"Vegetables rich with chlorophyll, the green pigment of plants, is said to contain an opium-related substance, a natural sleep aid, along with traces of the anti-cramping agent hyoscyarnin. Lettuce is a chlorophyll-rich food that has a long-standing reputation for promoting healthy sleep. Mixed with a little lemon juice for flavor, lettuce juice is an effective sleep-inducing drink highly preferable to the synthetic chemical agents in sleeping pills" (link).
Some examples of chlorophyll rich foods include lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, celery and cucumber.
According to one study completed by the Department of Psychiatry, University of California-San Diego, potassium was found to improve sleep patterns. "Potassium significantly increased actigraphic Sleep Efficiency...The results may indicate an improvement in sleep consolidation with potassium supplementation" (link).
Below is a list of foods that are rich in potassium:
|Potassium Rich Foods||Weight (g)||Measure||Potassium Content|
|Spinach||30||1 Cup||167 mg|
|Celery||110||1 Cup||286 mg|
|Raw, baby carrots||10||1 medium||24 mg|
|Raw Lettuce||10||1 leaf||19 mg|
|Raw Onions||14||1 slice||20 mg|
|Fresh Strawberries||12||1 strawberry||18 mg|
|Raw Garlic||3||1 clove||12 mg|
|Honey||21||1 tablespoon||11 mg|
|Raw Radishes||4.5||1 radish||10 mg|
|Raw Peppers||10||1 ring||18 mg|
|White Bread||23||1 slice||17 mg|
|Papayas||304||1 papaya||781 mg|
|Lima Beans||188||1 cup||955 mg|
|Plantains||179||1 medium||893 mg|
|Jerusalem Artichokes||150||1 cup||644 mg|
|Bananas||118||1 banana||422 mg|
|Oat Bran||94||1 cup||532 mg|
|Tomatoes||255||1 cup||528 mg|
|Cucumber||301||1 large||442 mg|
|Cantaloupe||160||1 cup||427 mg|
|Pears||275||1 pear||333 mg|
|Mangoes||207||1 mango||323 mg|
"Your calcium intake may be almost as important to blood pressure as your sodium intake," says Gene Spiller, Ph.D., the director of the Health Research and Studies Center in Los Altos, Calif., and co-author of Calcium: Nature's Versatile Mineral (Avery, 2000). He explains that an adequate supply of calcium helps muscles--including your heart muscle--do their work of contracting and relaxing. Calcium also appears to help your nervous system regulate the level of pressure in your arteries (link).
Below is a list of foods that are rich in calcium:
note - While milk and cheese are high in calcium, they do not contain high amounts of chlorophyll, magnesium and potassium. As a result, if you include dairy in your diet, you may want to eat dairy earlier in the day, focusing instead on raw, fresh fruits and vegetables later in the day.
Milk - 244 milligrams per cup
Mozzarella Cheese - 203 milligrams per 56 grams
Apricots - 117 milligrams per 4 apricots
Salmon - 91 milligrams per 100 grams
Baked beans - 72 milligrams per cup
Almonds - 62 milligrams per 12 almonds
Celery - 44 milligrams per 110 gram serving
Walnuts - 38 milligrams per 12 halves
Broccoli - 34 milligrams per cup
Spinach - 30 milligrams per 30 gram serving
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome, sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures" (link).
Many additional studies have confirmed the importance of magnesium in sleeping. "A high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with high-quality sleep time and few nighttime awakenings, and magnesium supplementation has been reported to reduce sleep latency and result in uninterrupted sleep" (link).
|Foods High in Magnesium||Serving Size||Magnesium (mg)|
|Spinach, cooked||1 cup||157|
|Spinach, raw||2 Cup (60 g)||48|
|Beans, black||1 cup||120|
|Broccoli, raw||1 cup||22|
|Nuts, peanuts||1 oz||64|
|Plantain, raw||1 medium||66|
|Seeds, pumpkin and squash||1 oz (142 seeds)||151|
|Soy milk||1 cup||47|
|Whole grain cereal, ready-to-eat||3/4 cup||24|
|Whole grain cereal, cooked||1 cup||56|
|Whole wheat bread||1 slice||24|
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