Sleep Secrets: Foods to fuel your dreams

Sleep secrets from DINEBy Marti Mayne

For millions of travelers, a fabulous day of exploring beautiful new landscapes may offer fabulous memories, but at the end of the day, sleep still alludes too many of us.  While wild adventure may burn all our energy, when it comes time for slumber all eyes are on counting sheep.  Some of us are simply just wired that way. Others may be able to manipulate exterior influences that will help them to fall asleep more easily.  One thing is certain, a vacation to any of the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) will offer the most comfortable accommodations, with everything you might need to fall asleep comfortably – flickering fires, warm cups of tea, soft music and of course, the one you love next to you.  Yet, even with the most romantic of amenities, sleep simply evades some travelers to our 12 DINE inns.

The perfect New England romantic getaway simply can’t happen without enough shut eye.  Sleep is an important component of any great vacation. Thus, we’ve called upon Helen Sanders, chief editor at Health Ambition, to offer some advice to travelers in need of sleep. Helen “knows the doze”, and has published several stories about ways to fortify forty winks.

According to Health Ambition, one of the best ways to bring on the winks is to consume just the right foods before bed. Sanders sent us a great article that appeared on entitled “Eat to Sleep: Foods That Can Make You Sleep Like A Baby.  .  As the article reveals, “sleeping and eating are two of the greatest pleasures in life, but the two don’t usually go well together.” The article chronicles a number of foods that are popular nighttime snacks at many of the 12 DINE inns.

Fun Fact:  According to, “A bedtime snack that is high in carbs can actually be the best to help you sleep. Carbs from fruit, toast and jam, or crackers will cause your body to produce serotonin, which is the “feel good” chemical that helps you to fall asleep at night.” Thus, those homemade cookies you find a turn-down at places like Manor On Golden Pond, might be just the right medicine to send you off to never-never land.

Let’s look at a few other ideas for foods to fuel your dreams

Tea at Distinctive Inns of New England innsChamomile tea: Let this be your after-dinner drink of choice.  “There’s nothing like a cup of chamomile tea to calm you down and put you to sleep at night, and the reason for this is that chamomile acts like a mild sedative,” according to A big bonus to Chamomile Tea after a fabulous dinner in any of the DINE dining rooms is that chamomile has a soothing effect on the stomach. In fact, it can help prevent acid reflux and heartburn, according to the article.

Warm Milk: We’ve all heard about this one.  There’s a good reason mothers have given warm milk to babies for centuries. While a warm drink may help to calm one’s body down and prepare it for sleep, it’s the tryptophan – an amino acid that you also find in turkey- that has a sedating effect. Add a little honey to your warm milk or chamomile tea and you’ll have a double whammie.  The natural sugars in honey will help to promote the activation of insulin. This in turn encourages the and tryptophan to enter the brain easily, and good news: you snooze!

Cherries and Grapes: Grapes are the only fruit known to contain melatonin, a natural chemical that helps bring on sleep, says Sanders in her article. This is why wine is a natural sedative. Cherries help to boost the natural melatonin in our bodies.  Next time you’re offered a sundae at the end of your meal, tell them to double the cherries on top and go light on the chocolate sauce (if its made with caffeine).

Almonds: And speaking of foods that boost melatonin, a handful of almonds are another snooze-food worth considering. “Almonds are rich in magnesium, which is a mineral that will repair your muscles and promote healthy sleep. The nuts are loaded with tryptophan as well, and the amino acid will help your body to create serotonin and melatonin,” say editors.

There are additional foods, like oats, bananas and believe it or not, cottage cheese, that will support the snooze.  Be sure to read the whole article for great ideas on night time nap fuel.  And next time you visit any of the Distinctive Inns of New England, be sure to grab your cuppa tea or a handful of almonds. We’ve got your slumber number and we in DINE country are committed to delivering the best night sleep your body will allow.

Plan your next romantic getaway at the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking on links below that will take you directly to each of their websites, and start planning for the best night’s sleep you’ve had in months.

In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Maine:  Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport & Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden.