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7 Food Items That Help You Sleep Better

By Trishi Dhingra

Updated - May 6, 2021 5 min read

Life is a gift and the time we have on this planet is precious. Every second of every minute of every day is as important as life itself. Being awake is the best part of living, I agree but... I consider sleeping as the close second. Why? Heck, if you truly wish to feel every ounce of this existence, you need to be well-rested and that my friend is a fact. In general, most healthy adults need 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night and if you're aren't following this simple act of revival, you're deliberately inviting major health issues. 


But when the tables are turned and now it's your own stressful mind which is depriving you of this much-needed sleep, what would you do? I mean, it's hard enough that our phones are keeping us awake till 4 AM, now there's this huge pile of stress that's being dumped on us, shrewdly disguised as work from home & also, ghar ka kaam. All thanks to coronavirus. 



In such situations, one can do as little as just try & sleep. But if that doesn't help, then? Well, we have a list of food items that might be able to do the trick. Yes, science has a solution to almost all your problems. Are you ready to find yours?


1. Cocoa

Cocoa elementally lowers diastolic blood pressure which anatomically works in the favour of our precious cardiovascular system (your heart). When the lowered physiological (bodily) stress automatically keeps your psychological (mind) stress at bay, the body enters a state of relaxation. Ergo a peaceful slumber. To achieve the goodnight sleep we just talked about, take 2-3 teaspoons of 100% pure cocoa in a mug, add hot water/milk (we leave that choice to you) and enjoy. If cocoa isn't available, you can try dark chocolates too.


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Just one other thing though; stay away from cocoa with added sugar or chemicals, as they could give rise to health problems like diabetes. 


Also Read: 5 Not So Basic Homegrown Chocolate Brands You Gotta Try


2. Sweet Potato

Each bite of sweet potato is relaxing. How? Well, first of, sweet potato is rich in complex carbohydrates which makes the process of digestion and subsequent release of energy slower. Hence, relaxation. Secondly, this humble root vegetable contains Potassium which is already known to relax muscles and finally, Magnesium. Now, this element promotes GABA, a brain-relaxation-inducing neurotransmitter, which BTW is self-explanatory. Just add some black salt on the peeled and diced pieces or make a paste and enjoy with toasted bread. But remember; not too much. A bowl or 80 grams once a week is enough. 

Sweet Potato

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3. Herbal Tea

Herbal tea right? What a revelation. But what's important here is the right kind. Research shows that a cup Chamomile tea before bed offers a guaranteed and uninterrupted snooze. Not only it tastes delicious but smells like comfort. This warm giant hug is the result of the chemical structure of the chamomile tea plat. It has the capability of binding with relaxation-inducing-neurotransmitter in the body which ultimately relaxes your mind and lets you hibernate (not literally, but you get the idea. Right?)

Chamomile tea

Image Courtesy: Freepik


In other tips, you can go for Lavender tea as well but my advice will be to stay far... far away from green and black tea. They would just reverse the effect and keep you awake all night. 


Also Read: 10 Takes You On Your Classic Chai, You Have To Try!


4. Bananas

Stacked with Potassium and Magnesium, the final destination after eating Bananas is undoubtedly Dream Land. Not only bananas help maintain blood pressure but also they have fewer calories. Now that's a win. Furthermore, what makes it a trustworthy sleep-inducing food item? Well, bananas are quite rich in vitamin B6. They convert amino acid Tryptophan into Serotonin which further controls the level of Melatonin (Enzyme responsible for the internal sleep-wake cycle system) in our body, making you tired enough to sleep.


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Devour this fruit alone or add it to a bowl of oats or cornflakes. If not that, make a calorie-free milkshake and enjoy. Also goodnight!


5. Cherry 

Cherries are no less than a bedtime treat if pecked at occasionally. It is a natural food source of Melatonin (which regulates the sleep-wake cycle of the body) and without any questions, a yummy berry. Since it's a seasonal fruit, you might want to refer to this list of homegrown healthy snack brands to order dried cherries as an alternative. If and when available, a single cup of juice made out of cherries will be tasty and highly effective for a night of deep and full sleep. Thank me later!


Image Courtesy: Freepik


6. Cantaloupe

Dehydration is a plausible cause of interrupted or lack of sleep. A cantaloupe or any other watery fruit such as apple, orange, pear, etc. diced and gobbled before bed can easily solve this problem in no time. Additionally, if you ever woke up from a sleep tired and drowsy, accept that it's due to the lack of water in your body. So, a small cup every day can go a long way. 


Image Courtesy: Freepik


7. Pistachios

If you wish to hit a sleep jackpot, raise a handful of pistachios and the game will be yours. From reducing the chances of the breakdown of Tryptophan into toxic compounds so that it converts into Melatonin to enriching our body with proteins, vitamin B6 and magnesium, every ounce indicates a goodnight sleep. 


Image Courtesy: Freepik


Also Read: 10 Things You Can Do To Fix Your Sleeping Schedule

Food is the solution to all your problems provided you eat the right kind. The next time you throw a slumber party, serve these food items and you'll be golden. 


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