Which dietary modifications are used in the treatment of sleep-wake disorders?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Answer

No special diet is needed to treat insomnia, but large meals and spicy foods should be avoided in the 3 hours before bedtime. Patients should avoid sleep-disturbing substances such as alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. Alcohol creates the illusion of good sleep, but it adversely affects sleep architecture. Nicotine and caffeine are stimulating and should be avoided in the second half of the day, from late afternoon on. Consumption of tryptophan-containing foods may help induce sleep; the classic example is warm milk.


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