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How To Sleep Better - Chocolate Helps You Sleep

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How to sleep better. That’s slightly different from simply learning how to fall asleep. Better sleep means we function better when awake. And vice versa. Being able to sleep better at night is intrinsically linked with how we live during the day. Good quality sleep affects how we make decisions, interact and so on.

Knowing how to sleep better will, of course, improve your health and well-being. There are ways and means of combating a sleeping problem and among many things you can try, you could consider introducing tryptophan rich foods into your diet.

Of course there are many reasons for restless sleep. Life events tend to get in the way. Divorce, moving house, changing jobs and so on. Basically anything out of the ‘norm’. And if you're experiencing any of the above and can't avoid them, then it's hardly surprising if your nights are wakeful rather than restful.

Knowing how to sleep better will, of course, improve your health and well-being. There are ways and means of combating a sleeping problem and among many things you can try, you could consider introducing tryptophan rich foods into your diet.

Of course there are many reasons for restless sleep. Life events tend to get in the way. Divorce, moving house, changing jobs and so on. Basically anything out of the ‘norm’. And if you're experiencing any of the above and can't avoid them, then it's hardly surprising if your nights are wakeful rather than restful.

Tryptophan And Chocolate

Chocolate Helps You Sleep

That said, you still need to eat and, as eating is a pre-requisite for life in general, consider the kinds of foods that may aid your ability to enjoy a restful sleep pattern. The food key, if you like, is tryptophan.

It's natures' sleep inducer. One of the ten essential amino acids we all need in order to survive. Tryptophan has two basic functions and it's the second one that we’re interested in.

how-to-sleep-better
how-to-sleep-better

Tryptophan is essential for the production of serotonin - which is a neurotransmitter. Serotonin's a crucial component with regard to our moods; how we feel, how we sleep and so on. Therefore tryptophan rich foods are what we’re looking at. Mood foods. And, believe it or not, there are many.

So, what are the mood foods? Pretty much anything with a protein base. Think meat, dairy products, nuts and the like. Bear in mind that tryptophan is found in a lot of foods - I’m aiming for the ones that give a higher concentration:

  • Hummus
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Peanuts ( peanut butter also)
  • Cottage chees
  • Milk
  • Tofu
  • Soy milk
  • Seafood
  • Turkey
  • Chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Eggs
  • Red meat
  • Cheddar cheese

Not hard to find something among the above to have for dinner, as well as supper. I'm not a recipe queen either but a bit of internet surfing should rustle a few nice ideas up.

how-to-sleep-better

Tryptophan

  • About Tryptophan
    The Wiki page that thoroughly details what tryptophan is, how it works and why. It is very lengthy and may take a bit of wading through but it will explain in full why tryptophan rich foods are good for up. NB - it's about tryptophan, not food.

Sleep Better By Having Supper

Perhaps now you know how to sleep better, or at least you've got some pointers. And on that note - here’s a supper suggestion or two:

Banana Smoothie:

  • 3sml bananas
  • 1 cup milk (soy or rice milk just as good)
  • Tsp vanilla
  • Sml banana yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • Throw all in a blender. Blend. Serve.

Banana or Peanut Butter Toast

  • 1 banana
  • 1 or 2 slices of toast
  • Mash banana onto hot toast. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top
  • Alternatively – spread peanut butter onto hot toast

I think anyone could devise their own supper snacks. Basically – think ‘tryptophan’ in order to sleep better. There’s no harm in trying and even better, chocolate is on the list. And hopefully, you've also understood a little more with regard to how to sleep better - plus getting the go ahead to eat some chocolate has got to be a plus!

Add Your Tips And Sleep Remedies!

Sleep Yogi on October 16, 2013:

FYI the second and third paragraphs are repeated as the fourth and fifth paragraphs:

"Knowing how to sleep better will, of course, improve your health and well-being. There are ways and means of combating a sleeping problem and among many things you can try, you could consider introducing tryptophan rich foods into your diet.

Of course there are many reasons for restless sleep. Life events tend to get in the way. Divorce, moving house, changing jobs and so on. Basically anything out of the ‘norm’. And if you're experiencing any of the above and can't avoid them, then it's hardly surprising if your nights are wakeful rather than restful.

Knowing how to sleep better will, of course, improve your health and well-being. There are ways and means of combating a sleeping problem and among many things you can try, you could consider introducing tryptophan rich foods into your diet.

Of course there are many reasons for restless sleep. Life events tend to get in the way. Divorce, moving house, changing jobs and so on. Basically anything out of the ‘norm’. And if you're experiencing any of the above and can't avoid them, then it's hardly surprising if your nights are wakeful rather than restful."

