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Improve your sleep by reducing your salt intake

One of the best things about our insomnia help forums is the fact that our members share their own personal observations.

When it comes to improving their sleep and curing their insomnia, they talk about what works for them.

Recently, one of our forum members said she dramatically reduced her salt intake and saw her sleep improve.

I don't normally like to share information unless it comes from peer-reviewed studies or other academic research, so I did some digging.

Here's what I found:

A study in 1945 severely restricted the salt intake of individuals with insomnia. After a week, the majority of individuals began to fall asleep easier. Furthermore, after a few weeks most noticed huge differences in their ability to fall asleep.

It's all too easy to think that your salt intake is low.

The fact is, typically only around 10% of our daily salt intake comes from adding salt to our food. 90% comes from processed or packaged foods.

If you want to cut back on your salt intake in a bid to improve your sleep, you need to reduce your intake of packaged foods and cook from scratch more often. Here's a list of recommended foods for insomnia sufferers to get you started.

One final note - some people don't do well on a low salt diet. Those with chronic fatigue syndrome or adrenal problems should avoid low salt diets.

As always, speak with your doctor before making any dietary changes.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

[Thanks, 1949Molly]

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Last updated: December 27, 2012

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    November 14, 2012, 12:51 pm

    I have hypertension, among other things. I don’t tend to like salty things, with a few exceptions, and then I don’t let myself have much of those: 4-8 fries is enough. I’m trying to stick to under 1g of sodium–any sodium–a day. I manage this much beter than my beau-pere, who really DID like salt, didn’t like the salt substitutes, and didn’t seem to lose the desire for salt when the food was highly seasoned.

    My mother, while I was inside, was on a strict low-sodium diet, so I didn’t really have a desire for salt: when I moved out on my own, I bought a box of Morton’s salt. A dozen years later, I still had most of it left. I may not have bought any black pepper–I really don’t care for it, although a small amount of freshly ground black pepper in a dish is okay. Save for their dried powdered form, I don’t like “fleshy” capsicum peppers. I can usually tell when there’s conventional pesticide in use, due to the piperidine many are based on. Bleah.

    I like to cook, and there have been times it was mostly assembling ingredients and letting them fend for themselves. I tended not to have much in the way of canned goods, preferring fresh or frozen veggies instead. Didn’t have much interest in store-bought sauces or gravies, either.

    I read the blasted labels. I don’t tend to buy frozen Chinese food due to the sodium approaching/exceeding 1g per serving. Most canned soups have at least 750mg per serving. I can’t eat the sandwiches from Starbucks–700mg+, each and every.

    Occasionally, I eat Chinese food out, or have some bacon. If I must be at MacDonald’s, a double fish patty is my choice, even though there is a good amount of salt in it. I usually have more wasabi than soy in my mixture for sushi, too.