ZocdocAnswersAre there any foods that help people sleep?

Question

Are there any foods that help people sleep?

I can't sleep. What should I eat at night to help? Any foods that help people fall asleep or should I just take sleeping pills?

Answer

If you are having persistent trouble with falling asleep, or staying asleep, at night, then this would be a great issue to raise with your primary care doctor. Your primary care doctor deals with the medical problem of insomnia on a daily basis, and they will be able to give you some good advice. With respect to foods that promote sleep, it turns out to be much more important what your avoiding eating than what you eat. In particular, caffeine containing products, such as soft drinks and coffee and tea, are well known offenders in insomnia. Many times, people who suffer find that simply eliminating these from their diet, especially in the later half of the day, have a significant improvement in their symptoms. Similarly, alcohol is a big no-no in insomnia. Although alcohol ingestion makes an individual initially tired, promoting falling asleep, it also disrupts the natural progression of the sleep cycle over the course of the night, leading to awakenings in the middle of the night and trouble falling back asleep. Set up an appointment with your primary care doctor at your earliest convenience. In addition to these lifestyle issues, they can also discuss with you whether any medications might be indicated.

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