Betty on February 07, 2013:

For the past 2 nights I have eaten chocolate before going to bed. The first night I slept for 8 hours straight, last night for TEN hours. I am in heaven. I suffer from fibromyalgia and usually have to get up to go to the bathroom at least twice during the night. The last 2 nights were both undisturbed. I haven't had a full night's sleep in years. Thank you for your article. I researched other sites on the internet, and definitely Tryptophan is the answer, at least for me, and any food that contains it is on my grocery list from now on.

lilian1 from Hertfordshire England on June 07, 2012:

I agree about eating chocolate before bed but strangely it does work also keeping your body cool is equally important good useful information here :)

K on June 04, 2012:

FYI, Chocolate will not help you sleep and will actually have the opposite effect. While it might contain this one ingredient that helps with sleep, it also has a lot of caffeine, with the exception of white chocolate, that will obviously not help you sleep at night.

William Benner from Savannah GA. on December 03, 2011:

This is GREAT..chocolate will help me sleep? Wow, I have really learned something here, thanks!

Linda Gayle on March 21, 2011:

Getting my hormones balanced with natural bioidentical hormones was the sleep trick for me as well as curing clinical depression, low libido, weight gain etc. etc. etc. i went six years getting 3 yo 4 hours of sleep a night...Now that I have enough progesterone and estrogen on board....WOW do I sleep!!!! Bioidentical thyroid, testosterone and DHEA helped to fix all the rest...I'm getting younger every day! Best of luck to all of you!

poolqueen on February 21, 2011:

I have always had insomnia off and on. It seems I will go 3 nights with either broken or no sleep and then I will sleep for a few nights. I recently have begun menopause and also was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year. I have had hardly any sleep the last 3 nights. I just ate a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter between every bite of banana and also a glass of milk. Hopefully this combination will help. Thanks to all the great advice about how to combat insomnia. Good to know I'm not the only one out there going through this!

Peter Owen from West Hempstead, NY on February 15, 2011:

I'm going to take you up on this and gorge on Chocolate before bed. That way I can rationalize the extra pounds are all your fault.

gajanis from Pakistan on January 13, 2011:

Very informative hub....useful and workable ideas...Thanks.

david stillwagon on January 07, 2011:

Great hub. Watching your fat content especially in junk food is also important.

rcrm89 on January 06, 2011:

Protein-fat rich meals within 2-3 hours of bedtime tend to work very well IME.

Some examples:

> Cottage cheese mixed with natural PB

> Boiled eggs with almonds

> Greek yoghurt with walnuts

> Steak and Salad with EV olive oil-based dressing

Beth on November 16, 2010:

LOL i wondered why that Frog guy kept commenting on averyones posts... then i realised he wrote the article hahaha. Chocolate is my sleeping food, cant shut my eyes without it, really weird.

Sunnyglitter from Cyberspace on November 07, 2010:

I occasionally experience bouts of insomnia; I'll have to try some of these foods. Thanks.

PaperNotes on July 07, 2010:

Excellent hub! lately I've been having trouble sleeping at night and I'm glad I came across this article. Thanks!

kims3003 on July 05, 2010:

very well thought out and well written hub!

ASFA123 on June 08, 2010:

it reflects your hard work

Kimbrena on June 04, 2010:

Thanks for this! I'm going to eat a banana now. :)

fishtiger58 from Momence, Illinois on May 14, 2010:

Since starting Menopause some years ago sleeping is difficult for me, they say it's because of the Menopause, but I will have to try these suggestions as I really need to sleep more. Thanks frogdropping.

Andria (author) on March 22, 2010:

To be honest - it's a process of elimination. What works for one, doesn't always work for another. Good luck getting to sleep :)

Top Health Reviews on March 22, 2010:

I've really been having trouble sleeping lately and sleeping pills don't seem to work..I'll give these tips a whirl and see how I go. Cheers

Karri on February 27, 2010:

Your suggestion of chocolate to aid sleep seems a bit strange - doesn't the caffeine in chocolate keep you awake?

Andy Johnston on January 18, 2010:

Nice list of yummy foods to try next time I can't sleep. I'm partial to chocolate, so I'm happy to see it on this list!

Andria (author) on December 18, 2009:

Food facts are always good to know ... sleep well ;)

theJimmy from Howell, Mi on December 17, 2009:

Good info. I always like food facts

Sleep well on November 08, 2009:

Thanks for the info, really nice hub, my girlfriend have hard time sleeping so I refer her to this hub.

