Revealed - The Best Foods to Help You Sleep
Diet is so important, and how you eat certainly corresponds with the quality of your sleep, as well as your actual sleep pattern.
It is advised that you should try to get between 7 to 9 optimum and uninterrupted sleep every night. Better sleep can equal to better physical and mental health, for reducing anxiety and reducing the risk of developing particular chronic illnesses.
One easy way to improve your sleep pattern can include making a few small changes, or additions to your diet – this is particularly important in the hours closest to bedtime.
Here are five foods that when consumed before bed, can help you to fall asleep faster, and improve the overall quality of your sleep.
1 – Almonds
Almonds are a tiny yet powerful sleep instrument. They are filled with vital nutrients including fibre, protein and healthy fats.
Notwithstanding this, they are a significant source of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is often referred to as the sleep hormone. The body naturally produces it, but external sources, for instance through the consumption of almonds, helps to reap further sleep benefits. It helps to circulate circadian rhythm so that our sleep-wake cycle is synchronised with the day-night shift. This consequently helps to aid the transition to sleep as well as promote uninterrupted and consistent sleep.
Almonds also contain magnesium minerals which is particularly valuable for those who suffer from insomnia. Magnesium can work to reduce stress levels which can help to lessen sleep interruptions.
Almonds, as a source of both magnesium and melatonin should be consumed before bed for a better night’s sleep.
2 – Bananas
Consuming a banana before going to bed can help to aid sleep. It is packed with beneficial nutrients including potassium and magnesium.
Potassium is super beneficial and can actually help to reduce muscle cramps. Muscle cramps frequently derive from low potassium levels, and can consequently cause discomfort and interrupt rest. Potassium, as contained in bananas, works to level the body’s balance sodium and electrolytes. Acting as a muscle relaxant, bananas can thus be used to aid more comfortable sleep.
3 – Kiwi
Another fruit to add to the shopping list this week!
Kiwis, like bananas, contain high levels of potassium which works as a muscle relaxant in consequently aiding better sleep. However, kiwis also contain high levels of fibre, serotonin and carotenoid antioxidants. This can help to aid digestive health, causing less acid reflux-related pains or inflammation which can often happen between the dinner meal and bedtime.
4 – Camomile tea
Chamomile tea not lovely tastes lovely, but is also full of sleep-related benefits.
It contains flavones – a class of antioxidants that reduce inflammation, anxiety and even works to treat insomnia. Some even attribute these benefits to chamomile’s nickname as the ‘sleep inducer’.
The tea contains a specific antioxidant known as apigenin, which causes sedative effects and reduces anxiety. Apigenin binds to particular sleep receptors in the brain which actually help to promote sleepiness.
5 – Walnuts
Another nut to add to the list also!
Walnuts are not just a popular tree nut for their taste, but also for their sleep-related benefits. They are especially rich in magnesium, melatonin and manganese.
Specifically, however, they are rich in the amino acid known as tryptophan. Tryptophan promotes sleep. Walnuts are also a great source of melatonin.
Additionally, walnuts contain ALA, a fatty acid that converts to DHA in the body. In more non-scientific terms, when it enters the body, the transition to DHA can work to increase the production of serotonin, associated with sleepiness.
While the above should certainly be tried in an attempt to improve sleep quality, there are also a number of foods to avoid. This includes eating big, carbohydrate-heavy meals close to bedtime, as well as snacks like dark chocolate and cheese. While it may be a given for some, definitely opt for non-caffeinated hot drinks, as opposed to a caffeinated coffee or tea.