Studies are showing that certain minerals can have a positive effect on the quality of our sleep. One of these is potassium.
A study in the journal “Sleep” found that sleep improved and had more consolidation and less interruptions when potassium supplements were taken. (Reference: The Journal “Sleep”, August 1991).
One of the best, highest sources of potassium is the banana, which contains 400 milligrams of potassium. Eating a banana before bedtime may help reduce nighttime awakenings and provide better, deeper sleep.
More high potassium foods include potatoes, spinach, other leafy greens, pumpkin, avocado, sunflower seeds and almonds.
This health article is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II. Sleep Minerals II contains powerful forms of the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep — calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Wendy R. of Honolulu, Hawaii says: “My friends know that I’ve had insomnia for a very long time. Surprisingly, I received the Sleep Minerals II and took it and I actually slept. This thing really works. I wanted to say, its funny, but people know I have insomnia and once in a while a co-worker will ask me how I slept. In the past, if I ever got a good nights sleep I’d say “I slept like a baby”, but that’s the wrong analogy. Those little guys get up every two hours. I am actually beginning to sleep like an adult — a much-rested adult.”
Which foods help you sleep better? The Nutrition Breakthroughs Blog has provided several articles on the best sleep inducing foods, and those that follow below are the top five most popular articles of all time.
This article features a chart that summarizes research studies on foods that are high in the natural sleep hormone known as melatonin. What foods are high in melatonin? Find out more about walnuts, cherries, almonds and more. Also included in this article are good sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.
Melatonin levels start rising in the evening and go up to a peak level in the early hours of the morning, perhaps around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, and then they reduce.
This may partially explain why some people can sleep fine for a few hours and then suddenly find themselves wide awake and unable to go back to sleep.
Do bananas help you sleep? Learn more about the research study that shows how tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples increase melatonin in the body. It was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
This article focuses on articles from research journals that have studied which foods are best for inducing sleep, and it also has some doctor recommendations on good bedtime snacks.
This collection of natural health articles on sleep helping foods is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001.
Nutrition breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Which foods help you sleep better?
Studies have shown that certain foods are high in melatonin and magnesium and can help with a better night’s sleep. These include bananas, almonds, walnuts and tart cherries or their juice. Magnesium rich foods include yogurt, avocado, figs, nut butter, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
What foods are high in melatonin?
Learn more about walnuts, tart cherries, almonds, bananas and more. Also included in this article are good food sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.
Do bananas help you sleep?
Bananas are very high in potassium and a deficiency of potassium can interfere with restful sleep. Eating a banana before bedtime may help reduce nighttime awakenings and provide a better, deeper night’s sleep. Potassium is found abundantly in fresh vegetables and fruits, so these are a good focus as opposed to eating a lot of processed or packaged foods containing high salt.
What foods are sleep inducing?
Studies have shown that the following foods and beverages are sleep inducing: Bananas, tart cherries, tart cherry juice, almonds, walnuts, yogurt, salmon, pumpkin seeds, pineapple, nut butter, turkey, kiwi fruit and warm milk. Soothing teas shown to help sleep include chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and passionflower.
Insomnia and sleeplessness are a widespread problem. Sleep inducing foods and relaxing minerals are a first-line remedy to help people with insomnia to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
Many of these foods to remedy insomnia are high in melatonin, magnesium and potassium and are supported by research studies.
Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced in the brain. At night or in the dark, melatonin is naturally released to regulate the sleep cycle. A recent study on the use of melatonin-rich foods for sleep appeared in the journal “Nutrients”. The study was called “Dietary Sources of Melatonin.”
The researchers noted that nuts contain some of the highest quantities of melatonin. Topping the list are almonds and walnuts. Almonds deliver a two-part punch as they are also high in magnesium, a mineral known to induce sleep.
Bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium, and each of these minerals are proven to help good sleep in research studies. The Journal “Sleep” recently reported that the use of potassium for sleep results in significant improvements in quality of sleep and less waking up during the night.
Other good sources of potassium include cooked spinach, salmon, avocado, cooked broccoli, avocado, potatoes, cantaloupe, tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and yogurt.
Those experiencing sleeplessness or insomnia should definitely include more of these healthy sources of potassium in their diet. And even more vital than potassium, the two most famous minerals for calming insomnia are calcium and magnesium. This is what makes warm milk one of the most popular natural sleep aids.
James F. Balch, M.D, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” The European Neurology Journal supports this with their study showing that the normal course of sleep can be restored by increasing calcium levels in the body.
Regarding the use of minerals for insomnia, a study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium” discusses the differences between calcium and magnesium and their effects on sleep. The author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.
On the other hand, the classical sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia characterized by falling asleep easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.
A balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium is important to overall health and the two minerals should be taken together for best results. The best calcium and magnesium ratio is twice as much calcium as magnesium.
