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Will Raisins Help You Sleep Through the Night?

Munching about a dozen or so raisins at bedtime could reduce the need to get up to urinate and help you sleep through the night.

How often do you have to get out of bed at night to hike to the bathroom? This scenario is very familiar to men past a certain age, but many women also find they need to urinate at least once during the night. They may have trouble getting back to sleep. People taking diuretic blood pressure pills may not be able to change the number of times they get up very much. Others could, though. Some readers have found a home remedy that helps them sleep through the night instead of getting up numerous times. They simply munch a handful of raisins.

Can Raisins Reduce Nighttime Urination?

Q. I have read the comments on raisins and nighttime urination. I am a 68-year-old man in good health, but I have been getting up two or three times a night to pee.

I have now had three of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in several years. I take about 15 raisins an hour before bed. I chew them well and that’s it; I sleep through the night. Last night I didn’t get up at all. It was wonderful.

Others have talked about weight gain from the raisins. I doubt 10 to 15 raisins will make much of a difference. This whole thing sounds crazy, but I am very encouraged.

Readers Are Enthusiastic about Raisins:

A. Three years ago we heard from a reader that eating raisins before bedtime reduced nighttime urination. Since then we have heard from more than 100 others who have tried this remedy. Many found it helpful, though others got no relief. We have no idea why it might work to help someone sleep through the night.

What are the downsides? As you mentioned, raisins have calories. Simply adding raisins to the diet without cutting back on anything else could eventually lead to extra pounds.  One other problem: raisins are sweet. Be sure to brush your teeth after eating them so that the sugars from sticky raisins don’t erode your tooth enamel.

Another reader responded to this idea. 

Raisins Prevent Bathroom Trips Overnight:

Q. I read about eating raisins to keep from getting up during the night for trips to the bathroom. I eat 1/4 cup of raisins a few hours before retiring and it works for me.

I used to twist and turn half of the night. Since I started eating raisins, I now fall asleep easier and sleep through the night. Instead of getting 4 1/2 to 5 hours of sleep, I now get 7 or 8 hours a night.

A. We are delighted to hear that you have benefited from this home remedy. Brush your teeth after munching the raisins so they don’t contribute to tooth decay.

Will Beet Soup Keep You in Bed?

We learned about this interesting approach from readers rather than from the medical literature. Others have reported a similar benefit from eating beets or beet soup in the evening.

People who would like to learn more about such innovative but unproven options for common problems such as aches, pains, itches, coughs, cramps, indigestion, hiccups or gout may be interested in our eGuide to Favorite Home Remedies. If you have a favorite remedy, especially one that helps you sleep through the night, please tell us about it in a comment.

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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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