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Will Raisins Help You Sleep More Soundly?

Some readers report that eating raisins at bedtime helps them avoid frequent nighttime urination. We have not seen any research to confirm or explain this.

Would you like to sleep more soundly? Many readers complain that they need to rise to urinate several times a night. Then they frequently have trouble getting back to sleep. Several years ago, one person wrote to tell us about a serendipitous discovery that eating raisins at bedtime reduced the frequency of nighttime urination. Since then, we have heard from others who have tried this improbable-sounding remedy.

Will You Sleep More Soundly After a Bedtime Snack of Raisins?

Q. I must thank you for writing about raisins to get a wonderful night’s sleep. I really cannot believe this gift! Your newsletter has helped me educate myself on many topics. Raisins to sleep through the night work like a miracle.

A. Other readers report that a handful of raisins before bedtime reduces the number of trips they have to make to the bathroom during the night. We have no idea why this remedy might work, but we are pleased to learn it has been helpful for so many. So far as we know, the type of raisin does not matter. People have reported success with both dark and golden raisins.

Other Readers Report That Raisins Help Them Sleep More Soundly:

Q. I read about eating raisins before bed to reduce nighttime urination and I love this idea. It worked the first night I tried it. Instead of visiting the bathroom every hour all night long, I made half as many visits to the bathroom.

Last night I ate about a cup of raisins and the results were astounding. I got up only once in the middle of the night. I had no side effects either except a good night’s sleep!

A. We have not been able to find any scientific reason that this remedy would reduce nighttime urination. You’re not the only one to benefit, though.

Another reader wrote:

“I have noticed the same effect (sleeping through the night) for the last two years while taking gin-soaked raisins. I had assumed that the gin-soaked raisins lessened the aches and pains that usually woke me up when I turned over during sleep. I take my raisins each morning when I arise.”

Raisins are not for everyone. They are high in calories and sugar, so a cup of raisins could well be too much for some people. Others would find that such a large dose of raisins would cause flatulence or diarrhea. In addition, raisins don’t address all the reasons for nighttime waking.

One person shared this experience:

“I have had the same results. I read in your newsletter about 1 1/2 or 2 months ago about the raisins and started to use them. I have COPD so I wake during the night but I no longer have to go to the bathroom during the night. I only eat one of the small mini boxes but that suffices.”

For more ideas on how to overcome insomnia, we suggest our eGuide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. This online resource is available in the Health Guides section of www.PeoplesPharmacy.com

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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