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Can A Better Diet Improve Your Sleep?

Sleep is vitally important to our health but sometimes those much-needed z’s elude us. Thankfully there are some foods that contain naturally occurring substances that can help you nod off into dream land.


These hard to crack nuts are a great source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin and melatonin which are a part of hormones responsible for your body’s sleep and wake cycles. Furthermore, researchers from the University of Texas found that walnuts have their own source of melatonin in addition to the tryptophan. Alternative sources of tryptophan include hummus, shrimp, lobster, and elk.

Dairy products

Including milk, cheese, yogurt all contain calcium which helps your body utilize the tryptophan that is also found in dairy products to create melatonin.  Combine these with some carbs (which also aid in sleep) such as crackers or cereal for a good night’s rest. Additionally, the calcium helps to regulate muscle movement. Other calcium rich foods for the lactose intolerant include kale, spinach, mustard greens.


High in magnesium, almonds can help to aid in the search for sleep, as well as curb any headache you might have. The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine found that low magnesium levels can make staying asleep tougher.



Bedtime could be just around the corner with a nice salad at dinner as lettuce contains lactucarium. Lactucarium has sedative properties not unlike the effects of opium on the brain.

This carb heaving snack naturally spikes your blood sugar and insulin levels which helps tryptophan to enter the brain thus cutting the time it normally takes to fall asleep.

Tuna, Halibut, & Salmon

These fish are high in vitamin B6 which is another component needed for your body to produce melatonin and serotonin.  For those not into fish to find their B6 fix foods such as raw garlic and pistachios can be a comparable substitute.


In Australian study white rice, with its high glycemic index, was found to cut time off how long it takes to fall asleep. Furthermore, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that jasmin rice was the most effective.

These little additions to your diet will help you not only get sleep but help you stay healthy.
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