Foods that work better than sleeping pills

Татьяна ФиалковаТатьяна Фиалкова

Foods that work better than sleeping pills
Foods that work better than sleeping pills


How to eat for healthy and sound sleep.

Melatonin is a sleep hormone, the main hormone of the pineal gland (pineal gland or "third eye"), and a regulator of circadian rhythms. It is known that high levels of the hormone contribute to longevity and good physical shape in old age. Melatonin synthesis begins after dark. The pineal gland, in complete darkness, begins to secrete melatonin and thus starts the process of falling asleep.

Let's imagine a situation: we are returning home after work, a nightclub, or an evening walk. It's already dark outside. We spread out the bed, stretch and yawn, but if the light is on in the bedroom, we are unlikely to fall asleep. We look at our gadgets, and unnatural light hits our tired retinas directly. Thus, we are likely to stay awake for a long time and, as usual, miss the most valuable time for sleep (10:00-1:00). This is the evolution of man... We are programmed by nature to sleep at night, so melatonin is produced only when the optic nerve does not receive light impulses. Sleeping with a lulling, zombie-like TV set is equal to a complete reset of the body's daily rejuvenation/renewal processes. After all, melatonin is an injection of "youth".

With age, melatonin production decreases. Pay attention to babies – they sleep sweetly all the time, while the elderly grumble from lack of sleep.

Melatonin does not accumulate in the body. It can't be produced with a reserve, having slept for two weekends a week. It is very essential that it is produced in sufficient quantities every day.

But I have already talked about sleep patterns in previous articles and will not dwell on this anymore.

Today we'll talk about foods that can affect the synthesis of melatonin or contain ready-made melatonin-like ingredients:

Melatonin is found in foods that can reduce the deficiency of your own hormone to some extent in the absence of sleep discipline. Foods with a high concentration of the hormone promote relaxation and calmness.

Surprisingly, it is found in ready-made form in such readily available foods as wild rice, whole oats, figs, almost all nuts, tomatoes, and bananas.

Table of melatonin content in food

(melatonin concentration ng/100g)

  • Cherry juice 17535
  • Sour cherries 1350
  • Walnuts 270
  • Mustard seeds 191
  • Corn 188
  • Wild rice 150
  • Ginger root 142
  • Peanuts 117
  • Barley grains 87
  • Tomatoes 54
  • Fresh mint 50
  • Banana 31
  • Broccoli 27

Herbs can also increase the concentration of melatonin in the blood. It is better to take an infusion of medicinal herbs 30-40 minutes before going to bed (after consulting a doctor, if you want to take a course of infusions). The effect of the following plants is especially noticeable:

  • medicinal chamomile
  • lemon balm
  • common hops
  • motherwort

Melatonin synthesis is disrupted by a diet based on a large amount of animal fats and starches. The following foods also block the production of the hormone: coffee, black tea, strong green tea, energy drinks, alcohol, antidepressants, antipyretics, and hormonal contraceptives.