What foods help you sleep better?

This question was asked in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 03/12/2013.
What foods help you sleep better?

Doctors Answers (2)

Jana P. Kaimal, MD, FCCP
Answered on: 4/5/2013 7

Some foods and drinks contain sleep inducing ingredients as well. Even though it is often the subject of Thanksgiving dinner jokes, tryptophan, an amino acid, is real and it does induce sleep. Whole grain carbohydrates naturally contain tryptophan. Dairy products also contain sleep inducing ingredients. The old wives tale of a warm glass of milk to help you get a good night's sleep has been studied by scientists but no scientific evidence to prove this theory has been found. What scientists do know is that dairy products such as cheese, milk and low-fat ice cream do contain tryptophan. Foods low in fat can be a natural remedy for sleep too. High fat foods tend to settle in your stomach, slowing down digestion and causing indigestion for some people. Indigestion impedes the sleep process because often time sufferers can't get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Low fat foods can provide calcium, amino acids and ease the road to digestion that may help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep for longer periods of time.

Daron Scherr, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/5/2013 1

Diet, exercise, and sleep are the three "pillars of health."

The diets that we already know are healthy for a multitude of other reasons (high in fruits and vegetables, low in simple sugars, lower in high-fat meats); Are also the diets that are associated with better sleep.

Foods that are associated with higher tryptophan or serotonin (milk, turkey, etc.); Don't really have any affect that people with things. More psychological.