We are aware that getting a good night’s sleep boosts the immune system and helps to keep the brain and digestive system healthy.
It is recommended that you get between 7-9 hours sleep a night, although many people struggle to get anywhere near these numbers.
There are numerous reasons why you may not be getting adequate sleep and what you eat is merely one of the factors.
However, there is evidence to prove that certain foods have sleep promoting properties.
In this article I would like to discuss some of the foods that help you sleep at night.
Almonds – The Perfect Night-Time Nutty Treat
Eating almonds can lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Almonds can also help you get a great night’s rest because they’re a source of melatonin, the hormone which regulates sleep.
Almonds provide various nutrients to the body, including manganese, phosphorus, riboflavin, and magnesium.
Magnesium is especially important to the equation, as it is known to reduce inflammation and can control the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the body, so I’m sure you’ll agree, less stress equals a better night’s sleep.
Try eating a handful of almonds before bed and see what a fantastic effect they have on you.
Turkey – There’s No Need to Wait Until November
Have you ever wondered why you always feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner? Okay, that probably has more to do with the amount of food you consume than anything else. However, there are many health benefits associated with eating turkey.
Firstly, turkey is a fantastic food to consume before bed as it can promote sleepiness. The main reason for this is because turkey contains the amino acid Tryptophan, which once again helps to increase levels of melatonin. (Are you starting to understand just how important melatonin levels are to a good night’s sleep?)
There is evidence to prove that by consuming turkey before bed, not only will you sleep well, but you are less likely to wake up throughout the night.
Turkey may just be one of the best all-round foods to eat. It’s nutritious and delicious. It’s high in protein (which can help to regulate your appetite and also promotes muscle growth), plus it can aid sleep during the night.
Kiwi Fruit – How Much Vitamin C Did You Say?
There are various antioxidants contained in kiwis, namely vitamin C and carotenoids, which are known to promote good sleep.
Did you know that just one medium-sized kiwi contains 117% of your daily requirement of vitamin C and is only 50 calories to boot?
Kiwis also contain serotonin, a chemical produced by the brain, which is associated with good mood, overall happiness and well-being, and can also encourage and regulate a healthy sleep cycle.
Kiwis are probably one of the finest foods you can consume before bed. Eat 1 or 2 kiwis before you go to bed and you should find that you fall asleep a lot faster, as well as having a deeper and more restful night’s sleep.
Fatty Fish – Fat Can Be Healthy You Know?
There are all manner of fatty fish that are known to be incredibly healthy. Some of the most popular fatty fish include, salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel.
The main reason they are so good for you is because they contain vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. These magical nutrients can boost brain health, reduce inflammation, and can protect against heart disease.
The combination of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids will increase the production of serotonin, which we now know can enhance the quality of your sleep.
You should find that you fall asleep faster by eating a few ounces of fatty fish before bedtime.
White Rice – One of the Foods That Help You Sleep at Night
White rice is a staple food in many countries around the world. It has a lower level of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants than brown rice.
The lack of fiber and high carb content of white rice gives it a high glycemic index, which is a measure of how rapidly a food type can increase your blood sugar levels.
There is evidence that proves eating high glycemic index foods, such as white rice, before bedtime may help to improve the overall quality of your sleep.
However, due to the high carb content of white rice, it should be consumed in moderation and well before you decide to go to sleep.
The Other Foods That Can Promote a Great Night’s Rest
This isn’t an exhaustive list and there are certain other foods that can help you sleep better. These include:
- Passionflower tea and Chamomile tea
- Cottage Cheese
These are some of the best foods that help you sleep at night. This is mainly due to their melatonin and serotonin content, as well as numerous other beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
I’m sure you’ll agree that you can add at least one or two of these sleep-enhancing foods to your diet and hopefully it won’t be long before you manage to fall asleep faster and then stay asleep for longer.
It’s important that you never consume any of these foods immediately before you go to bed, as you need to digest them first. I would suggest eating them a minimum of 2-3 hours before bedtime, and perhaps 4 hours in the case of white rice because of it high carb content.
The last thing you want is to cause yourself issues such as heartburn or acid reflux just as your getting under the covers.
But for now Happy Eating!