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Legends say that you cannot sleep if you’re awake in someone’s dream. Some people do not sleep well when they fall in love; they find the reality better than their dreams. Numbering sheep in your head, counting numbers backward from 1 to 100 or just telling your dear brain to shut up might have worked for you sometimes, but when insomnia refuses to let you have your shut-eye, even the softest pillow may fail to give you a good night’s sleep.

Food nourishes; food puts you to sleep too

Your brain needs certain nutrients to sleep uninterrupted and peacefully. Following is a list of food elements vital to a good night’s shut-eye.


  1. TryptophansTryptophans are amino acids found in foods. Scientific reports state that tryptophans help in increasing the duration of your sleep. They even help reduce wakefulness and the time taken to fall asleep. Additionally, tryptophans increase the melatonin (a sleep-regulating hormone) levels in the brain. You can get your daily dose of tryptophan from foods like:
    • Egg whites
    • Turkey
    • Meat
    • Fish
    • Milk
    • Peanuts
    • Yogurt
    • Soybeans
    • Chicken
  2. MagnesiumMagnesium, a mineral found in some foods, improves certain parameters of sleep like the insomnia severity index (ISI) score, sleep onset time, early morning awakenings, and more. In fact, lack of magnesium is one of the well-established reasons for stress, irritability, and insomnia. The following foods should give you adequate magnesium:
    • Dried fruits
    • Oatmeal
    • Dates
    • Almonds
    • Hummus
    • Spinach
    • Soy
  3. Sleep-promoting phytochemicalsPhytochemicals are what plants produce to protect themselves from the damage-causing free radicals. Phytochemicals also protect humans by reducing the risk of cancer, protecting against diabetes, and achieving good sleep. Some phytochemicals even have antioxidant properties that assist in improving sleep. Some foods that are rich in phytochemicals include:
    • Kiwis
    • Pulses (dals)
    • Legumes (such as chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts)
    • Foods containing vitamin C such as citrus fruits, amla, and capsicum
    • Foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, spinach, strawberries, broccoli, and black grapes.
  4. CarbohydratesCarbohydrates are the major energy engines in our diet. They also help in giving us sound sleep by providing our brain an easy access to tryptophan. Ever wondered why a cheese sandwich or French fries made you drowsy? It is the carbs at work. Skip the unhealthy carbs in baked foods, sugary foods, refined pasta, and white bread as they can reduce your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the hormone that helps in regulating your mood, appetite as well as your sleep. You can get healthy carbs from foods like:
    • Whole grain bread
    • Oatmeal
    • Beans
    • Corn
    • Milk
  5. MelatoninMelatonin is known as the natural sleeping aid. This hormone is released by your brain to regulate your sleep and wake timings. The following foods can produce adequate quantities of sleep-inducing melatonin:
    • Rice
    • Walnuts
    • Tomatoes
    • Cherries
    • Barley
    • Olives
    • Strawberries

    There couldn’t be a better way of fighting insomnia than by eating food! You can get the best of both worlds; eating and sleeping. While you set up your room with ambient lights, calming essential oils and soothing music tracks, enjoy a bowl of your favorite bedtime snack, which includes one or more of these five sleep promoting superheroes, and both your tummy and mind will thank you!


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