better sleep

18 Food and Herbs for Better Sleep

Waking up after a good night’s sleep is an endearing way to start the day. It energizes the person to face whatever the day throws at them and come victorious without drowning one’s spirits. But do you know that almost half of the American population struggles to fall asleep and get up full of energy in the morning? Sleep disorders affect nearly 70 million Americans annually, and the after-effects of this condition can be long-lasting and fatal. Therefore, doctors continuously ask people to seek treatment if they have difficulty falling asleep.

Natural foods, herbs, and proper medications can help solve the issue sooner. So if you trust nature’s best remedies, here we have the list of foods and herbs that knock you out in seconds and give you a good night’s sleep. Before venturing into the foods and herbs, let’s learn a bit more about insomnia and how it can worsen your health-

What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep issue that can make it difficult to get asleep or make you to wake up too early and experience trouble falling back asleep. You can still feel worn out when you wake up from a short sleep cycle. Insomnia deteriorates your health, productivity at work, and quality of life, taking your energy level and mood downhill.

Everyone has a different idea of how much sleep they need, but most adults need seven to eight hours every night. When one faces insomnia, they can take all the necessary preparations before bedtime, yet not be able to fall asleep properly. There are many reasons why people face sleep disorders. The following are a few of them-

  • Excessive stress due to personal or work affairs
  • Erratic schedule
  • Irregular and poor sleeping habits
  • Uncomfortable sleeping environment
  • Heavy dinner
  • Lack of exercise

Why Should You Never Ignore Sleep Disorders?

You cannot ignore sleep disorders because they can lead to multiple life-threatening diseases. If an individual is continuously unable to sleep well, their body slows down and doesn’t function as needed. Below are conditions that one may encounter during prolonged sleep disorders-

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart Attacks
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Depression

How Can Herbs and Foods Help You Sleep Better?

Stress, busy schedules, inappropriate rest, and poor diet are common contributors to sleep deprivation. Stress affects serotonin synthesis, which impacts the sleep cycle. By regulating serotonin levels, natural herbs help treat insomnia.

Keeping your serotonin levels in check is the most typical method of treating insomnia. Tryptophan-rich natural herbs enhance the generation of serotonin. You can get a good night’s sleep after your serotonin levels are in check.

While certain herbs calm your nerves, others work to lower your stress levels. Other organic herbs can also help to relax your muscles and slow your heart rate.

Which Are the Best Foods and Herbs for Sleep and Anxiety?


It is the most widely used herb for promoting physical relaxation. Even though many women use lavender for its numerous beauty advantages, men and women still choose it for its capacity to promote sleep. You can diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom 30 minutes before bed. It is also rather well-liked as lavender tea. Both these methods can help induce sleep and help you enjoy a great morning.


Tea is frequently a preferred beverage when it’s time to unwind. Numerous decaffeinated teas aid in promoting sleep. Do any of them, however, perform as promised? A review from a reputable source supports the traditional usage of chamomile tea as a natural sedative and sleep-inducer. Body temperature might rise due to the warmth of the water, giving the impression of being enveloped in a warm blanket.

Valerian Root

Since the 18th century, valerian root has been a common herb for inducing sleep. Researchers have isolated the active plant compounds to determine how plants affect sleep, but they are still unaware of the mechanism at play. Yet, it’s one of the most common herbs to get into a healthy sleep cycle.

Valerian root’s effectiveness and safety as a treatment for particular sleep problems have been a topic for research for years. The results imply that valerian root may be effective in treating certain conditions. According to the study’s findings, valerian root may be a safe and efficient alternative treatment for sleep disturbances.

Passion Flower

It is a herb frequently found in North America and aids sleep induction. According to studies, the passion flower works best when combined with other herbs. These plants are grown in Australia, Asia, Europe, and Africa. While some individuals take passion flower to lessen pain, combat sleeplessness, and treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it can also calm the mind before surgery.

Holy Basil

The holy basil, is a common treatment for millennia in traditional medicine to treat various ailments like nausea, insect stings, skin rashes, and bronchitis, has powerful effects against sleep disturbances. This potent plant encourages improved sleep by reducing tension and anxiety, both of which can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. In addition, it eases pain whether you’re awake or asleep!

Wild Lettuce

Lactucarium, a milky fluid with analgesic and calming qualities, is present in wild lettuce. It calms your nerves, lessens pain, and lessens mild sleeplessness symptoms. This organic plant is also used in homeopathy to alleviate insomnia and anxiety.


Consider consuming a cup of peppermint tea before bed if you’re having difficulties falling asleep. The natural muscle relaxant will help you unwind and get ready for sleep while promoting healthy digestion thanks to its antibacterial characteristics. Since mint leaves improve flavor when added to sedative teas like hop or passion flower, you might not want to drink any other variety.


