also a huge cause of sleeplessness, and often just taking huge amounts of the supplement daily will raise your levels enough to help the sleeplessness issue. Most people are SEVERLY magnesium deficient, which causes many health issues, sleeplessness is just one.
    I occasionally suffer from it, but usually just adjust my magnesium intake, or add the L tryptophan will help.

  15. As far as not being able to sleep at night, my 6yr old son is autistic so for the 1st 5 years we were up until about 3:30-4am and that was on a good night with him. In order to get him on a schedule we tried melatonin and needless to say we will never go another day without it unless he falls asleep before he takes it at night!!! For those people who’s bodies are sensitive to certain things like caffeine…… If you are looking to go towards taking the melatonin I would 1st start out with only taking 2mg and if you still have no success then move to 5 mg and that should work…..
    Also with the leg cramps …..I just want to add something to what other people are commenting. When I was carrying my second child it seemed like I had leg cramps just about everyday… Along with the supplements that you can take or eat bananas…… What also works great is YELLOW MUSTARD….I know it sounds crazy and weird but it really works( you can either put it on something like a pretzel or if you can tolerate it a teaspoon full just on the spoon and that’s the most you will need, just a teaspoon full…….. Thanks everyone hope this helps out

  16. You can also try Melatonin. It’s a natural hormone that we all have and is not dangerous or addictive like many of the sleeping tablets available.

  17. I love this page .this is very helpful specially that my husband has to lower his cholesterol and triglycered.so am always eager to read your articles.
    God bless!!

  18. I am a homeopath ,there is a medicine nux com it can give relief in RLS,u can take nux vom30 for this problem

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