Sleep is essential for good health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults sleep for 7 to 9 hours each night. Good sleep contributes to good health. It can improve memory, mood, and appetite. It can restore vital organs such as your heart. While you sleep, the body repairs muscles, organs, and other cells. Research has linked poor sleep with an increased risk of weight gain and heart disease.
Many habits can improve your sleep quality. These include avoiding electronic devices like smartphones and televisions about an hour before bedtime, maintaining a consistent sleeping schedule, using blackout shades in the bedroom (I really love them), and sleeping at a comfortable, cool temperature. It is also helpful to create calming rituals, such as taking a warm bath.
Did you know that the food you eat could negatively impact your sleep? Avoiding large meals, coffee, and alcohol is important.
Certain foods also contain substances that can help you get a good sleep. The research on foods that induce sleep is not conclusive. However, there are ten foods in your kitchen you can keep to help you fall asleep.
These foods are healthy, even though we do not know how much they can help. Try them out to induce sleepiness. You have nothing to lose.
The study by Taipei Medical University showed that eating two kiwis before going to bed helped people fall asleep quicker and sleep longer.
High antioxidant content – Kiwis contain a lot of antioxidants, vitamins C, E, and folate – along with the B-vitamin folate, which may be responsible for Kiwis’ sleep-promoting mechanisms. The deficiency in folate is linked to insomnia.
Tart cherries are known to promote sleep due to their natural Melatonin content and phytonutrients. Melatonin regulates sleep and wake cycles, signaling to the body when it is time to go to sleep.
Tart cherry contains anti-inflammatories that may improve sleep quality. In the study, people who consumed 1/4 cup of sour cherry juice (4 tablespoons) for a whole week slept 40 minutes more each night than those drinking a placebo.
In a second study, those with insomnia who started drinking tart cherry fruit juice got an extra hour of sleep every night.
Nuts, seeds, and other nuts
Nuts, seeds, and other nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats that help you reduce your appetite, as well as magnesium, which relaxes muscles.
Melatonin is found in walnuts and almonds. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that can be found in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sunflower oil. It is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which, when converted, becomes melatonin.
Salmon and tuna, as well as other fishes, are good sources of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients can help regulate serotonin. This neurotransmitter is made of the amino acid tryptophan and helps regulate sleep, mood, and other functions.
Fatty Fish is also high in proteins, which have been shown to improve sleep. Studies have shown that the Mediterranean Diet is associated with better sleep in older adults.
Warmth can help you relax and fall asleep. You can relax at the end of the day with the following herbal Teas: chamomile tea, lavender tea, lemon balm tea, passionflower tea, and hops tea.
The flavonoids in passionflower tea may promote sleep. This study found that drinking chamomile (my favorite!) tea can help promote sleep. It has been linked to short-term benefits in sleep and mood for women.
You’ve likely heard of this food if you’ve read about sleep-inducing foods. Scientists believe that the tryptophan and melatonin content in warm milk may improve sleep.
Perhaps more powerful, however, is the psychological connection between warm milk and going to bed as a kid. Drinking warm milk in the evening can bring back memories of childhood, which could help you relax. Warm milk may be helpful for whatever reason.
Try this recipe I describe in my book, “Finally full, Finally slim.” Moon milk is warm milk that has been spiced up with herbs, spices, and fruit. It tastes much better than plain milk. If you add a sleep aid, the effect may be doubled. You can make warm milk more tasty by adding tart cherry juice.
The minerals magnesium, calcium, and potassium in oatmeal, which is traditionally eaten for breakfast, may help induce sleep. This high-fiber breakfast cereal can also help you relax. Enjoy a bowl of warm oatmeal topped with nuts or fruit before going to bed. Honey, maple syrup, and sugar can keep you awake.
Bananas are rich in minerals: Potassium, magnesium, and tryptophan. This makes them a great food for promoting sleep.
Magnesium, potassium, and calcium are all-natural muscle relaxants that can prevent cramps or even help with restless legs syndrome. Tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin (a neurotransmitter precursor to melatonin), may help improve sleep because it promotes relaxation. Melatonin, a hormone, is known to regulate your sleep-and-wake cycle and induce sleepiness.
Greek yogurt contains a healthy mix of carbohydrates and protein that can help maintain a steady blood sugar level. Tryptophan is found in dairy products, including yogurt. This may help improve your sleep.
Add a few walnuts to your yogurt snack. Walnuts are a great source of good fats, melatonin, and heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
Tomatoes may be rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene, but they also contain melatonin. This could have a positive effect on sleep. A study of women with sleep problems found that those who ate tomatoes two hours prior to bedtime had a better sleep quality score than those who didn’t. Try a snack of whole grain crackers with sliced tomatoes and Swiss or Farmer’s cheese.
It’s also important to think about the timing of water consumption. You may be like me and find that drinking water close to bedtime will cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. This can disrupt your sleep. I recommend limiting your water consumption before bedtime.
In general, you should strive to achieve a healthy balance. Stay hydrated during the day, and pay attention to your fluid intake at night, particularly if you experience sleep disruptions due to frequent bathroom visits. To optimize your sleep, pay attention to the signals from your body and adjust your consumption accordingly. If you drink water close to bedtime, it may cause you to need to use the bathroom during the night. This could interfere with your sleep.
Ten foods and beverages that can help you sleep:
- Tart cherries.
- Nuts, seeds, and other nuts.
- Fatty fish
- Herbal tea
- Warm milk
- Greek yogurt.