If you think you are one of those people who feels sleepy after every Thanksgiving meal and who blames the turkey for your fatigue, you may have been duped. As it turns out, this is one of the biggest food myths. However, there are other ordinary foods, like certain nuts, that can actually help you to fall asleep faster. Not only that, but they can treat insomnia and help you have a peaceful sleep without waking up in the middle of the night.

Enlighten would like to show you 8 foods that are proven to help with sleeping issues, plus a bonus about what you should avoid.

1. Salmon

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Fatty fish, and especially salmon, is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D. This unique combination is believed to be very beneficial for treating insomnia. The reason is that these 2 things help produce more serotonin, which has been proven to promote easier sleep.

More specifically, people with a vitamin D deficiency have been found to be more prone to having sleep trouble. And wild salmon is one of the richest sources of vitamin D, while farmed salmon is way less beneficial.

2. Almonds and walnuts

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Almonds are rich in a substance called melatonin. They are also rich in magnesium and calcium, 2 minerals that help relax your muscles. The way magnesium works is by reducing inflammation that can cause a lot of anxiety and pain to the sufferer.

Walnuts provide very similar properties and they also contain tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid. This acid has been found to provide help to patients suffering from mild insomnia. Also, walnuts are rich in fatty acids, which raise the levels of serotonin even higher, helping you fall asleep even faster.

3. Herbal tea


Chamomile tea, in particular, contains high doses of flavones and apigenin. On one hand, flavones reduce inflammation which induces a more stress-free sleep. On the other hand, apigenin is a great antioxidant that has the ability to promote sleepiness and reduce the effects of insomnia.

Passionflower is a well-known vine that helps people deal with insomnia, anxiety, and pain. It is an over-the-counter medicine that, on many occasions, has helped people reduce brain activity. This is ideal since many people find their brains fully activated even after they have tucked themselves into bed.

4. Kiwi

In a study that took place in 2011, 24 participants were fed 2 kiwis one hour before sleep for 4 weeks. At the end of this period, all participants noticed improved sleep patterns. They observed that they slept better, fell asleep faster, and didn’t wake up in the middle of the night. It is believed that a kiwi’s high level of serotonin is the main reason that they can be so beneficial when it comes to insomnia.

5. White rice

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Due to its high glycemic rate, rice has been found to promote quality sleep. In a study where 1,848 people participated, it was concluded that those who ate more rice had a much better sleep duration. Also, a past study showed that kids under 2 years of age had much better sleep after consuming high-glycemic-index items for their evening meal.

The same study suggests that rice promotes the production of melatonin and tryptophan. It is also important to mention that Japanese people consume great quantities of rice on a daily basis. So, it is expected that the food’s properties will play a huge part in affecting their sleep in a positive way.

6. Fresh sour cherries and sour cherry juice


Sour or tart cherries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Thanks to all these properties, a study has suggested that they can help with insomnia. They reduce inflammation, while they increase the levels of melatonin.

Melatonin is produced by our bodies naturally, but it may not be enough for those suffering from insomnia. That’s why enlisting some extra help, like consuming cherries, can increase its levels. Let it be noted that melatonin won’t put you to sleep immediately, it will just help you relax faster.

7. Holy basil