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4 Foods for Insomnia Relief

The foods that appear the most effective in battling insomnia help boost chemicals that cause the body to relax, making for easier, more restful sleep. Combined with plenty of exercise and some stress reduction, they just may be the ticket to sweet dreams. So target these foods for insomnia relief.

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Foods for Insomnia Relief: Turkey

Foods for Insomnia Relief: Turkey

You’ve probably heard the jokes about the Thanksgiving turkey putting people to sleep, but this folk wisdom has a leg – make that two legs – to stand on. Turkey and the other foods for insomnia relief listed above are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to produce serotonin, a kind of chemical lullaby, if you will. Serotonin slows nerve activity, calming the brain and spreading a “feel-good” message throughout your body. When darkness enters the picture, the brain converts serotonin to yet another hormone, melatonin, which regulates sleep.

You can also try honey with your warm milk – and the reason the study food bar included carbohydrate – is that a fast-digesting carbohydrate like honey or mashed potatoes stimulates the release of insulin, which in turn allows more tryptophan to enter the brain.

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Foods for Insomnia Relief: Whole Grains

Foods for Insomnia Relief: Whole Grains

Oatmeal, whole-grain cereals and breads, and other complex carbohydrates increase production of serotonin. So try some of these foods for insomnia relief or prevention before you go to bed tonight. 

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Foods for Insomnia Relief: Chamomile Tea

Foods for Insomnia Relief: Chamomile Tea

Sometimes all it takes to fall asleep is going to bed with the confidence that you will fall asleep. The scientific evidence on chamomile tea as a proven food for insomnia is thin, but many people find it relaxing, and if you think a nice warm cup of this tea before bed will help you drift off, it probably will.

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Foods for Insomnia Relief: Red Meat and Iron-Rich Foods

Foods for Insomnia Relief: Red Meat and Iron-Rich Foods

If restless legs keep you awake, it’s possible that you have a form of anaemia caused by iron deficiency. Consult a physician to find out if you do. The doctor may prescribe supplements or a diet rich in iron to help correct the problem. Choose lean red meat for the least saturated fat, and eat it for lunch rather than dinner because its protein can counteract sleep-inducing serotonin.