Do you ever have sleep problems? You are doing everything right, switching off your WI-FI, , keeping your room cool, but you still have problems with your sleep? Sometimes food can help. Try these:

1. Slow releasing carbohydrates such as oats, brown rice or sweet potatoes.
Make sure you have some slow-releasing carbohydrates in the evening: a serving of brown rice with your evening meal or sweet potatoes with some butter will help you to fall asleep easier as it helps to clear amino acids that compete with tryptophan from the bloodstream, allowing more of this sleep-inducing amino acid to enter the brain.

2. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are high in natural magnesium. One of the roles of magnesium is allowing the muscle fibres in our body to relax (it counteracts calcium, which causes muscles to contract). It is also thought that magnesium has a role in the normal function of the pineal gland, which produces melatonin – a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and helps us to fall asleep. Try including one to two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds a day: add them to sugar-free yoghurt or salads, or grind them up in a coffee grinder and add to porridge. Other raw seeds and nuts are also good sources of magnesium, as are leafy green vegetables.

3. Coconut water
Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolyte minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Their deficiencies or imbalances may cause cramping and restless legs at night, and therefore disturbed sleep. Coconut water products from young green coconuts is the best.

4. Fish
Most fish—and especially salmon, halibut and tuna—boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness

5. Bananas
These perfectly snack-sized superfruits are packed with potassium and magnesium, two minerals that promote muscle relaxation. In fact, magnesium deficiencies are related to restless leg syndrome and nighttime muscle cramps, two conditions that can certainly interfere with your sleep. Eat one banana a day to see if that helps your sleep problems.

6. Turkey
Turkey contains good levels of tryptophan, the amino acid that converts into serotonin and then melatonin in our body. It is also a good source of zinc and vitamin B6 – ‘co-factors’ that help the body to produce melatonin from tryptophan.

7. Cherries.
All varieties of cherries are naturally high in melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy.
Although all cherries may contain some melatonin, tart cherries in particular have been found to increase the body’s melatonin levels and increase sleep time. Eat a cup of whole cherries as a late-night snack or have some juice.

Like our articles? Try our Home Wellness Programmes!