Sleep prob­lems, to one degree or anoth­er, are not­ed by up to a third of adults around the globe. It is not always insom­nia, in many cas­es it can be a lack of sleep (chron­ic lack of sleep) or super­fi­cial sleep, dif­fi­cul­ty wak­ing up. In any case, if these dis­or­ders inter­fere with nor­mal life, you need an appoint­ment with a doc­tor and the exclu­sion of health prob­lems. In par­al­lel with the exam­i­na­tion, you can change some aspects of your own diet, add some healthy fruits, nuts and ani­mal pro­teins to the diet to help the brain work and cre­ate con­di­tions for good rest.

Insomnia: an appointment with a doctor?

Many peo­ple per­sist in ignor­ing their own sleep prob­lems until the prob­lem leads to sec­ondary com­pli­ca­tions. It is impor­tant to know that an appoint­ment with a doc­tor is need­ed if insom­nia tor­ments you for 2–3 days in a row or more. If sleep dis­or­ders have become a con­stant com­pan­ion, this should be an imme­di­ate rea­son for an appoint­ment with a neu­rol­o­gist. And it is worth not­ing that a con­sul­ta­tion by phone +7 (499) 519–32-56 will not replace an in-per­son appoint­ment at all, it is impor­tant to exclude quite obvi­ous prob­lems and dis­eases that can inter­fere with sleep.

An appoint­ment with a doc­tor is required if sleep dis­tur­bances are accom­pa­nied by pain in the legs or their con­stant mobil­i­ty (rest­less legs syn­drome), headache, malaise or snor­ing, res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­or­ders. It is impor­tant to under­go an exam­i­na­tion if it is dif­fi­cult to fall asleep in the evenings, and wake up in the morn­ings, you feel weak and weak, your blood pres­sure fluc­tu­ates, and your eye­sight dete­ri­o­rates.

Sleep and eating problems

Sleep and eating problems

Often, sleep dis­or­ders are not so seri­ous, and are asso­ci­at­ed with cer­tain actions and even human nutri­tion. If there was a very heavy din­ner before going to bed, you can expect that a per­son will sleep anx­ious­ly and toss and turn all night. It has long been known that the food con­sumed and cer­tain foods and dish­es, espe­cial­ly those eat­en at din­ner, can direct­ly affect the quan­ti­ty and qual­i­ty of a sub­se­quent night’s sleep. Most peo­ple with dai­ly insom­nia could sleep like babies if they made just a few changes to their evening meal. But not all peo­ple are aware of the con­nec­tion between sleep dis­or­ders and the intake of cer­tain foods, and they also have no idea which foods have a “sleepy” effect. Let’s dis­cuss them in more detail.

Bananas and other fruits

Among all fruits, bananas are the most “sleep­ing pills”. They are loaded with potas­si­um and mag­ne­sium, nutri­ents that enhance the effects of nat­ur­al mus­cle relax­ants in the body. In addi­tion, these fruits con­tain the sleep-induc­ing amino acid tryp­to­phan, which is even­tu­al­ly con­vert­ed to sero­tonin and mela­tonin in the brain. Sero­tonin is a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that pro­motes relax­ation, while mela­tonin is a hor­mone that pro­motes sleepi­ness. Tryp­to­phan takes about an hour to reach the brain, so plan on eat­ing a banana snack a cou­ple of hours before bed. There are oth­er fruits that have a sim­i­lar effect — these are pas­sion fruit, lemons and limes, grape­fruit, kiwi. This fruit is rich in vit­a­min C and min­er­als that pro­mote mela­tonin syn­the­sis.

animal squirrels

Experts say foods high in ani­mal pro­tein pro­mote sleep and also fight acid reflux. This is impor­tant because heart­burn often wors­ens at night, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to sleep. But it is impor­tant to remem­ber that pro­teins are digest­ed for a long time, and you should not eat too much of them at night. It is worth adding not only pro­teins, but also veg­eta­bles for din­ner, so that they are absorbed as active­ly as pos­si­ble. As a bed­time snack with pro­teins, two pieces of lean meat or cheese, a hard-boiled egg, a lit­tle cot­tage cheese mixed with fresh fruit, or a hand­ful of pump­kin seeds are suit­able.

Almonds and other types of nuts

Nuts are high in pro­tein, espe­cial­ly wal­nuts and almonds. They also pro­vide a suf­fi­cient dose of mag­ne­sium, which con­tributes to the nor­mal­iza­tion of sleep and mus­cle relax­ation. A hand­ful of nuts before bed will help you fall asleep. But it is impor­tant to remem­ber that this is a fair­ly dense food, so it is impor­tant to con­sume it at least a cou­ple of hours before going to bed.

Milk and dairy products in nutrition

Milk and dairy products in nutrition

Since ancient times, it has been known that a glass of warm milk can help improve sleep. Milk con­tains a lot of tryp­to­phan, so it will have a calm­ing effect and a hyp­not­ic effect. In addi­tion, it is a good dietary source of cal­ci­um, which helps reg­u­late mela­tonin pro­duc­tion. If a per­son can­not sleep or wakes up in the mid­dle of the night, get out of bed and drink some milk. The effect will be enhanced by a spoon­ful of hon­ey and a drop of but­ter. But there is one “but”: this recipe is not suit­able for peo­ple with lac­tose intol­er­ance. They have a glass of milk at night that guar­an­tees an attack of bloat­ing and diar­rhea instead of sleep.

Sweet cherry

It is impor­tant to include more cher­ries in your diet dur­ing the sea­son. She, accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Exper­i­men­tal Botany, is one of the few nat­ur­al sources of mela­tonin. A hand­ful of cher­ries an hour before bed will help to relax; if fresh fruits are not in sea­son now, you can replace it with juice or com­pote.


Green tea, which con­tains thea­nine, an amino acid that pro­motes healthy sleep, can sup­ple­ment sleepy nutri­tion. In prin­ci­ple, all teas are good enough to calm the ner­vous sys­tem to cause drowsi­ness if they are decaf­feinat­ed. Tea helps to relax, espe­cial­ly when it con­tains herbal, mild fla­vors. A cup of warm herbal or green tea 30–40 min­utes before bed can help you fall asleep more eas­i­ly.


Just one bowl of oat­meal is packed with cal­ci­um, mag­ne­sium, phos­pho­rus, sil­i­con, and potas­si­um, all of which help pro­mote sleep. How­ev­er, the active addi­tion of sweet­en­ers to it, such as sug­ar, hon­ey or sug­ar sub­sti­tutes, can neu­tral­ize its ben­e­fi­cial effect.

long grain rice

Accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion, eat­ing a serv­ing of rice, espe­cial­ly with veg­eta­bles, four hours before bed can help a per­son fall asleep faster. Researchers sug­gest that high-glycemic foods, such as long grain rice, may increase tryp­to­phan and sero­tonin lev­els, there­by stim­u­lat­ing sleep. In the AJCN study, men who ate such foods fell asleep after an aver­age of nine min­utes. You can also try oth­er vari­eties of rice, all of which are rich in com­plex car­bo­hy­drates.


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