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CAN’T SLEEP? Milk and Brazil nuts help, study finds

One in three Brits suffer with insomnia and most of us sleep just six and a bit hours a night. Scientists in the U.S. have found that a glass of milk and a handful of Brazil nuts could help

The scientists studied diets and sleep patterns of more than 4,500 adults and found that certain minerals and acids are linked to better sleep. The minerals in Brazil nuts selenium and potassium contributed to a better night’s sleep.


Their research showed that greater consumption of carbohydrate, butanoic and dodecanoic acids, which are abundant in milk, as well as vitamin D, were linked to satisfying and unbroken sleep patterns. In addition, the chances of getting tired the following day decreased by 30 percent when there was twice as much potassium in the diet and 19 percent additional calcium. Other sources of potassium include white beans, dried apricots and green leafy veg. Foods with calcium in are not only yoghurt and milk but tahini, sesame seeds and kale.


‘These findings suggest potentially natural and common-sense solutions to sleep problems,’ said Dr. Michael Grandner, lead author of the study, from Pennsylvania University. ‘Although there is still important work that needs to be done on cause-and-effect, there is a lot of research showing that non-medication approaches can be very helpful.’

Reseachers quizzed the 4,548 adults on health, diet, lifestyle and sleep. They found that although age, sex, education, salary, weight, and mental health were taken into account, several elements of food were linked to good sleep patterns.

Poor sleep was associated with fats commonly found in butter and cheese, as well as salt and drinking lots of fluids.

‘The importance of diet is often overlooked when dealing with these sorts of problems,’ Dr. Grandner said. ‘Diet, sleep, physical activity, and other parts of a healthy lifestyle have an impact on many systems in the body and, ultimately, play a role in how we think, feel and act.’


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