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Sunday, January 28, 2021

Who knew that bananas were a strong sleep-inducing food?

They’re practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.

Magnesium? Does this mean eating two or three ‘nanners right before bed amounts to mag loading?

I suppose if you really want to hedge your bets, you can kick in that old reliable sleepy-timer, tryptophan, and whip up a turkey-and-banana sandwich before head hits pillow. Assuming you think a good night’s sleep is worth such culinary larceny.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/28/2007 11:01:57 PM
Category: Food, Science | Permalink |

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  1. I remember being very young — younger than five, because it was in my parents’ first house — and being told to eat a banana because it would help me sleep, though I distinctly remember my father telling me it was because of potassium, not magnesium.

    Either way, I don’t really keep bananas in teh house anymore, but I’ve always remembered that bananas help you sleep.

    I’m surprised HowStuffWorks is really even suggesting eating some turkey on an empty stomach might lead to any amount of L-tryptophan-induced drowsiness. Chicken and beef (and pretty much any other animal muscle) have the same amount of the chemical per ounce, and you’d need to eat several pounds just to get to the amount of the chemical you’d need for it to have an effect — and even then, your body would have to somehow manage to isolate it from all the other amino acids that make up that food.

    Interesting about the magnesium, though. For more than 20 years I always throught it was the K.

    Comment by tim in tampa — 01/29/2007 @ 03:05:13 AM

  2. In general, foodstuffs are a less-than-efficient way to load up on minerals. My comment above about “two or three” bananas constituting mag loading is way off: A banana contains only about 40 mg magnesium, which means you’d have to eat about 10 of them to achieve any dream clarity.

    Comment by CT — 01/29/2007 @ 10:37:29 AM

  3. The irony, CT, is that I posted that response despite my bedtime on Sundays being about midnight-1am. I was suffering, yes, insomnia.

    I ended up getting to bed around 5am.

    Comment by tim in tampa — 01/29/2007 @ 10:22:12 PM

  4. Sounds like you need to start stocking bananas in the house again.

    Or booze. Booze will do in a pinch, too.

    Comment by CT — 01/30/2007 @ 12:16:24 AM

  5. I try really, really hard not to drink at home.

    Comment by tim in tampa — 01/30/2007 @ 01:00:19 AM

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