One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains potent forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, stomach health, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbed than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference. I was regularly waking at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours. This has been a great improvement.”
Sleep inducing foods and minerals are a healthy alternative to taking sleeping drugs. Make good use of them as an insomnia remedy.
Below is a chart with all of the healthy vitamins and minerals in bananas. There are truly many health advantages to eating raw, healthy fruits and vegetables that are bursting with life.
For example, a study from Harvard University found that eating blueberries helps to prevent diabetes. Another thing scientists have found is that fresh fruits and vegetables reduce inflammation and stress in the body and can add years to one’s life.
Many of the scientific studies on cherries are done with tart cherries or Montmorency cherries — usually sold as juice, dried, frozen, and in powdered supplement capsules. For those seeking a food-based remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, the tart Montmorency cherry is known to contain high levels of melatonin, the hormone made in the brain that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
The European Journal of Nutrition presented a placebo-controlled study that proved drinking tart cherry juice is a great sleep food as it increases melatonin and improves sleep quality. Drinking the juice resulted in longer sleep times, less daytime napping and greater overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time actually spent sleeping).
Another recent study on the use of melatonin-rich foods for sleep appeared in the journal “Nutrients”. The study was called “Dietary Sources of Melatonin.” Many nuts are known as “drupe fruits”.
These are fruits with pits or stones inside. The researchers for the study in “Nutrients” noted that nuts contain some of the highest quantities of melatonin. Topping the list are almonds and walnuts. Almonds deliver a two-part punch as they are also high in magnesium, a mineral known to induce sleep.
Bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium, and each of these minerals are proven to be a good sleep food in research studies. The Journal “Sleep” recently reported that the use of potassium for sleep results in significant improvements in quality of sleep and less waking up during the night.
Warm milk is perhaps the most famous natural sleep aid. James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” The European Neurology Journal supports this with their study showing that the normal course of sleep is achieved by increasing calcium levels in the body.
One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains powerful forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, stomach health, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.
The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbed than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The ‘Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference. I was regularly waking at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours. This has been a great improvement.”
Sleep inducing fruits and minerals are a healthy alternative to taking sleeping drugs, and fruits and vegetables in general are among the healthiest foods in existence. For more information on natural minerals for sleep, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
Sleep Foods That Can Help: The Top Proven Foods for Insomnia
The National Institutes of Health reports that about thirty percent of the population experiences disrupted sleep and insomnia. Because sleeping drugs are addictive, come with side effects and lose their effects over time, many people are reaching out for natural sleep remedies.
Research studies are confirming that certain foods for insomnia are high in the natural sleep hormone known as melatonin. Other foods are proving themselves good sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium — a group of minerals that have been studied for their effects on improving sleep and remedying insomnia.
One good example is a study from the University of California San Diego. Researchers examined the effects of potassium supplementation on sleep quality. A placebo-controlled study compared one week of potassium chloride supplements to one week of identical placebo capsules. Their results were published in the journal “Sleep”, and showed that potassium significantly increased sleep efficiency due to less awakenings after falling asleep. Good food sources of potassium include bananas, baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes and broccoli.
The tart “Montmorency” cherry contains a significant level of melatonIn per a study done at the University Of Texas Health Science Center. Cherries are available in a concentrated supplement form that can be taken in the evening to improve the quality of sleep. Other ways cherries can be eaten include fresh cherries, frozen cherries and cherry juice. Cherry juice should be diluted with water or sparkling water as it is high in natural sugars.
Scientists have measured the effect that different types of rice have as one of the sleep foods that help you. Mahatma rice (low carbohydrate rice) was compared to Jasmine rice (high in carbohydrates) for their effects on sleep quality. The rice was eaten either four hours before bedtime or one hour before bedtime. This study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a high carbohydrate-based meal resulted in a significant shortening of the time needed to fall asleep when eating it four hours before bed. Brown rice is also a healthful choice.
Almonds are a very good source of magnesium, as well as containing high doses of melatonin and are one of the best foods for insomnia. Walnuts are even higher in melatonin, so eating a handful of either of these nuts in the evening can be helpful.
James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” Eating a handful or two of almonds or walnuts before bed can be helpful.
A recently released study on magnesium supplements for sleep came from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran. It included 46 older adults, aged 60 to 75, who were experiencing insomnia. However, it’s interesting to note that the researchers recommend their results be extended as a helpful aid to all ages of the general population.
The people were divided into two groups. One group received placebos, while the other received magnesium oxide tablets twice a day (250 milligrams each) for eight weeks. In the group that was given magnesium, the subjects experienced significant increases in sleep time, with less night time interruptions and fewer early morning awakenings. Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains and avocados — some of the best foods for insomnia.
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Clearwater, Florida, is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural ingredients for relaxation and deeper sleep.
