8 Foods to Naturally Increase Melatonin for Better Sleep

Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Health, Prevention with 12 Comments

Elizabeth Renter | Naturalsociety | Aug 20th, 2013

food_for_sleepIf you suffer from occasional insomnia or if it’s a nightly battle for you, you’ve likely looked at all of the natural solutions currently out there. You may have even tried some melatonin supplements, and if you’re like many individuals, had some disappointing results. While research has shown the body’s naturally-produced melatonin helps regulate sleep, synthetic melatonin has proven less than impressive. One thing that has been virtually ignored, however, are the foods that are able to increase the body’s natural melatonin production.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. Not only does it control your circadian (sleeping and waking) cycles, but it is responsible for regulating other hormones as well. It plays a role in regulating female reproductive hormones including menstruation and menopause.

While young people have the highest melatonin levels, production of this hormone wanes as we age. Some scientists believe this is why older adults struggle more with sleeping for the recommended amount of hours or even why they may go to bed earlier and wake up before the sun.

Boosting Melatonin Production Naturally

Several factors can throw off the body’s natural melatonin production. These include a time change, jet lag, shift work, and even poor vision. And, as stated, it generally decreases in production as we age.

Melatonin supplements are made with synthetic ingredients in a lab or with cow urine. And though the supplements may have slight benefits, especially for people suffering with occasional insomnia, they don’t always offer long-lasting or significant results for those who struggle with sleep on a nightly basis.

There are several foods, however, that can naturally increase melatonin production, eliminating the need for a supplement. According to GreenMedInfo, researchers with Thailand’s Khon Kaen University found that some tropical fruits have significant effects on melatonin production. The scientists gave study subjects a variety of fruits and then measured the amount of melatonin circulating throughout the body by looking at 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s).

Read: 3 Herbal Sleep Remedies

The researchers found pineapples, bananas, and oranges were able to increase melatonin presence significantly. Pineapples increased the presence of aMT6s over 266% while bananas increased levels by 180%. Oranges were able to increase melatonin by approximately 47%.

While supplements are often thought of as the natural alternative to prescription drugs, they are made to mimic those things we find naturally in foods. In other words, they too are a poor substitute for good nutrition and some supplement manufacturers (though not all) are in the business to make money, not with noble intentions of increasing the collective health.

Overview of Some Melatonin-Boosting Foods:

  • Pineapples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Oats
  • Sweet corn
  • Rice
  • Tomatoes
  • Barley

This post appeared at Naturalsociety

More from Naturalsociety

Tags: , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

12 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. I almost never write remarks, however i did a few searching and wound up here 8 Foods to Naturally Increase Melatonin for Better Sleep : Conscious Life
    News. And I do have some questions for you if
    it’s allright. Is it only me or does it appear like some of these
    remarks appear as if they are coming from brain dead
    folks? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional online sites, I’d like to follow everything
    new you have to post. Would you list of all of all your social pages like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?

  2. M8hdj@gmail.com' Michael says:

    Tart cherries or juice is also high in melatonin. Sweet dreams!

  3. Amazing article, thanks for sharing !!

  4. What is this “TOP” button that obscures the text and photos?
    Why can’t we just scroll?

  5. thesound2014@gmail.com' James says:

    I wonder whether the reason Banana is on the list of foods effective at raising melatonin is due to the fact it contains Tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to Seretonin and then to Melatonin in the body.

    I’m no expert and don’t know about the other foods listed but it is an interesting thought.

  6. timothylmartin@gmail.com' Timothy L. says:

    Amazing Elizabeth!

    Actually I used to sleep at 2 a.m., wake up several times at night and get out of bed at 9 a.m., feeling cranky and exhausted…before changing my diet to Paleo.

    It put cravings to a dead full stop. No energy swings. No restlessness. (not to mention fast weight loss, but I don’t want to make this sound like I’m selling something here)

    Eat Paleo. It had kind of changed my entire life…well, at least my doctor said so.

    So, the one book I personally recommend (because it helped me most) is the 8 week paleo meal plan (for your ref:http://timreviews.com/paleo-recipe)

    Why is this so important? Your diet affects all other areas of your life.

    I hope this helps,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the stories on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.

Send this to friend