Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the body that helps to regulate sleep. As it becomes darker outside, the production of melatonin usually increases. This signals the body that it is time to sleep. But there are a number of factors that can disrupt the production of melatonin, including working late shifts, staring at screens before bed, and traveling across time zones. This can lead to problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Luckily, there are certain foods that can help to increase the levels of melatonin in the body and promote better sleep.
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Foods High in Melatonin
1. Tart Cherries
Tart cherries are one of the best sources of melatonin. Melatonin is found in both the flesh and skin of tart cherries, so be sure to eat both when enjoying this sleepy-time fruit. You can add tart cherries to your cereal or oatmeal in the morning, enjoy them as a snack throughout the day, or use them to make a delicious cherry pie before bed.
2. Goji Berries
These little red berries are often touted as a “superfood” thanks to their high nutrient content. Goji berries are a good source of melatonin and have been shown to improve sleep quality.
A glass of warm milk before bed is a time-honored sleep remedy for a reason. Milk contains higher amounts of melatonin, as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to promote sleep.
Pistachios happen to be one of the highest sources of melatonin among all nuts. A handful of pistachios before bed can help you get a good night’s rest. Pistachios are high in magnesium, a mineral that relaxes muscles and improves sleep quality.
5. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have a good amount of melatonin. They are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids that can help promote better sleep.
Rich in melatonin, eggs make for a perfect bedtime snack. Eggs also contain tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep more easily.
Bananas are rich in melatonin and also contain magnesium and potassium, two minerals that help to relax muscles and help you fall asleep.
Mushrooms, well known for being rich in antioxidants and vitamins, also contain melatonin. White button mushrooms have the most melatonin out of all the types of mushrooms. But any kind of mushroom probably has some melatonin, so add them to your dinner for a better night’s sleep.
White rice may promote better sleep by raising levels of melatonin in the body. Brown rice also has some melatonin, but not as much as white rice. Rice also contains GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. So enjoy a bowl of rice for dinner if you’re having trouble sleeping.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does melatonin work?
Melatonin works by helping to regulate the body’s internal clock. It does this by sending signals to the brain that tell the body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up.
What are the benefits of taking melatonin?
There are many benefits to taking melatonin. For example, it can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. It can also help to reduce jet lag and improve sleep quality.
Who should take melatonin?
Anyone who struggles with insomnia or poor sleep quality can benefit from taking melatonin. It is also often recommended for people who have difficulty adjusting to new time zones (such as when traveling for business or pleasure).
What are the side effects of taking melatonin?
The most common side effect of taking melatonin is drowsiness. Other potential side effects include headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Who should take melatonin?
Melatonin is safe for most people to take. However, it is not recommended for children under the age of 18, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or people who are taking certain medications.
How do I take a melatonin supplement?
Melatonin supplements are available in different strengths and forms, including pills, tablets, gummies, and liquids. The best form of melatonin supplement for you depends on your preferences and needs. Most people take a melatonin supplement 30 minutes before they want to go to sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try incorporating some of these foods into your diet. Eating foods that are high in melatonin can help regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle and help you get a better night’s sleep.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Foods Rich in Iodine