Natural Compounds in Food that Promote Healthy Sleep
Sleep is a complex physiological event that consists of several stages, each with its own unique features and physiological processes. As such, certain biological compounds affect our ability to enter the state of sleep. Perhaps the best known is tryptophan, the compound in turkey that makes you tired. Tryptophan is associated with feelings of sleepiness and shorter latency to fall asleep (Hartman, 1982).
Essential vitamins and minerals may also affect your ability to fall asleep. For instance, calcium appears to facilitate the body’s ability to absorb and use tryptophan (Knapp, Mandell, & Bullard, 1975). The mineral magnesium may also promote sleepiness and increase the amount of time you spend sleeping (Asp, 2014). Increasing your dietary consumption of these compounds can help you get better sleep.