Getting good sleep is a must each night; when we don’t get the sleep we need, we become forgetful and cranky. Luckily, there are quick and easy fixes to get the sleep you need; many foods contain naturally occurring substances that promotes sleep.
Ready to catch on more Zzz’s, here are some things to put on your grocery list for more restful nights.
Almonds are a type of tree nut with many health benefits. Almonds are your go-to if you want a variety of nutrients such as 14% phosphorus, 32% for manganese and 17% of riboflavin. In addition, eating almonds daily has been associated with lower risks of a few chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
You can count on almonds to really help boost sleep quality. How? Almonds are a source of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. Next time you hit the sack, try a handful or 1 ounce serving of almonds; you should get some quality of sleep.
2. Warm Milk:
You might have heard that warm milk may help you fall asleep – scientifically, it’s possible there is some link between tryptophan and melaton in content of milk and improved sleep. Warm milk is just like a cup of hot tea, it can offer the perfect relaxing and soothing liquid to drink before bedtime.
Some fruits contain melatonin that will help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. For example, tart cherry juice and whole tart cherries contain a lot of melatonin, as well as bananas, pineapples, and oranges. If you have insomnia problem, by eating two kiwis before bed can increase your sleep duration by an hour over the course of a month.
Greens including lettuce are always a good idea to incorporate in your daily food intake. But did you know lettuce can help you fall asleep too? Lettuce is packed with lactucarium, which has sedative properties and affects the brain similarly to opium.
Foods like pretzels and corn chips have a high glycemic index. Pretzels natural spike your blood and insulin levels, helping you to fall asleep around bedtime. Next time you are at the grocery store, opt for a bag of pretzels to try and munch on before bedtime.
Turkey is a great source of protein; it provides 4 grams per ounce. We need protein to keep our muscles strong and regulate our appetite. Supposedly turkey before bed gives you the ability to sleep well, although no studies have examined its role in sleep yet. Turkey is another type of food that contains tryptophan. Tryptophan contributes to its ability to promote tiredness. Try it out the next time you are about to go to bed, it’s not worth trying.
7. Chamomile Tea:
Tea before bed is the perfect way to end the night as it is a relaxing ritual. Chamomile tea is a great choice when it comes to promoting better sleep. It is packed with a class of antioxidants that reduce inflammation that often leads to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
8. Fatty Fish:
Salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are all great sources of fatty fish that are incredibly healthy. All fishes have a good amount of vitamin D and are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. With the combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in fatty fish have the potential to enhance sleep quality.
Like almonds, walnuts are also a popular type of tree nut and contain many nutrients – over 19 vitamins and minerals, 2 grams of fiber and are very rich in magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.
They are also a great source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid. It’s said that eating walnuts is a way to improve sleep quality, however, there is not much evidence that supports it. But if you are having trouble sleeping, it’s definitely worth trying it out.
10. White Rice:
White rice contains a decent amount of a few vitamins and minerals; it’s high in carbs (28 grams). White rice is suggested as a great source to eat hours before sleeping. Despite the potential role that eating white rice might have in promoting sleep, its best consumed sparsely because of its lack of fiber and nutrients.
Prunes has many nutrients such as vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium which help make melatonin. Use prunes as a whole-grain toast topping, eat them on their own about 30 minutes before bedtime or mix them into trail mix.
12. Whole Grain Bread:
Carbs can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Skip the white bread, refined pasta, baked goods, and stick to whole grains for your bedtime snack. Like candy and soda, carbs like whole grains also tend to spike blood glucose levels, but once the glucose level drops back down, that can lead to an energy crash.
Some other foods and drinks you can try for better sleep are:
- Cottage Cheese (which contain lean protein and amino acid trytophan)
- Tuna (is high in vitamin B6)
- Cereal (choose a bowl of your favorite flakes before bed)
- Kale (green leafy vegetables are loaded with calcium)
- Hummus (chickpeas are a good source of trytophan)
- Dark Chocolate (which contains serotonin, and has other health benefits too!)
The Bottom Line
It’s necessary to be getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily; sleep is overall good for our well-being and health. When you take care of yourself and get the sleep needed, you have a lesser chance of developing certain chronic illnesses, while keeping your brain and digestion healthy and boosting your immune system.
Because of these foods that contain melatonin and serotonin listed above, you can improve the overall quality of your sleep. Try out these 16 foods and drinks about two or three hours before bed to reap the benefits. If anything right before bed may cause digestive issues, such as acid reflux. With these simple changes to your diet, soon enough, you will be getting improved sleep you have been longing.
Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at SnoringAids.com and co-founder of UsmanDigitalMedia.com. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.