Andria (author) on September 10, 2009:

dcrisan - I know it's tough when you can sleep but someone else keeps you awake! Good luck :)

dcrisan from Maryland on September 10, 2009:

Good hub, my husband has a hard time staying asleep. Drives me crazy he ends up waking me up almost every night.

Thanks for the advice , def goin use it.

emi on September 07, 2009:

if red meat could make me sleep betterthen to hell with a hard time sleeping

charles johnson on September 07, 2009:

You are advising people to eat dairy for sleepless nights but dairy is no good for our health it causes a lot of deseases and shorten your life span you have to eat a lot of fruits and vegitables raw if possible cause our bodies need raw foods and it will work better not too much cook foodand most of all plenty of green leafy vegies plus exercise and you wioll be in good shape

Andria (author) on June 29, 2009:

AIDY - lol comfortable insomnia. Now there's one I haven't heard before ...

And if anything works then great. Back to trial and error!

Am I dead, yet? on June 28, 2009:

Nice informational hub here, great advise as well. I have to admit, though, I enjoy my insomnia too much. I feel I will be using more of these foods from now own.

Andria (author) on June 28, 2009:

meta - I'm not saying the sleep is linked to food so much as certain foods contain tryptophan - which is utilised by our bodies and it can help induce sleep. My point was this - trying to explore alternative ways to sleep better, as opposed to resorting to prescription drugs. And dairy can be bad for us if we eat too much of it - but that is related to eating too many bad fats.

And I don't suggest eating lots of chocolate, sticking to yoghurts or completely changing your diet. Common sense and all that :)

metaphysician on June 28, 2009:

I don't know that sleeping quality is linked to food. Thanks for that but isn't that dairy based product is not good for health?

Andria (author) on June 27, 2009:

ethel - they are brim full of potassium. And yes - they can help. Bananas are in fact a wonderful little food all on their own :)

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on June 27, 2009:

Eating bananas is also supposed to help fight cramp, which can keep people awake or at least wake them up.

Andria (author) on June 27, 2009:

Paper - perfectly acceptable. And by the way - red wine helps you sleep. Frog Fact #07 :)

Paper Moon from In the clouds on June 26, 2009:

I would like to be drunk or sleeping!

Andria (author) on June 26, 2009:

Haunty - thankyou for coming back and saying what you did. It has a very obvious meaning and in this day and age, I think it's highly indicative of our day to day lives. And it was written by William Henry Davies :)

Haunty from Hungary on June 26, 2009:

Well, I'm not into poetry either, but I think nobody gets past such a beautiful poem as you've just shared without having to stand and stare and think for a while. Based on what you've said earlier no wonder this is one of your favourites. lol

Btw, I forgot to say mine is by Li Po, a taoist poet. He was a real good-for-nothing they say. Most of the time he was drunk, when he was not he was sleeping. :)

Andria (author) on June 26, 2009:

Haunty - that poem is so beautiful. Not one I've read before. And no - I'm not a big poetry reader but I do know some and have a favourite or two. Mine ...

What is this life if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep, or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

Thanks for giving me an opportunity to share :)

Paper - lol ... spam spam spam. One mans' spam is another mans' ... spam! And no, whatever happened i didn't get your first couple of efforts. Funnily enough it's happened to me a time or two. I've always felt a little silly ...

And maybe chocolate is your sleep food? Your mood food? It does contain tryptophan after all. Can't fault you either. if it works - it works. Crack on I say. Only don't tell your missus 'froggy said so ...'

lafenty - I don't know what one of them is. But I'm still going to say 'yes'! And thankyou :)

lafenty from California on June 25, 2009:

So, a Reeces Peanut Butter Cup before bed should do the trick? Very useful hub, thanks for the information.

Paper Moon from In the clouds on June 25, 2009:

I know I wrote a lengthy diatribe to this hub. I must have hit the spell check button as opposed to the “post comment button”. I must have been tired after my experience with my new cat. (Again, I blame the frog).

I tend to wake up in the middle of the night and find myself in the kitchen digging for chocolate. I tend to keep a lot of bulk chocolate for making my boozy chocolate covered cherries or other such treats. I always sleep better after having my chocolate. My wife told me to stop going into the kitchen for it, and just go back to sleep. This is when I started tossing and turning. I started back up with the chocolate in the middle of the night. Only now I am out.

Haunty from Hungary on June 25, 2009:

I find that when I work a lot I can sleep better. In a long work it is allowable for sleep to steal upon us, as the saying goes. :)

I usually grab every opportunity to write my favourite poem when the context allows so let me do it.

