Your body needs an adequate amount of sleep and rest. While it may seem quite natural to sleep for some people, it is a struggle for others. Those struggling with sleep disorders, insomnia, or have trouble sleeping pre or post-surgery may understand how difficult it is to get that most obvious sound sleep. And melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for inducing deep and restful sleep! Melatonin is produced naturally in the pineal gland in the brain. Among several other essential functions, melatonin plays a vital role in regulating your body’s circadian rhythms along with regulating the sleep-wake cycles.
However, for some who have sleep disorder or have low melatonin levels, there are various melatonin supplements that are highly popular these days. These help in increasing the melatonin levels, increase the concentration of melatonin and improve your sleep quality and sleeping cycle. However, it is possible that one may not always need supplements as there are some foods that have a high level of melatonin which can help to raise the level of melatonin in the blood.
Before going to know about the best melatonin rich foods, let's first try to understand why do we need melatonin and what are the main benefits of melatonin.
Why You Need Melatonin? What are the Benefits of Melatonin?
Our body needs a proper sleep routine. Lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your health and cause various health issues. It not only hampers and hinders insulin resistance in your body which can lead to diabetes but also has an impact on your learning abilities. Lack of sleep can cause disruption in hunger hormones which can lead to over and impulsive eating disorder.
Melatonin is essential for good and sound sleep. Melatonin is in fact a unique hormone that is produced by the pineal gland which is located in the middle of the brain. Melatonin helps with the consistent functioning of your body with the rhythm of your brain.
Although it is best known as a sleep aid, melatonin has a range of other potential health benefits:
1. Melatonin that Helps in Sleep Restoration
Melatonin is highly effective against chronic insomnia. However, if you are experiencing jet lag, it may even help you to return to normal sleeping pattern as it induces sleep. It even helps patients to sleep well before and after surgery.
2. Melatonin Even Improves Sleep Patterns in Adults
For people struggling with insomnia or have delayed sleep or wake phase disorder melatonin may help them get their routine straightened. For those who often stay awake until early morning and sleep until around noon, melatonin can also help them in fixing their sleeping hours to normal.
3. Melatonin Effectiveness In Improving Sleep Patterns in Children
If your child is suffering from conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dermatitis, asthma and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), then melatonin can be a great help. It prevents children from disrupting their sleeping pattern and sets a normal sleeping cycle. However, as melatonin is a hormone, children should not take it without the approval of their professional healthcare.
4. Enhances Brain Health in Older Adults
Melatonin levels tend to naturally fade and reduce as you age. However, boosting the melatonin level may help in preventing any sort of brain disorders later in life. Some studies have shown effective results that melatonin can most effectively lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson Disease.
5. Keeps Eye Health Top Notch
Melatonin has a potent function apart from the ones mentioned above. It actively helps in performing several valuable functions in the human eye. It is known to show benefits for those who struggle with age related macular degeneration. In fact, it is said that lower melatonin levels can lead and contribute to disorder and concerns related to the eyes.
Best Melatonin Rich Foods to Help You Sleep Better
If you are wondering what foods contain melatonin, there here are some of the best melatonin rich foods that will help you sleep peacefully like a baby:
Milk is one thing that is a traditional remedy that helps in tackling insomnia. Warm milk specifically with some turmeric and saffron has been a potent item that helps in inducing sleep and has worked throughout generations. Milk contains four major sleep promoting compounds like calcium, melatonin, vitamin D and tryptophan. All of these components in milk acts as mild sedatives and promote restorative sleep. In fact, tryptophan - an essential amino acid well-known to be present in a turkey, helps in increasing the serotonin and melatonin concentrations. When released into the brain, the tryptophan produces serotonin boosting neurotransmitter that helps aid sleep. Thus, a glass of warm milk leads in improving your sleep cycle and inducing sleep. In fact, every glass of milk gives you about 106 mg of tryptophan and is also one of the best natural and dietary sources of melatonin.
How and When to Consume Milk?
Every night, take a glass of warm milk and add a pinch of turmeric and a few strands of saffron. Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory and calming properties and even aids in digestion. Whereas, saffron helps in calming your nerves and is packed with potent antioxidants such as safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin which helps to keep your various health issues at bay.
