5 Foods that help trigger melatonin in the body

By      05-May 2023       Reading Time: 5 Mins

5 Foods that help trigger melatonin in the body

Insomnia is a serious problem worldwide which affects one third of the population. 

Not getting enough sleep is linked to many serious health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders etc.


Less sleep can lead to accidents on the road or at work increasing the risk of injuries and disabilities. Moreover the productivity comes down, cognitive abilities are affected.


What triggers sleep?

Melatonin is a neurotransmitter secreted by the pineal gland. Its production is triggered by darkness and inhibited by light. Hence we feel sleepy during night but exposure to light and screen inhibits the synthesis of Melatonin.

Melatonin is synthesized from a precursor – tryptophan, it is an essential amino acid which we get from dietary sources.

Hence certain foods which are rich in tryptophan help to stimulate good sleep.


Below are the five foods that help to trigger the production of melatonin in our body – 

  • Milk at bedtime

Since milk is a primary component of an infant’s diet, nighttime feeding has been found to be of great significance in setting proper sleep cycles for the infants.

Milk is also a good source of tryptophan, the precursor of Melatonin, this aids in getting good sleep not only in children but also in adults.

  • Grapes

It has been found that some varieties of red grapes have good melatonin content. Melatonin is also present in the products made from grapes like wine, juice and even vinegar. So if you find difficulty in sleeping at night, instead of snacking on junk, munching on some grapes may aid in getting a good night’s sleep.

  • Oats

Oats are a good source of complex carbohydrates. It also has a fair amount of melatonin and tryptophan. Eating oats regularly can help to stimulate good sleep. 

Having a bowl of oats and milk in the evening can help to trigger sleep at night.

  • Mushrooms

Almost all varieties of mushrooms have some amount of melatonin in them, while some varieties may contain more than the rest. Mushrooms are also a good source of protein, B vitamins and low in calories. 

In turn melatonin helps the mushrooms against the stress arising from heavy metals in the soil like cadmium. 

  • Nuts

Nuts like pistachios and walnuts are good sources of melatonin. Apart from the neurotransmitter, they also contain a good amount of zinc and magnesium, both these minerals are also responsible for the sleep cycles.

Hence eating a fistfull of nuts daily can help you to sleep better.


Apart from these, there are few foods that one should avoid which can interfere with the sleep, they are – 

  • Tea, coffee
  • Chocolates
  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Excessive alcohol


Following good sleep habits can also make a big difference in getting a good nights rest, like – 

  • Fixing sleep and wake up timings
  • Ensuring that the bedroom is dark, quiet, and at the right temperature
  • Switching off electronic devices like TV, phone, computer etc an hour before bedtime
  • Taking a warm water bath before bedtime
  • Exercising everyday 
  • Eating a balanced diet 


About Author

"At Nmami Life, the meaning of good health is a combination of nutrition and fitness, which are essential to your well-being."
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Nmami Agarwal

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