Sleep Promoting Foods

From the Cleveland Clinic site and to learn more

5 Foods That Help You Sleep
By Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD

Complex carbohydrates
Embrace whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, crackers and brown rice. Avoid simple carbohydrates, including breads, pasta and sweets such as cookies, cakes, pastries and other sugary foods. These tend to reduce serotonin levels and do not promote sleep.

Lean proteins
Lean proteins include low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey and fish. These foods are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which tends to increase serotonin levels. On the flipside, avoid high-fat cheeses, chicken wings or deep-fried fish. These take longer to digest and can keep you awake.

Heart-healthy fats
Unsaturated fats will not only boost your heart health but also improve your serotonin levels. Examples include peanut butter (read the label to make sure peanuts are the only ingredient) and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios. Avoid foods with saturated and trans fats, such as french fries, potato chips or other high-fat snack foods. These bring your serotonin levels down.

Certain drinks can promote or prevent sleep. A good, soothing beverage to drink before bedtime would be warm milk (your mother was right) or herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint. As for caffeinated drinks, I recommend that my clients who are having difficulty sleeping consume that last cup by 2 p.m. Caffeine can affect people differently, and even the smallest amount of stimulant can keep you awake.

Fresh herbs
Fresh herbs can have a calming effect on the body. For example, sage and basil contain chemicals that reduce tension and promote sleep. Trymaking your own homemade pasta sauce with sage and basil. It’s easy to do, and homemade sauces tend to be lower in sugar than store-bought versions. However, avoid herbs such as red pepper or black pepper at night, as they have a stimulatory effect.

Sleep-inducing snacks
Try a banana with low-fat yogurt
Eat low-fat cottage cheese with a few 100-percent whole grain pita chips
Smear peanut butter on 100-percent whole grain crackers
Enjoy an apple with mozzarella string cheese.

Foods That Help Toddlers Sleep
learn more at

There are many reasons why toddlers might have trouble falling–and
staying–asleep. They may be teething, testing limits, napping too much
during the day or be frightened of the dark. One way to help a toddler
who has trouble falling asleep is to add a bedtime snack that promotes
sleep. Certain foods have a natural sedative effect on the body. With a
little experimentation with different food combinations, parents can
find the foods that will help their toddler to sleep peacefully through
the night.

Sleep-Promoting (and Sleep-Stealing) Foods

Tossing and turning. Long, sleepless nights. They’re draining,
frustrating, and, well, exhausting—physically and mentally. And they’re
usually unnecessary, experts say, but can be counteracted by minor
dietary tweaks. Indeed, what you put in your mouth can directly affect
how many ZZZs come out. “The majority of people with day-to-day insomnia
could be sleeping like puppies if they made just a few changes,” says
Jacob Teitelbaum, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue
Centers, which are located nationwide, and author of From Fatigued to Fantastic. “And if you know how to eat right? You’re going to be way ahead of the game.”

From cherries to almonds, consider these soothing, snooze-inducing foods:

Read the article by Angela Haupt