Eggs are yet another source of high melatonin which makes it perfect to be had at dinner time and it can act as a natural sleep inducer! Eggs also are highly nutritious, offer protein and iron, among other essential nutrients. Being a natural source of protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids, as well as plenty of other vital nutrients such as tryptophan, folate, selenium, vitamin D, and riboflavin. All of these highly potent compounds in the eggs help in telling your brain to slow down as it is time to rest.
How and When to Consume Eggs?
Egg whites are best when had at dinner time. They help the body prepare for bedtime by producing melatonin that brings on the much-needed sleepy feeling. And when had with carbohydrates like rice, the conversion to melatonin is even better. Hence, have a meal that includes eggs and a helping of rice for better sleep.
Most of the nuts are an essential when it comes to sleep inducing. As nuts like almonds, pistachios or walnuts have a good amount of melatonin along with various other antioxidants, healthy omega-3 fats, minerals, magnesium and zinc. All these help in catering to better and sound sleep.
Let's check some of the best nuts that help you sleep better.
It is a common thing that most people consume soaked almonds in the morning to have a sharp memory. Although, did you know that if you have even a handful of almonds just before going to bed can help you sleep faster and better? Almond is a rich source of calcium and magnesium which helps in relaxing your brain and body muscles. It helps you achieve a sound sleep that is longer and deeper. Almond is also a rich source of the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin, and tryptophan, known to have soothing effects on the brain and nerves.
They also give your body a generous amount of protein that help maintain a stable blood sugar level while one is asleep. And since much of the body’s repair work happens at night, they provide a double benefit by switching your body from an alert adrenaline cycle to the rest-and-digest cycle.
How and When to Consume Almonds?
Have a handful of almonds at night before you wish to sleep. Consuming a handful of almonds every day can help regularise your sleep patterns, correcting the quality of sleep and even helps in waking you up well rested.
Yet another super healthy nut is walnut. The walnuts consist of magnesium, serotonin, and melatonin which help in promoting faster and quality sleep.
How and When to Consume Walnuts?
Just a handful of walnuts make a great snack to munch 30 minutes prior to bed.
Pistachios are a rich source of melatonin just like almonds. They also contain fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin E, antioxidants, protein and magnesium. These potent compounds help in inducing better sleep and can even calm your nervous.
How and When to Consume Pistachios?
Enjoy a handful of pistachios like a snack 30 minutes prior to bed.
Fish is a great source of melatonin than any other meats. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, trout, halibut, tuna and mackerel, are incredibly healthy. These fishes also provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids amongst an exceptional amount of vitamin D. Fishes help in the production of melatonin and help in inducing peaceful and calming sleep.
How and When to Consume Fish?
Consume fish during dinner or opt for a tuna salad and it will do the trick.
5) Chamomile tea
Known for calming down the nerves and highly used in spas to induce relaxation, the chamomile tea has to be on the list. Thanks to a flavonoid called apigenin in chamomile tea which stimulates GABA A receptors that stimulate sleep. The herb has sleep-inducing properties that binds to receptors in the brain that promotes sleepiness.
Moreover, chamomile tea is also used as a mild sedative to helps in reducing and controlling anxiety, nightmares, insomnia and other sleep problems. Trust us, have a cup of warm chamomile tea while playing some soothing music at the background, and you will be snoring away in no time.
How and When to Consume Chamomile Tea?
Try drinking this tea a few minutes before going to bed. It’s a great fix for people who take stress a lot.
Although it may seem weird to have fruits before going to bed, but trust us banana is an exception that you must make! Banana is actually a powerhouse of muscle relaxing minerals and compounds like magnesium, potassium, tryptophan, vitamin B6 and fibre. All of these help in keep you feeling full and stimulate sleep.
Bananas in fact, are one of the easiest to eat, and a must-have if you’re having trouble falling asleep or have insomnia. It also contains tryptophan which is an essential amino acid that gets further converted to serotonin, a relaxing neurotransmitter. Serotonin aids in controlling your sleep and mood by sending certain signals to your brain that induces sleep.
How and When to Consume Bananas:
Have one banana 30 minutes before you want to sleep. You can consume it along with a glass of warm milk which we already mentioned is helpful in inducing sleep. This combination is followed through generations and is going to work like a charm!
7) Dark Chocolate
Little do you know that dark chocolate can actually help you in getting a deep sleep. Dark chocolate contains tryptophan which helps in stimulating melatonin and serotonin. Both of these help in inducing sleep and can help with restlessness and anxiety too.
