What to Eat When You Can't Sleep

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites...

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UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020

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Trying to get more shut-eye? Some changes to your diet may help. Eating the right foods throughout the day may help you hit the hay, improve the quality of your sleep and save your money on your term life insurance premium. The following foods will help you snooze.


Cherries contain melatonin, a compound that plays a part in healthy sleep. Melatonin may help regulate sleep-wake cycles especially for people experiencing a disruption to the body’s internal clock. Keep cherries fresh longer by storing them in the refrigerator and washing them just before eating. Other sources of melatonin include oats, sweet corn, and rice.

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This deli counter staple contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan helps the body produce serotonin, which has been shown to aid in relaxation and sleep. It takes about an hour for tryptophan to act on your brain, so plan your night accordingly. Try getting a double dose of tryptophan by making a delicious turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread.


Research has found that people whose diets are low in magnesium may have more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep than those who get enough magnesium. Cashews are rich in magnesium and may help you sleep at night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, reach for a handful of the tasty nut. Keep sodium to a minimum by choosing unsalted cashews. Other sources of magnesium include whole grains, milk, and green leafy vegetables.


A warm cup of tea before bed can soothe and relax you. Decaffeinated tea is clearly the best option if you are trying to get some rest. Chamomile tea is caffeine-free and traditionally used as a sleepy-time herb. Make some before bed and let it lull you to sleep. Be sure not to drink too much liquid, so you aren’t always getting up in the middle of the night.

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Eating cereal made with whole grains such as wheat or oats help you slumber. Whole-grain cereal contains the amino acid tryptophan, which induces sleep. The fiber and complex carbohydrates in whole-grain cereal also help by increasing insulin in the blood, which helps tryptophan get to the brain. Make sure to eat whole-grain cereal with little or no added sugar for best effect.


Milk boasts two sleep-boosting nutrients. It contains both tryptophan and calcium, which helps your body to manufacture melatonin, another natural sleep aid. If you are lactose intolerant, drink calcium-fortified soymilk in its place. Try adding it to your chamomile tea or cereal for an added effect.

If you have trouble sleeping at night, try adding the above foods to your diet. You may see some improvement in your sleep pattern and your overall health. Get the good night’s rest you deserve and save money on your term life insurance.

Related Topics:

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The Importance of Sleep

Perfecting the Power Nap

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