Should You Eat Oatmeal to Sleep Better?

· April 15, 2017
Did you know that oatmeal can help you sleep better? Thanks to the melatonin and vitamin B in oatmeal, it's perfect for stimulating serotonin secretion and fostering a better, uninterrupted night's sleep.

Did you know that oatmeal can help you sleep better? Being able to sleep better is synonymous with better health and more energy for more productive days. This article will outline 5 reasons why you should eat oatmeal to sleep better.

With that in mind, we have a few questions for you: Do you sleep eight hours at a time? Or do you wake up often during the night and  feel like you haven’t even rested come morning?

If so, it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to make some changes and take a simple remedy an hour before bed: a bowl of warm oatmeal.

1. Oatmeal…for dinner?

eat oatmeal to sleep

Enjoying restorative, deep sleep depends on many things. Two of them are very concrete: when you eat dinner and what food you include in this last meal of the day.

Here’s an interesting fact you should keep in mind: your liver performs its detoxification between 1 and 3 in the morning. If you eat late or eat a heavy meal, you’ll interfere in the efficiency of this job and you’ll wake up.

You should eat dinner between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Among the foods you could include in your dinner, oatmeal is the surest choice when it comes to your health and a good night’s sleep.

Oatmeal, along with oat milk, contain just the right nutrients. It will help you keep balanced glucose levels, something that’s especially good for your last few hours of the day.

In addition, if you want to get some rest, remember: it’s not a good idea to eat red meat at night. Why? Red meat contains stimulants like hypoxanthine, so it’s better to opt for fish — or, eat oatmeal to sleep through the night.

2. Oatmeal is high in melatonin and vitamin D

Oatmeal is a natural source of melatonin, a compound that regulates your sleep/wake cycle.

It’s not that it will make you fall asleep immediately all by itself, like a sleeping pill would. What it does is adjust your cycle so that you feel sleepy when night comes. Oatmeal helps you regulate these cycles thanks to its melatonin and vitamin D content. It also helps you manage:

  • The impact of migraines
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis)

To enhance their benefits, look for oatmeal enriched with vitamin D in your supermarket. This way, you’ll be increasing serotonin production to help you sleep.

3. Oatmeal and vitamins B complex

B complex vitamins play several roles in your body. The most important has to do with proper nervous system functioning.

  • Oatmeal is very high in vitamin B6, or pyridoxine. This is very necessary for converting the energy in food into glucose and for metabolizing fat and proteins.
  • Vitamin B3 helps increase the production of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that encourages relaxation and sleep.

If you have a deficiency in one of these vitamins, you’ll feel the effects, the most common being physical fatigue and insomnia.

Find out more:

Psychological Tips for Treating Insomnia: Start Using Them Today!

4. Oatmeal helps you combat anxiety and sleep better

Oatmeal contains avenine and trigonelline. These are two types of prolamines (vegetable proteins). They help lower anxiety, nervousness, and the mental and physical agitation that tends to build up over the day and keep you from falling into a deep, healthy sleep.

However, we should point out that this type of vegetable protein in oatmeal often acts as an allergen for people with Celiac disease, so it’s best to avoid oats if that is your case.

5. Say goodbye to stress and eat oatmeal to sleep more soundly

One of the major triggers of insomnia is chronic anxiety or stress. These emotional processes stimulate the adrenal gland and gradually release certain hormones that cause muscular tension, stress, and fatigue.

Regularly consuming oatmeal will help you normalize many hormones that correlate with stress. You’ll balance your cortisol levels and support your nervous system due to oatmeal’s significant vitamin B complex content.

Want to learn more about foods that help your nervous system? Check out:

Smoothies and Infusions for Your Nervous System

In addition, oatmeal encourages internal homeostasis. This in turn relaxes you, fosters good digestion, and supports good liver health. All of this will help you get a deeper, more restorative night’s sleep.

It boils down to one tip: having a bowl of oatmeal everyday between an hour and two hours before bed if you want to take advantage of its benefits. If you eat oatmeal to sleep better, you’ll probably also notice other perks regarding your health!

Eat it warm!