Snacks, Supplements, and Scents to Help You Sleep

I caught a clip on the Fox and Friends morning news program that I thought might interest Spine-health's readers, since sleep problems are common among the members of our online community.

The anchors interviewed Dr. Nina Radcliff, a practicing physician, about her tips for getting a good night's sleep.

You can see the clip here: Is Your Diet, Lifestyle Keeping You Up at Night?

Dr. Radcliff recommends using a combination of the right snacks, supplements, and scents to help you get your best possible night's sleep.

See Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene

Lavender for Aromatherapy
Lavender aromatherapy is renowned throughout the world for its sleep-inducing benefits.


Dr. Radcliff suggests eating certain snacks at or around bedtime. The snacks should be high in tryptophan, calcium, complex carbohydrates, magnesium or protein, which have all been shown to help promote better sleep. She recommends keeping these snacks to fewer than 200 calories.

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Some specific suggestions are:

  • Whole grain crackers with cheese
  • Whole grain toast
  • Peanut butter
  • Bananas (try putting peanut butter on the banana)
  • Almonds


Before you take any supplement, check with your doctor. Dr. Radcliff recommends taking one of these supplements to help you get your best sleep:

  • Valerian root, which works by increasing the calming neurotransmitter, GABA, in your brain, helping you feel calm.
  • Melatonin, which the body produces naturally to regulate your internal clock. When you are in a darkened room, melatonin increases in your body, making you sleepy. Taking melatonin as a supplement 1-2 hours before bedtime could be an effective way to increase the amount of circulating melatonin in your brain, making you feel sleepy.
  • See Natural Remedies and Herbal Supplements as Sleep Aids


I personally love aromatherapy, and Dr. Radcliff suggests certain scents can help you sleep more soundly.

Pick some of these essential oils up at your local Whole Foods market or health food store and sprinkle them on your pillow:

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Sage
  • Marjoram

If you are having trouble getting a good night's sleep, try some of Dr. Radcliff's suggestions and let me know if any of them work for you!

Learn more:

7 Sleeping Tips for Patients with Chronic Pain

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