Sunday, February 8, 2015

5 Foods To Help With Sleep

Ever since menopause hit, I've had trouble sleeping. While the supplement melatonin has been a lifesaver for me (and sanctioned by my doctor), I try not to take it, preferring to eat or drink things that will help me sleep rather than take a pill.

Here are the 5 foods that help me the most when it comes to getting to and staying asleep.  

Please note: I am not a doctor or health professional. I'm just telling you what works for me.

If only I could sleep as soundly as my cat!
  • Cherry Juice - Cherries, especially tart cherries, naturally boost the body's level of melatonin. Now, I find it can be a bit harsh on the stomach, so I mix it with seltzer. I've also given this to my kids and it helps them sleep.

    The calcium plus cherry power makes this a powerful sleep aid!
  •  Greek Yogurt - Really, any food high in calcium will help you sleep (thus the age-old recommendations to drink warm milk before bed). Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt which leaves your tummy feeling full before bed. Better yet – try cherry Greek yogurt. My favorite is Chobani Black Cherry Yogurt which not only contains cherries, but cherry juice.

  • Chamomile Tea – A popular choice for bedtime, my kids swear by this! When Hurricane Sandy hit and we were all stressed from seven days without power, my kids had a cup of this every night. They still ask for it when they can't sleep. Chamomile tea increases glycine which relaxes nerves and acts like a mild sedative. Add honey – the natural sugar raises insulin levels and helps tryptophan (an amino acid which also helps with sleep) enter the brain.  I keep a cup of chamomile tea (without honey) beside my bed in case I wake up at night.  It helps me go back to sleep. 

  • Bananas – These fruits are rich in potassium and are a good source of Vitamin B6 which your body needs to produce melatonin. Plus, they're a great comfort food.

  • Fortified Cereals – These are cereals in which extra vitamins are added to the original ingredients. They contain Vitamin B6 which, again, your body needs to make melatonin. Our favorites are Cheerios and Special K. Added bonus: the milk you pour over the cereal contains calcium for even more sleep-inducing power.

I remember reading that white foods, like rice and pasta, will also help you sleep, but I try to avoid high carb foods. In fact, I really do limit my intake of cereal.

Want to read about more foods that help with sleep? Click here.

Off to get my cup of chamomile tea now!

These foods have me sleeping like a baby!

Thank you for reading and SWEET DREAMS!


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