The result was Sleep Minerals II, which contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals and vitamins for sleep and relaxation – Calcium and magnesium with vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Dr. P. of Houston, Texas says: “I had developed severe sleeping problems and took two different sleeping medications over the course of several weeks. When I discontinued them, the insomnia came back even worse. Sleep Minerals II was just what I needed. I’ve been taking it and getting many hours of sleep a night. As a doctor I would definitely avoid prescribing sleeping drugs – I would recommend Sleep Minerals II.”
Chris M. of the United Kingdom says: “I take one softgel of Sleep Minerals II before bed every night and within 20 minutes I am asleep. The difference in the quality of my sleep and the ease with which I get to sleep using this product is monumental. I have stopped obsessing about sleep or dreading bedtime — I just take a softgel and drift off. If I stop taking them, within a week my sleep starts to lighten in quality, the amount of my sleep diminishes, and my old insomniac patterns reappear.”
In summary, make good use of the various nutritious sleep foods and minerals and enjoy a more peaceful nights sleep.
The type of foods we eat in the evening can have a pronounced effect on the quality of our sleep. One of the keys to a restful night’s sleep is to calm and relax the brain, rather than stimulating it.
Certain foods are a natural insomnia remedy that contributes to restful sleep, while others keep us alert and awake.
The calming foods contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to the sleep-inducing substances serotonin and melatonin. Two recent studies confirm that eating more carbohydrates than protein increases tryptophan production, while eating a higher protein ratio increases tyrosine – an amino acid related to a stimulated, alert frame of mind.
One key study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is titled “High-Glycemic-Index Carbohydrate Meals Shorten Sleep Onset”. The glycemic index measures the effect of different types of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Researchers at the University of Sydney Australia gave two different kinds of meals to the study participants, a few hours before bedtime. They found that a carbohydrate-based, high glycemic index meal resulted in a significant shortening of the time needed to fall asleep, compared with a low glycemic meal. (Feb. 2007, Vol. 85, No. 2).
In another study done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists honed in on specific measurements of tryptophan vs. tyrosine in the brain, based on whether carbohydrates or proteins were eaten at breakfast. Blood samples were collected after the meals, and the researchers concluded that a carbohydrate-rich diet raises tryptophan levels, while high-protein foods depress it. (Amer. J. of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 2003, Vol. 77, No. 1).
For those who need to stay alert and sharp during the day, high protein, medium-carbohydrate meals are best eaten for breakfast and lunch. For dinner and bedtime snacks, eat a meal or snack that is high in healthy carbohydrates, with a small amount of protein that contains just enough tryptophan to relax the brain.
According to William Sears, M.D., “The best bedtime snack is one that has both complex carbohydrates and protein, and perhaps some calcium. Calcium helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”
Dr. Sears recommends that foods high in carbohydrates and calcium, and medium-to-low in protein, make the most ideal sleep-inducing bedtime snacks. Some examples are whole-grain, gluten-free cereal with milk, oatmeal and raisin cookies with a glass of nutmilk or regular milk, or an almond butter sandwich with ground sesame seeds.
Sesame seeds are rich in tryptophan. Other foods that are high in tryptophan, which can be combined with healthy carbohydrates to become natural sleep remedies, are whole grains, lentils, chickpeas, beans, eggs, sunflower seeds, and miso. As always, it’s best to stay away from caffeine, sodas and nicotine in the evening.
The well-known nutritionist Adelle Davis writes about the roles of calcium for sleep in her book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”. She discusses a natural insomnia remedy and says: “A calcium deficiency often shows itself by insomnia, another form of an inability to relax. The harm done by sleeping tablets, to say nothing of the thousands of dollars spent on them, could largely be avoided if the calcium intake were adequate.”
Sleep remedies containing highly absorbable, quick acting forms of calcium and magnesium, such as Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs can be helpful with both falling asleep and staying asleep during the night. This natural sleep remedy contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as rice bran oil have been shown to increase mineral absorption and reduce calcium excretion.
P. P. of Houston, TX. says: “I am a physician in Texas. I had developed sleeping problems and took sleep medications for several weeks – Ambien and then Lunesta. I discontinued them and then I had terrible rebound insomnia. At that time, I literally got only about 20 hours of sleep in 6 weeks. I was staring at the ceiling all night long, praying to God for some sleep. Then I found Sleep Minerals II on the Internet. I’ve been taking it for a couple of weeks and now I get a full 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night. This is a great way to help people without unhealthy sleep medications. As a doctor, I would never prescribe sleeping drugs – I would recommend Sleep Minerals II.”
In conclusion, bedtime snacks and dinners that are high in carbohydrates, low-to-medium in protein, and contain calcium, will help you relax in the evening and set you up for a good night’s sleep. And an effective natural sleep remedy such as Sleep Minerals II can also be taken before sleep and during the night if you find yourself waking up and unable to go back to sleep. Here’s to your good sleep.