To wash and rinse our souls of their age-old sorrows,

We drained a hundred jugs of wine.

A splendid night it was . . . .

In the clear moonlight we were loath to go to bed,

But at last drunkenness overtook us;

And we laid ourselves down on the empty mountain,

The earth for pillow, and the great heaven for coverlet.

Thanks for the good hub, frog. :)

Andria (author) on June 25, 2009:

Claudia - boa tarde :)

I think the doctors will know - but maybe they're just so busy? Or maybe it's more of a specialist area? I know a nutritionist who knows a lot more about what to find where (in foods) what not to eat and so on than doctors do. And being tired on waking is possibly because you're not sleeping deeply enough? We don't always know when we're restless. Being asleep is one thing. The quality of that sleep is another altogether.

Claudia Adães on June 25, 2009:

I wonder if doctors know about tryptophan. I will try this on, because this week I sleep all night long, but I am more tired when I wake up than when I go to sleep.

Andria (author) on June 25, 2009:

Hawkes - you can eat anything really that's above. Cocolate's probably not the best (in truth) because of the refined sugars. But a turkey sandwich on wheat bread. a yoghurt. I don't know - make a seafood dish for dinner or similar for a week or so. Try changing his diet - keep a journal and see if there's a difference.

Oh and look at causes for his sleep problem. If you haven't already :) And good luck!

Al Hawkes from Cornwall on June 25, 2009:

helpful tips, hubby doesn't sleep very well,[ pester pester pester] got any knock out drops lol will try the supper tips first.

Andria (author) on June 25, 2009:

Naz - yep I think I went and touched something somewhere. I better go take a look behind the scenes. And myabe you're tired due to lack of chocolate ...

nazishnasim on June 25, 2009:

Froggy-Mate,

Yer hub is twisted ... no not the twisted twisted .. I meant it's twisted upside down; latest comments come first and all ... Thankyou for the first hand info... dunno why I am so low on energy nowadays, perhaps I am not sleeping properly ... will now think dairy and nuts ...wait, did you just say nuts? Oh crap ....

*?*

Andria (author) on June 25, 2009:

Iphi - what a great diet you have! Take note guys ... Iphi actually walks the walk! Healthy living's got to be a positive ... and the best sleep inducer. Just a pity other stuff gets in the way!

Iphigenia on June 25, 2009:

Great hub - and of that list of foods, well, you could have just written my shopping list, I eat them all regulalry except for red meat as i'm a vegetarian.

Andria (author) on June 24, 2009:

Candie - lol I can't fault you! Nothing wrong with chocolate now and then. me - I'd aim for a hot milk/chocolate drink before bed. Two birds with one stone and all that :)

And yes - go eat! Eat the mood foods!

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on June 24, 2009:

This is a great hub Frog! I zoomed right in on the chocolate, cheese and turkey.. what does that say about me? Hm.. probably I need to eat today. Thank you !!!

Andria (author) on June 24, 2009:

annvans you're welcome. Hope it helps :)

annvans on June 24, 2009:

Thanks for this info, I sure need it. Great hub!

Andria (author) on June 24, 2009:

giantseps - Funny but tryptophan rich foods are so readily available. And it (tryptophan) really is natures' mood buster. But many people have never heard about it. I'm sorry to hear you've had a lot of trouble sleeping - and that you were reduced to marching in warm water! It makes you think though ... most things have tryphan in them. And the ones that contain it the most are pretty darn good for us overall. Now - I've always been a lover of all the things on the list (excluding chocolate oddly enough!) and rarely if ever eaat processed foods.

So maybe that's why I sleep so well?

RooBee - lol funny but on the comments page you were in fact the first in line so I don't know what went wrong!

Just buy a chocolate fountain. In fact just stick to chocolate last thing at night! And as far as I'm aware the low fat chocolates (for diabetics etc) are ok too. Me - I go for the milk at night, now and then. Though I'm more likely to eat the banana/cinnamon toast - simply because it's so delicious.

giantsteps on June 24, 2009:

Great hub. I used to have problems with insomia and could've used this advice. At the time I'd tried everything. I even put an onion in my pillow case to make me sleep--that just made me cry--and tried marching in a bucket of warm water--that just made the floor wet.

Arby Bourne from USA on June 24, 2009:

Yay! I'm the first here! Who is that behind me? Is it Janetta...? I can't quite make them out...oh, holy *%&^, there's a whole load of them coming to comment. I better make it snappy.

Great hub, as usual. I could do with better quality sleep and I will put tryptophan-rich vittles on my grocery list. :D Best to you.

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