Man and woman sleeping

Improve Your Diet to Sleep Better

December 14, 2018

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, suffer from symptoms of sleep apnea, or just can’t get the same quality of sleep you used to receive, at the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we have created this page of small dietary improvements that can significantly impact how you sleep.

Try Introducing More Tryptophan

If you’ve ever experienced the overwhelming sensation that is a food-coma, then you’ve witnessed the amino acid, tryptophan, in effect. Our bodies don’t create essential amino acids, and thus must be consumed through food.

Generally, tryptophan is used in the production of melatonin and serotonin, which are chemicals that are vital for sleep and the longevity of our slumber. By increasing the amount of tryptophan in your diet, we can prepare your body for a good night’s rest.

Some possible dietary additions that contain tryptophan are:

  • Honey
  • Salmon
  • Elk
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Beef
  • Beans
  • Oats
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Cheese

Man snoring, woman covering ears with pillow
Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders
Couple Sleeping peacefully

Calibrate Your Diet with Calcium & Magnesium

Calcium and magnesium are well-known for their ability to strengthen bones, but they also contribute to an array of other bodily functions—like sleep.

Calcium tells your brain how to use the tryptophan, mentioned above, to produce the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, and the sleep-regulating neurotransmitter, serotonin. Studies have found that a calcium-deficient diet increases the chance of your sleep being disturbed.

Furthermore, magnesium, in healthy levels, is used to regulate our metabolism. Much like with tryptophan, magnesium is acquired through the food we consume. An increase in magnesium can promote deep sleep, ensuring that you awaken feeling restored.

Foods that contain high amounts of magnesium and calcium are:

  • Broccoli
  • Almonds
  • Legumes
  • Cheese
  • Whole grains
  • Yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Milk
  • Avocados
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Tofu
  • Dark Chocolate

Strengthen Your Diet & Your Sleep Schedule

If you’re still suffering from poor sleep despite changes in diet, you might be experiencing a more severe sleep disorder. At Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ, we will help you get the correct diagnosis for a qualified professional, and the treatment you deserve from Dr. Simmons. Please contact our office at 818-300-0070 to schedule your consultation today.