According to medical science, insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue,
  • Low energy, 
  • Difficulty concentrating,
  •  Mood disturbances,
  •  Decreased performance in work or at school


Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances. Many people may have experienced this type of passing sleep disruption, and it tends to resolve without any treatment.

Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, shift work, other clinical disorders, and certain medications could lead to a long-term pattern of insufficient sleep.  



1. Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that when ingested gets turned into the neurotransmitter serotonin and then converted into the hormone melatonin. Here are some some of the best foods loaded with tryptophan:

  •  Dairy products (milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese) 
  • Poultry (turkey, chicken)
  •  Seafood (shrimp, salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines, cod)
  •  Nuts and seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts)
  •  Legumes (kidney beans, lima beans, black beans split peas, chickpeas)
  •  Fruits (apples, bananas, peaches, avocado)
  •  Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, onions, seaweed)
  •  Grains (wheat, rice, barley, corn, oats)

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is a powerful mineral that is instrumental in sleep and is a natural relaxant that helps deactivate adrenaline. A lack of magnesium can be directly linked to difficulty going and staying asleep. Magnesium is often referred to as the sleep mineral. 

Excellent sources of magnesium are:

  • Dark leafy greens (baby spinach, kale, collard greens)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseed)                            
  • Wheat germ Fish (salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel) 
  • Soybeans 
  • Banana 
  • Avocados 
  • Low-fat yogurt

3. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 also helps convert tryptophan into melatonin. A deficiency in B6 has been linked with lowered serotonin levels and poor sleep. A deficiency in B6 is also linked to symptoms of depression   and mood disorders which can lead to insomnia. 

Highest sources of vit B6 are:

  •   Sunflower seeds
  •   Pistachio nuts  
  •   Flaxseed
  •   Fish (tuna, salmon, halibut) 
  •   Meat (chicken, tuna, lean pork, lean beef,) 
  •   Dried Prunes  
  •   Bananas
  •   Avocado
  •   Spinach   

 4. Melatonin

Many of the vitamins and minerals that are on this list are there because they help aid in the production of turning serotonin into melatonin. However, there are a few excellent sources of naturally occurring melatonin in foods:· 

  • Fruits and vegetables (tart cherries, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber)
  • Grains (rice, barley, rolled oats)   
  • Nuts and Seeds (walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, flaxseed)

5. Drinks that are great for sleep

It's not just foods that are great for sleep. Many drinks contain essential vitamins and minerals that help aid with sleep.

 A few of the ones to try are:  

  • Warm milk  
  • Almond milk    
  • Valerian tea  
  • Chamomile tea   
  • Tart cherry juice   
  • Passion fruit tea     
  • Peppermint tea


Just as there are foods and drinks that help promote sleep, there are also foods to avoid that can rob you of sleep. Many of the foods to avoid on this list are healthy for you to eat, but just not recommended to eat before bed because they can interfere with sleep. 

Some of them are:   

1. Foods and drinks that contain caffeine

2. Spicy foods

3. Alcohol

4. Foods high in protein

5. Foods containing water

6. Heavy meals before bedtime