3. Add more melatonin-rich foods to your diet
Every plant on Earth contains a certain amount of melatonin. They, too, are dependent on making light/dark cycle adjustments in order to survive, which means that one way to naturally boost melatonin levels in the body is to eat more melatonin-rich foods.
GreenMedInfo reports that Khon Kaen University in Thailand discovered some tropical fruits have significant effects on melatonin production. The scientists gave study participants a variety of fruits and then measured the amount of melatonin circulating throughout the body by looking at 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s). They learned that pineapples, bananas, and oranges were able to increase melatonin levels significantly. Pineapples increased the presence of aMT6s over 266% while bananas increased levels by 180%. Oranges were able to increase melatonin by approximately 47%.
Other research, out of the U.K.’s Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, showed that tart cherries have a significant amount of melatonin in them, and are linked to deeper and better quality better quality sleep. Natural melatonin from red tart Montmorency cherries were found to increase sleep efficiency and quality. Drinking tart cherry juice every day for a week increased sleep by an average of 34 minutes each night, by speeding up the time it took to fall asleep as well as increased sleep efficiency by 5-6%.
The authors of Melatonin also suggested that eating foods rich in the nutrients niacinamide, vitamin B-6, calcium, and magnesium, can help. Niacinamide is found in green vegetables, fish, and red meat; vitamin B-6 is abundant in turkey, chicken, and bananas. Dark leafy greens and milk contain calcium; and magnesium is also found in dark leafy greens, as well as in whole grains and legumes.
Bananas are rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan, which is converted in the brain to 5-HTP. 5-HTP is then converted to serotonin (which also aids in the sleep process), and melatonin. Plus they’re an excellent source of potassium and magnesium, which among other things, are both considered natural muscle relaxants. When your body is relaxed, your mind is generally more relaxed too, allowing you to wind down just before bed so that you can fall asleep easier.
Other foods that naturally increase melatonin levels include oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, mangosteen, and barley.