Sleep Better with These Foods!
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and restorative energy. Although there are many factors that can impact sleep quality, including stress, anxiety, and lifestyle decisions, eating certain foods can help improve sleep. In this article, we’ll explore 7 foods that can help you sleep better at night, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Bananas: Naturally Occurring Sleep Aid
Bananas are not only a tasty, on-the-go snack, but they also contain melatonin and tryptophan, two compounds that can help regulate sleep-wake cycles and promote relaxation. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep, and tryptophan is an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and promote relaxation. Make bananas a part of your bedtime routine by having one as a snack, or blending it into a smoothie with some almond milk and honey.
Almonds: A Snack for Restful Nights
Almonds are packed with magnesium, a mineral that can help reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and promote sleep. Magnesium is also essential for regulating neurotransmitters and promoting a healthy nervous system. Almonds also contain tryptophan, which, as mentioned earlier, can promote relaxation and mood regulation. Grab a handful of almonds as a bedtime snack, or mix them into a trail mix with some dried fruit and dark chocolate.
Tart Cherry Juice: The Sweet Nightcap
Tart cherry juice is a great natural source of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep, and contains a compound called anthocyanins, which have been found to reduce inflammation and promote better sleep quality. Tart cherries also have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t spike your blood sugar levels, potentially disrupting sleep. Sip on some tart cherry juice before bed for a sweet and refreshing nightcap.
Leafy Greens: The Bedtime Snack of Champions
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens are rich in calcium, which is essential for synthesizing melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep. These greens are also packed with magnesium, and vitamins like B6, which are important for promoting calm and restful sleep. Steam or sauté some leafy greens as a side dish for dinner, or add them to a salad with some roasted chicken and nuts.
Jasmine Rice: The Secret to Sweet Dreams
Jasmine rice has a high glycemic index, which means it can significantly improve sleep quality by promoting the release of insulin in the body, which in turn helps tryptophan enter the brain more easily. Jasmine rice is also a great source of magnesium, which not only promotes relaxation, but also helps regulate sleep. Cook up some jasmine rice as a side dish for dinner, or add some stir-fried veggies and tofu for a hearty and healthy meal.
Fatty Fish: Your Dinner for a Good Night’s Sleep
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce inflammation. These fish are also a great source of vitamin D, which plays an important role in regulating mood and promoting relaxation. Grill up some salmon for dinner, or add some canned tuna to a salad for a light and fresh meal before bed.
Caffeine & Alcohol: What to Avoid Before Bed
While there are many foods that can promote better sleep, there are also some to be wary of before bed. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, and chocolate, can disrupt sleep by promoting wakefulness and increasing heart rate. Alcohol, although it may induce sleep, can actually reduce sleep quality by disrupting the body’s natural sleep cycles and causing frequent awakening. Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol at least a few hours before bed, to ensure a good night’s rest.
Sweet Dreams and Happy Eating!