People are eating pineapple to make them fall asleep. Can it actually help?
There is some science to back up claims.
One tip doing the rounds on the social media platform right now seems a little farfetched on first glance. But according to an expert, it’s not a bad idea.
In a video that’s garnered over 43,000 views, 21-year-old Emma Leigh sings the praises of eating pineapple to promote better sleep.
She claims that consuming the tropical fruit before bed helps her ‘fall asleep faster and sleep so much deeper,’ recommending it to anyone who struggle to get a good night’s rest.
Commenters took her advice too, including one who claimed more pineapple in her diet ‘worked so well’ at improving her insomnia.
From lettuce water to the ‘sleepy girl cocktail’, we’ve seen a few trends where people make similar claims – some more legitimate than others. So we got the lowdown from Max Kirsten, award-winning sleep coach and resident expert for PandaLondon.
‘Eating pineapples or drinking fresh pineapple juice before bed has been shown to raise melatonin markers in the brain by up to 266%,’ explains Max.
‘Tryptophan (an amino acid present in pineapple) naturally boosts melatonin levels (a hormone that signals sleep to begin) and serotonin levels in the brain, causing a calming, sleepy, relaxed feeling.’
Additionally, he highlights that the high water content in the fruit can help keep your body functioning on top form and allow you to sleep undisrupted, as can its anti-inflammatory effects.
Max continues: ‘Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
‘If discomfort or pain due to inflammation is interfering with your sleep, the anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain might help improve your overall comfort and sleep quality.’
Unfortunately, however, it’s not a magic solution, and Max disagrees with some of the information being proliferated on TikTok.
‘Pineapple alone is unlikely to have a significant, immediate sedative effect on sleep,’ he says. ‘Any potential benefits are more likely to be gradual and related to overall well-being rather than an immediate, noticeable sleep aid.’
That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy a few pineapple chunks for dessert of an evening; just don’t expect it to work miracles and have it as part of a healthy overall diet.
Max says: ‘If you’re looking for foods that may aid sleep, consider options that are more well-known for their sleep-promoting qualities, such as warm milk, herbal teas like chamomile, or complex carbohydrates that can promote the production of serotonin, like whole grains.
‘It’s also important to maintain a healthy sleep routine and address any underlying sleep disorders if you consistently have trouble sleeping.’
Do also watch out for negative reactions after eating pineapple, as some people find its acidity plays havoc with their digestion and skin.
‘It’s important to note that some people are allergic to pineapple,’ adds Max. ‘If you notice any unusual swelling, irritation, or itch, stop consuming immediately.’
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