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Can food cure your insomnia?

We know that many of you don't like taking sleeping pills. We also know that some of you don't like taking any of the more natural alternatives, either. If you're one of these people, you might like to try altering (or supplementing) your diet.

This article from epicurious asks whether there is an edible cure for insomnia. Yes, the article mentions things we are sure most of you have heard before (warm milk, herbal tea) - but what got us interested was the explanation of why these products can help.

Apparently, when it comes to milk the calcium helps our brains manufacture melatonin. Carbohydrates in pasta help us produce serotonin. This got us wondering just how much influence our diet may have on insomnia - we often blame modern society on the apparent increase in the number of people suffering from insomnia but maybe it's more to do with the modern diet.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think your diet influences how well you sleep? Have you found eating certain foods helps you sleep?

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Last updated: April 30, 2010

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Martin Reed
    January 4, 2010, 4:18 pm

    Thanks for contributing to the blog, Karen. Don’t you find drinking tea before bed disrupts any sleep you might get as you inevitably have to wake to relieve your bladder?

    I hadn’t previously considered the link between chamomile and ragweed when it comes to allergies – thanks for bringing this to my (and our readers’) attention.

  • Karen
    December 29, 2009, 10:44 am

    I’ve found Chamomile tea to be a double-edged sword. Yes, it relaxes my body, and helps with the really tough insomnia bouts. Unfortunately, it’s the same plant family as Ragweed, which is my primary seasonal allergy trigger. The chamomile puts me to sleep, but something about my body’s reaction to it invariably causes me horrible, actively violent and disturbing dreams. It becomes a careful deliberation at night: am I so tired that I’m willing to risk the dreams that are coming with the cure?