The blooms of the hop plant are referred to as hops. They are used as a herbal remedy, and to flavor drinks like beer. Hops enhance sleep. According to a 2014 study from various sources, non-alcoholic beer with hops improved the quality of sleep for university students.

Hops is also common as blends with other herbs, such as valerian. You can consume 0.5 to 2 milliliters of liquid extract per day. One can take up to 1 gram of powdered extract thrice daily. Non-alcoholic beer that contains hops is also available.


A herb used in herbal medicine is ginseng. It improves immunity and sleep. According to a reliable source, red ginseng extract helped patients who had trouble sleeping. After consuming the extract for a week, the participants reported better-quality sleep.


You’ll be asleep in no time after eating only a few of these. Almonds, according to Pasquella, contain tryptophan and magnesium, two nutrients that naturally lessen the activity of your muscles and nerves while maintaining a regular heartbeat.

It will also work with peanut butter or almond butter. Spread it on toast made from sweet potatoes, graham crackers, or a banana. Keep your portion under a tablespoon once again to avoid feeling overstuffed before night.


Turkey is savory and healthy. It is a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including riboflavin and phosphorus, and is high in protein. It is a fantastic source of selenium, giving 56% of the daily value in a 3-ounce serving (DV)

Several characteristics of turkey account for why some people feel sleepy after eating it or believe it promotes sleepiness. Most significantly, it includes the amino acid tryptophan, which boosts melatonin production. Turkey’s capacity to induce fatigue may also be due to its protein content. Before bed, consuming moderate protein levels is linked to better sleep quality, including fewer nighttime awakenings.


Kiwis are a fruit with few calories and a lot of nutrients. It has only 42 calories and a lot of nutrients, including 71% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, a good deal of folate and potassium, and traces of minerals.

According to studies on their propensity to enhance sleep quality, kiwis may also be among the greatest foods to eat before bedtime. Kiwis have been shown to improve sleep, possibly ascribed to serotonin, the brain chemical called serotonin assists in controlling your sleep pattern.

One or two medium kiwis before bed can help you fall asleep more quickly and remain asleep longer. It has also been proposed that the anti-inflammatory antioxidants present in kiwis, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, may be partially responsible for their sleep-promoting effects.


Michelle Dudash, RDN chief and nutritionist, advise that the best approach to achieve a good night’s sleep is to boost your melatonin intake. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, along with nuts and cereals. They can assist in regulating your sleep pattern when consumed consistently.

Fatty Fish

According to a research study, fatty fish may be an ideal diet for improved sleep. A survey conducted over several months revealed that eating salmon three times per week enhanced daytime performance and total sleep quality.

Omega-3 fatty acids, essential for the body’s regulation of serotonin, and vitamin D, both found in healthy amounts in fatty fish, are thought to aid sleep. Eating fish during the winter, when vitamin D levels tend to be lower, was the main focus of this study.


Walnuts are rich in numerous nutrients offering over 19 vitamins and minerals and 1.9 grams of fiber. Magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper are particularly abundant in walnuts. Furthermore, given that walnuts are one of the top sources of melatonin, several experts contend that consuming them enhances sleep quality.

Walnuts’ fatty acid composition may also help people sleep better. They offer omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body transforms into DHA. DHA might boost serotonin synthesis. In any case, if you have trouble falling asleep, try eating some walnuts before bed.


In addition to containing tryptophan, bananas are also a good source of potassium. It is crucial to good health and acts as a natural muscle relaxant. One study found that potassium levels also affect sleep, with higher levels promoting more extended periods of sleep cycles.

Magnesium is also present in bananas. According to a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, one can treat insomnia and other sleep-related issues by increasing a person’s magnesium intake.


Even though oatmeal may be a morning staple, you should consider having some after dinner to aid in uninterrupted sleep. According to Cynthia Pasquella, CCN, CHLC, and CWC, “grains in oatmeal trigger insulin production like the whole-grain bread.” Oats are high in melatonin, which calms the body and promotes sleep, and they naturally elevate blood sugar levels

Other Ways to Induce Better Sleep

Now that you know the best foods and herbs that can help you to sleep better, here are a few more tips to let you sleep like a baby-

  • Exercise at least 4-5 days a week
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Restrain the use of alcohol
  • Switch off electronics such as television, cell phone, video games, etc. one hour before bedtime
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature
  • Pull the curtains, and shut down any source of light

Summing Up

We hope the article has enough food and herbs to help you sleep well and feel energetic every morning. So put your devices away and get some of these foods to induce sleep.

Caution: You should utilize herbs cautiously because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate them. Additionally, before using, please speak with your doctor so they can assist you in determining your risk of complications or adverse effects.