How do pumpkin seeds aid in attaining better quality sleep?

Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | June 29, 2017


It should come as no surprise that certain foods can help you in getting a better night’s sleep. But what is often surprising to people is how effective certain foods are at this – and as far as food goes, one of the best sleep aids you can take are crunchy, delicious pumpkin seeds.

In addition to being rich in heart healthy magnesium and immune boosting zinc, pumpkin seeds also have high levels of the amino acid tryptophan. Our bodies convert tryptophan in serotonin and then subsequently into melatonin (the sleep hormone).

When our brain chemistry is healthy, it is easy to get a good night’s rest because melatonin is produced in just the right amount. As our bodies are exposed to light, the amount of melatonin naturally subsides until we wake up feeling well-rested and refreshed.

Unfortunately, almost everyone experiences sleeping difficulties at some point in their lives – and for some, these issues may become chronic and debilitating. When we have trouble sleeping night after night, it is harder for our bodies to make repairs, balance blood sugar and fight disease. 

If the side effects of not getting enough sleep can be avoided by a simple solution such as pumpkin seeds, it is certainly worth considering. 

Will eating pumpkin seeds help me get better sleep?

For those with minor sleep issues, you may find eating a handful of pumpkin seeds helpful in getting a better night’s rest. But when the problem is more serious, this may not enough.

This is because, although pumpkin seeds may be the best source of tryptophan found in any whole food, they also have a number of other amino acids such as glutamate and arginine which are all competing for access to your brain. Transporting tryptophan across the blood brain barrier becomes less efficient amongst these competing amino acids. For best access to the brain, it is important that tryptophan is taken with carbohydrates.

Pumpkin seeds and ZenBev

It was the discovery of the high levels of tryptophan in pumpkin seeds and through researching the best ways to make this amino acid available to the brain that ZenBev creator, Dr. Craig Hudson formulated his natural sleep aid.

Pumpkin seeds are the primary ingredient in ZenBev but other ingredients have also been included to provide for optimal effectiveness. For example, ZenBev also includes a precise amount of high glycemic index carbohydrate which helps the tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier.

What if it doesn’t help?

If you have decided to try the natural benefits of pumpkin seeds through the unique formulation offered through ZenBev, it is important to remember that it can take up to a full week before you start to notice the benefits.

If sleep difficulties persist, you may want to consult with your family doctor to ensure that there is not a more serious underlying health issue that is keeping you up at night. For most however, the benefits of pumpkin seeds as a sleep aid will be noticeable after several days.