How and When to Consume Dark Chocolate?
Nibble on some dark chocolate a few hours before you want to go to bed.
Oats are underrated and how! If you are looking for a healthy, filling yet light dinner option, then oats are your best friends. Oatmeal or even granola for that matter, combine with warm milk and it becomes a carbohydrate-rich food. It’s also high in calcium which is known to have a relaxing effect. A bowl of cooked oats just before your bedtime is high in complex-carbs and is surely going to help induce drowsiness.
This is exactly because oats are believed to be natural source of melatonin along with stress relieving vitamin B, fiber and other essential minerals. In fact, each cup of oatmeal contains around 94 mg of tryptophan, which is equal to 33% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a an average person, making for a potent one-two punch for optimal sleep.
How and When to Consume Oats?
Try a bowl full of oatmeal, granola, oat porridge, or homemade protein bars with rolled oats. You can have it 30 minutes prior to your bedtime or even at your usual dinner time.
Rice is like a staple food for some major states in India. Rice not only contains melatonin and tryptophan but also is a rich source of carbohydrate which helps in improving the sleep quality. It is also believed to contain high glycemic index (GI). And a high GI may promote better sleep.
How and When to Consume Rice?
A bowl full of rice with any curry of your choice for dinner will do the trick. Rice tends to make you feel a little drowsy so in an hour or so, you are bound to feel sleepy and relaxed.
10) Tart Cherries
Tart cherries, unlike the regular cherries are sour in taste. These have high anti-inflammatory compounds along with melatonin. It is believed that tart cherry juices are one of the best ways to consume it and is known to be a sure-shot way to induce sleep. Although, it is high in sugar and may increase your calorie intake, so you can eat them directly if you are keeping a calorie check.
How and When to Consume Tart Cherries?
Have a bowl full of tart cherries after dinner. Or you can have a glass full of tart cherry juice 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
Kiwis are a low-calorie and are also highly nutritious. Kiwis are rich in serotonin and antioxidants which help in improving sleep quality and induces stable and deeper sleep. It also contains a decent amount of folate and potassium as well as some minerals too. In fact, apart from inducing sleep, eating kiwis may also benefit your digestive health, reduce inflammation, and lower your cholesterol.
How and When to Consume Kiwis?
Have two kiwis about one hour before going to bed each night. You will notice that you may fall asleep faster than you usually do. In fact, it can even reduce mid-sleep wakefulness by almost 30 percent. If you can't seem to stay asleep through the night, then it is best to try adding kiwis to your shopping list.
Blueberries amongst other berries like raspberries and blackberries contain a very high level of antioxidants. These antioxidants help in protecting and preventing you from spending sleepless nights from stress, or sleep disorder which can lead to oxidation in the body. Consuming blueberries which are a rich source of antioxidant before bed can help reduce your overall physical stress, thereby allowing you to have a more peaceful sleep.
How and When to Consume Blueberries?
A handful of blueberries is a great snack for the night before you want to go to bed. You can consume it pre or post dinner.
Also, if you want some more option apart from these food items, then you can try some sleep corrective supplements with the recommendation of your healthcare professional.
And if they give you a go ahead to try out some sleep inducing and sleep corrective product, then you must try out the Pura Vida SleepEasy Gummies that is formulated for a quick and refreshing sleep. The one month pack comes with 30 amazing and delicious chewable gummies which will help you get that must needed sound sleep. These gummies are packed with a unique blend of Melatonin, Vitamin B1-B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E along with scientifically proven calming herbal extracts like Chamomile, Lavender and Valerian Root. The formula is efficient and effective and is completely non-addictive and does not form a habit. It helps you in falling asleep quickly, improves sleep quality, and wakes you up feeling refreshed and thoroughly rested. It helps in calming your mind and can be highly beneficial in situations like jetlag, post-surgery, post-delivery, and even stress.
It is essential to rest your body thoroughly and get good amount of much-needed sleep to keep your health top notch. And sometimes there are some natural melatonin rich foods that may help you increase the melatonin level. We hope that the list mentioned above of all the best melatonin rich food help you in getting the quick source of melatonin. These are sure to help you sleep better, longer and deeper while fixing your sleep cycle. However, it is important to take a note of when and how these melatonin rich foods need to be consumed. As eating it immediately right before going to bed may lead to causing digestive issues or acid reflux.