Sleep education

10 Nigerian Food That Help You Sleep Better

Getting good sleep is incredibly important for your overall health. It may reduce your risk of developing certain chronic illnesses, keep your brain healthy, and boost your immune system. 

It’s generally recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. However, this may not be the case because many people struggle to get enough. Sleep deficiency is becoming more prevalent by the day. Therefore, instead of popping pills which can be dangerous, you can try something natural and healthy by eating healthy Nigerian food that helps you sleep better. 

This means that a portion of good Nigerian food can help you move from being a nocturnal creature to a sound sleeper.

Here is a list of ten (10) Nigerian foods that can help you sleep better:


For many years now, Bananas are natural sleep inducers. Just like nuts and oatmeal, Bananas also improve the levels of serotonin and melatonin. Vitamin B6, which bananas are loaded with increases your body’s melatonin levels, thereby helping treat chronic insomnia. More so, this tasty fruit contains potassium which is recognized as a normal muscle relaxant, enabling you to relieve tension and get prepared for bed in a natural, fast, and efficient way.

Plantains: Plantains are good for sleep because they have minerals that relax your nerves and muscles. Reducing the likelihood of muscle cramps and stimulating a sense of calmness. You can eat them boiled, roasted, or fried as a tasty bedtime snack.

Fresh Milk also Known as (Nunu)

Fresh milk is also known as Nunu by the Fulani. People who suffer from sleep deficiency should have this drink before bedtime. Nunu as referred to, in the local Hausa parlance has Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in a variety of protein-containing foods. This plays an important role in the production of the neurotransmitter known as serotonin. The role of tryptophan and melatonin in sleep disorders is well established, and studies have found that taking supplements of these compounds may improve sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression that can crop up at bedtime.

Okra Soup: This traditional Nigerian dish is not only tasty but can also help you sleep better. It has vitamins that produce sleep hormones such as serotonin and melatonin. A warm bowl of okra soup can be very soothing before bedtime.

Raw and Unfiltered Local Honey

Apart from helping to hydrate your skin, soothe your throat, help heal wounds and sweeten everything it touches. Raw and Unfiltered local Honey can also help you get a sweet night’s sleep. It provides easy-to-access fuel for your brain throughout the night. Specifically, it restocks your liver’s glycogen. Honey helps your brain release melatonin, the hormone that your body uses to restore itself during sleep. This happens through a series of transformations in your brain. Also, honey’s sugars spike your insulin levels, releasing tryptophan, which becomes serotonin, which becomes melatonin, and which aids your muscles to relax.

Yam: Yam has special carbs that increase the production of tryptophan – an amino acid that induces sleep hormones. You can enjoy yam porridge or roasted yam for dinner to sleep better.

Tiger Nuts: Tiger nuts are a popular snack in Nigeria, known for their many health benefits. They are a great source of magnesium, which helps to relax the muscles and help you sleep better. You can eat them as a snack or make tiger nut milk.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. They are high in fiber and low in saturated fat. Sweet Potatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as potassium and manganese which help you to relax. Whether Fried or baked, potatoes are tasty and delicious that contain tryptophan (the sleep-inducing hormone), they also retain an overall soothing impact that is useful for both your body and your mind.

Moin Moin: Moin Moin is not only tasty but also very high in protein. Foods high in protein help keep blood sugar in check and stay stable for better sleep. You can have Moin Moin for dinner or as a bedtime snack.

Pap (Ogi): Pap is made from corn and is easy to digest. It has lots of good nutrients that can make you feel sleepy and calm. Its high carbohydrate content can induce a feeling of drowsiness, making it a relaxing bedtime meal.


Trying these sleep-friendly Nigerian foods can make your sleep better. Remember, everyone is different, so see what works best for you. Along with these foods, keeping a good sleep routine and investing in a comfortable mattress will improve your chances of achieving a good night’s rest. 

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