Foods for Sleep & Food To Treat Insomnia: A List of The Best and Worst Foods for Getting Sleep

Food To Treat Insomnia

It is essential to have a sound sleep every night. Sleep affects our physical, mental and emotional well-being. When we are sleeping our body goes under the process of detoxification and repair. During sleep, the muscles of the body are relaxed, and blood is diverted toward the muscles to repair them.When you sleep well at night, you feel energetic the next morning. But without a good night sleep, you and feel lethargic for the rest of the day. This, in turn,disturbs your next day routine, you spend the rest of the day irritated,and work productivity reduces. A poor sleep pattern is also associated with poor health.

Food To Treat Insomnia

Food To Treat Insomnia

What Is Insomnia

A person who sleeps less than 6 hours or who do not have a sound sleep is said to have a poor sleep pattern. A person is said to suffer from insomnia if he or she wakes up too early in the morning, or keep on waking up frequently during the night or who falls asleep with difficulty.

In general, we Classify Insomnia into Four Categories:

1. Primary Insomnia-

When sleep issue is not related to any other health issue.

2. Secondary Insomnia-

When sleep issue is caused due to a side effect of medications or due to pain or some health issues.

3. Acute Insomnia-

It is short-term sleeplessness lasting for one day to few weeks.

4. Chronic Insomnia-

When you are suffering from sleeplessness for 3 or more night in a week for a month or more.

What Causes Insomnia

Many causes lead to insomnia such as anxiety, pain or discomfort, stress, a side effect of certain medication, interference with your regular sleep pattern, intake of too much caffeine or other stimulants such as nicotine and a heavy meal. Certain medical conditions that may lead to or aggravate sleeplessness are low back pain, asthma, arthritis, chronic pain, and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Foods To Treat Insomnia

One of the most important reasons for sleeplessness today is a hectic yet sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. There is an essential relationship between eating habits and sleep pattern.

Foods To Treat Insomnia

Foods To Treat Insomnia

Vitamin B6, tryptophan, calcium and magnesium are four essential nutrients that promote sleep. Below I have discussed foods that are rich in them and are good at inducing sleep and get rid of fatigue.

Foods To Treat Insomnia

1. Tryptophan-Rich Foods To Treat Insomnia-

Tryptophan in the body converts into serotonin and then converts to melatonin. The melatonin hormone level is high at night while sleeping and so it is considered to play an essential role in natural sleep and wake cycle. Foods rich in tryptophan are dairy products such as low-fat yogurt, cheese and milk, poultry, seafood, legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables, onion and grains such as barley, rice, oats and wheat.

2. Foods Rich In Magnesium-

Foods rich in magnesium are dark green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts, low-fat yoghurt, banana, fish, soybean, avocado, wheat germ, banana and fish. Magnesium deactivates adrenaline and relaxes the muscles. Lack of magnesium in the body causes sleep difficulties. So include foods rich in magnesium in your diet.

3. Foods Rich In Calcium-

Calcium helps in the formation of melatonin hormone. Lack of calcium may make you awake frequently during sleep,and then you will have difficulty in sleeping back.
Foods rich in calcium are cheese, dark green leafy vegetables, yogurt, okra, broccoli, low-fat milk, soybeans, fortified cereals and sardines.

4. Foods Rich In Vitamin B6-

Deficiency of vitamin B6 is associated with a low level of serotonin,and poor sleep. Deficiency of vitamin B6 leads to mood disorders and depression. Foods rich in vitamin B6 are fish, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, banana, avocado, dried prunes and spinach.

5. Food Sources Rich In Melatonin-

Food sources that are rich in melatonin are broccoli, olives, tomatoes, asparagus, corn, cucumber, rice, oats, nuts and seeds.

Foods Bad For sleep

Besides including the foods listed above in your diet make sure not to consume spicy foods, alcohol, fat-rich foods, food an drinks rich in caffeine, foods high in water content and heavy meals near bedtime as these foods can rob you of sleep.

We hope when you will include foods that improve sleep in your diet and avoid the intake of foods bad for sleep in your diet your sleep will improve. But if you do not find any improvement do consult your doctor.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.