The National Institutes of Health reports that about thirty percent of the population experiences disrupted sleep and insomnia. Because sleeping drugs are addictive and come with side effects, many people are reaching out for natural sleep remedies.

Research studies are confirming that certain foods are great as foods for sleep. There are those that are high in the natural sleep hormone known as melatonin, and other foods are providing them good sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium.

In a study from the University of California San Diego, researchers examined the effects of potassium supplementation on sleep quality. A placebo-controlled study compared one week of potassium chloride supplements to one week of identical placebo capsules. Their results were published in the journal “Sleep”, and shown that potassium significantly increased sleep efficiency due to less awakenings after falling asleep.

The tart “Montmorency” cherry contains a significant level of melatonin per a study done at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Cherries are available in a concentrated supplement form that can be taken in the evening to improve the quality of sleep. Other ways cherries can be eaten include fresh cherries, frozen cherries and cherry juice. Cherry juice should be diluted with water or sparkling water as it is high in natural sugars.

Researchers have measured the effect that different types of rice have as sleep remedies. Mahatma rice (low carbohydrate rice) was compared to Jasmine rice (high in carbohydrates) for their effects on sleep quality. The rice was eaten either four hours before bedtime or one hour before bedtime. The study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a high carbohydrate-based meal resulted in a significant shortening of the time needed to fall sleep when eating it four hours before bed.

Almonds are a very good source magnesium and can help with better sleep. James F. Balch, MD, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients faculty and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” Eating a grateful or two of almonds before bed can be helpful.

A recently released study on magnesium sleep supplements came from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran. It included 46 older adults, aged 60 to 75, who were experiencing insomnia. However, it's interesting to note that the researchers recommend their results be extended as a helpful aid to all ages of the general population.

The people were divided into two groups. One group received placebos, while the other received magnesium oxide tablets twice a day (250 milligrams each) for eight weeks. In the group that was given magnesium, the subjects experienced significant increases in sleep time, with less night time interruptions and fewer early morning awakenings.

For help with sleeplessness or insomnia, use these foods and minerals well to get a better night's sleep.