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Best "I Can't Sleep" Food

Had terrible insomnia last night which I usually remedy with some cooked rice which I warm up with milk and sugar. Had neither in the apartment and suffered!

What are other good sleep-inducing foods (besides the obvious, warm milk, turkey, etc)?

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  1. Sorry. That sucks. Apparently bananas are supposed to help.

    1. I like toast (or ideally fresh bread) with butter and honey or molasses. And the obvious glass of warm milk as an accompaniment.
      My father eats saltines with butter slathered on them while wandering from from room to room reading Milton.
      My husband read too much Little Nemo as a child and refuses to eat anything late at night on the grounds that food before bed causes strange dreams.

      1. I've been told that carbs help, and I usually have some toast or crackers or something like that when I can't sleep, and it really does help me.

        1. A piece of toast w/peanut butter. For some reason, the warmed peanut butter really does the trick. And of course, washing it down w/a glass of milk doesn't hurt either.

          1. I try to avoid anything with sugar in it since that will just exacerbate the problem, so I stick to toast with grated cheese (melted under the broiler) or toast with peanut butter.

            1. This is my first post, but I have been a long time lurker!
              Food & Wine has a recipe for "Warm Almond Milk with Bananas and Honey." It is noted that the recipe is sleep inducing and that bananas cause drowsiness.

              1 Reply
              1. Maybe you could try something besides food. Chamomile tea would help. Valerian supplement maybe? HTP supplement? Deep breathing. Counting breaths in and out of at least 3 or 4 counts each, and don't let your mind wander (it gets more technical, but that's an easy start). Google relaxation breathing or insomnia and maybe you can come up with some tips. Calcium & magnesium supplement without sugar or carb at bed time? Good luck, sleep debt mornings are so trying.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SweetPea

                  Don't fall asleep BEFORE before the water comes to a boil-- I've definitely done that before and ruined perfectly good (not to mention really, really, really, etc., etc. exorbitantly expensive) kettles.

                  Valerian and St. John's Wort are supposed to help; I have insomniac friends who swear by valerian.

                  1. re: PseudoNerd

                    Valerian is most effective when taken on a regular basis. So if it's an occasional sleepless night, it may not be as effective. Is kava-kava still on the market? That works pretty well. I believe there are certain yoga positions that help too.

                2. Cereal usually does it for me. Or oatmeal. Even popcorn.
                  Carbs seem to be the common thread.

                  1. Turkey or milk based products...yogurt, cheese, or how about WINE?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jinet12

                      Turkey is good given the tryptophan... assuming of course, you don't have issues w/ GERD, as protein can be hard on the system if you eat it before bed, have your stomach producing HCl to digest it, and then be on your back.

                    2. Old family remedy for anyone up and walking the floor: shot of blackberry brandy. I don't know if the blackberry had some specific medicinal property or if it was just easy to get down. As I recall it worked moderately well.

                      1. Cream of corn soup: a can of creamed corn (does usually contain sugar), equal amount of hot milk. Dash of pepper, dab of butter.

                        1. I'm a big fan of not eating anything and just having a nice cup of tea without sugar, milk or anything else. I find it makes me feel full and sleepy. If I eat something then I usually get more energy to not sleep :p

                          1. better living through chemistry:

                            cottage cheese + carbohydrates

                            c.c. contains tryptophan, but your body needs carbs in order for the trypt. to work

                            try a good amount of bread or crackers with some c.c.

                            it really does it for me


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: kleinfortlee

                              I didn't know cottage cheese contains tryptophan! Do other dairy/cheeses as well?

                              Gotta stop eating a bagel with cottage cheese for breakfast, I guess.

                              1. re: seattledebs

                                Lots of dairy does, yes, and as pointed out, carbohydrates act as a synergist, encouraging the flow of tryptophan to the brain. Carbs trigger insulin release, which encourages the uptake of the amino acids in protein that will trigger sleep. This link http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T042... has a list of good before bed foods, as well as good dinners, if you scroll down; it also shows bad ideas :-)

                                1. re: Emme

                                  Excellent post and link. Thank you very much!

                              1. warm milk with a nice slug of whiskey (or a small spoonful of honey, if you're a teetotaler or infant).
                                similar to above: a hot toddy (made with herbal tea)
                                just the right amount of leftover chinese food a(too much will give you restless sleep).

                                1. I think milk does it for me as well, but warm and with some bourbon. Maybe it's psychological that the bourbon makes you tired...but I'm not arguing with a placebo affect. Bananas are good. I think anything mild and creamy. If there are any chocolate chip cookies...they're good with milk, but generally I never want to eat in the middle f the night.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: izzizzi

                                    Warm milk with a little vanilla is nice too.