Beyond the massive selection of sleep-inducing pharmaceuticals, there are some considerably milder sleep remedies. As summarized in Healthline, bananas may have some sleep benefits if recent studies are to be believed.
According to Ariane Lang, one medium-sized banana (126 grams) contains about 34 mg of magnesium or 8% of the daily value and it’s magnesium that may enhance sleep via several different pathways.
“First, magnesium helps maintain a normal circadian cycle, which refers to your internal body clock that’s responsible for maintaining adequate sleep and wakefulness periods,” writes Lang. “Additionally, studies show that supplementing with 500 mg of magnesium daily may increase melatonin production and reduce cortisol levels.”
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, also available from foods like bananas, and Lang writes that, “Evidence has linked tryptophan-containing foods with improved sleep, including increased sleep time and efficiency, less difficulty falling asleep, and less waking at night. Tryptophan improves sleep quality because it’s converted into serotonin once it enters the brain. Serotonin is a hormone known to regulate sleep by acting as a precursor to melatonin.”