5 Reasons Why Magnesium-Rich Banana Tea May Make You Want To Ditch Your Melatonin Gummies Forever

Photo: Stocksy/ Martí Sans
It’s no secret that finding remedies for getting better sleep is top of mind for so many, which means that at one point or another, you’ve likely tried either noshing on melatonin gummies, sipping on a magnesium-rich elixir (hi, sleepy girl mocktail), or unwinding with a calming chamomile-lavender latte. Or, maybe all of the above?

Of course, some of these sleep remedies may work for you, while others (frustratingly) may not. So, if you fall into the latter category and are still on the hunt for a sleep-inducing antidote that actually works, you’ve come to the right place. According to two sleep experts and a registered dietitian, banana tea may be exactly what you’ve been dreaming about…literally. That’s because bananas contain magnesium, a powerful mineral that helps regulate neurotransmitters that are directly related to sleep, along with other key compounds necessary for achieving a good night’s rest. Learn how to make banana tea and its sleep-boosting benefits ahead.

Experts In This Article

What are the benefits of banana tea for sleep?

1. Banana peels contain several sleep-boosting compounds

According to Nilong Vyas, MD, a sleep expert at Sleepless in NOLA and a medical review expert at SleepFoundation.org, sipping banana tea for sleep is a no-brainer. “It makes logical sense that sipping a warm banana peel tea an hour before bedtime may help eliminate insomnia because it contains minerals and chemical compounds that are prominent in supporting the sleep cycle, such as tryptophan, potassium, and calcium,” says Dr. Vyas. However, that’s if you include the peels when brewing a cup. “Since the specific sleep-inducing components are more present in the peel, it would be ideal to steep the peels rather than only including the inside of the banana or even ingesting just the pulp,” she says.

2. Bananas are loaded with magnesium that helps reduce insomnia

Aside from tryptophan, potassium, and calcium, Michael Breus, PhD, a sleep expert and the founder of The Sleep Doctor, points out that bananas also contain another critical sleep-boosting compound: magnesium. “Magnesium has been shown to be helpful with falling and staying asleep, and those with deficiencies of the mineral have reported insomnia and sleep issues,” Dr. Breus says. What’s more, bananas contain a lot of this essential mineral. According to the USDA, a medium-sized banana has about eight percent of your recommended daily intake.

3. Consuming magnesium through foods may be more effective for sleep

Dr. Breus points out that supplements aren’t always the best way to ingest magnesium. “Naturally-derived magnesium appears to be absorbed best by the body—pills can, on occasion, cause upset stomach or loose stool when the person takes too much,” Dr. Breus says. This has led the sleep expert to seek out alternative ways for folks to consume more magnesium through food.

Enter: Bananas. And, more importantly, their peels. “The peel of the banana has significantly more magnesium than the fruit itself,” Dr. Breus says. As such, you’ll want to make banana tea, including the peel. “Boiling the banana with the peel on—after washing it and removing the stem and bottom—and drinking the water is a great way to give people a new nighttime ritual, in a tasty format, that has no interactions with any medications and can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages,” Dr. Breus says.

4. Banana tea can potentially help boost immunity

According to Christina Manian, RDN, a registered dietitian and sustainable food systems professional, banana tea contains other nutrients that can potentially help boost the immune system. “Banana tea is high in vitamin B6 and antioxidant plant compounds, which can help boost energy metabolism and immunity, respectively. These nutrients also support heart and gut health,” Manian says.

5. Drinking banana tea can help regulate sleep hormones

Banana tea contains tryptophan, the same amino acid found in turkey, and the reason why it’s no coincidence that you may feel unusually sleepy after eating a Thanksgiving feast. “Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin and melatonin, vital hormones in promoting healthful sleep patterns,” Manian says. Basically, when paired with potassium and magnesium, tryptophan completes the perfect recipe of compounds associated with improving sleep.

How to make banana tea, two ways

Preparing banana tea is as easy as it sounds (not to mention it's a great way to avoid the potentially negative side effects eating a banana on an empty stomach can have on your digestion and blood sugar levels). As demonstrated in a recent TikTok video by @the_sacred_lotus, all you have to do is rinse a yellow banana, then remove the pulp, next cut the peel into large strips, and toss them into a pot of boiling water. After about 10-15 minutes, remove the peels, and serve the banana-infused water in a mug.

@the_sacred_lotus #bananapeeltea #insomnia #insomniacure #potasium #magnesium #tea #bananas #sleepinducing ♬ _Cute - Gabe Lost

Another option for making banana tea is by using the pulp instead. According to a recipe by TheSoul Publishing, you’ll want to cut up the inside of one banana and add it to a tea press along with three cinnamon sticks. Then, add hot water and allow the mixture to brew for 10 minutes. Finally, you’ll want to drain the liquid and place it into a teacup or mug.

However, for maximum sleepytime benefits, including the peels is the way to go, and Dr. Breus says one cup at least 30 minutes before bedtime is more than enough.

Learn more sleep remedies, according to an herbalist:

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