Sleep can be directly influenced by the food we eat during waking hours. Store foods that naturally calm the nervous system in your fridge if you suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems.
Sleeping problems? Drink some milk. Doesn’t that sound like an old wives’ tale? There are a number of foods that are proven to aid in falling asleep faster and snoozing more soundly, regardless of whether warm milk is recommended before bedtime.
Sleeping 7-9 hours a night involves a number of factors. If you’re looking for an easy (and tasty) way to enhance your sleep hygiene, try these sleep foods before heading to sleep.
Sleep-promoting foods: What to eat as you sleep
Cleveland Clinic suggests that chicken and turkey are good sleep aids due to their high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates sleep by increasing melatonin production. Additionally, research suggests that moderate amounts of protein can improve sleep because it can induce sleepiness.
Fish such as salmon and tuna are good options for nighttime meals since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA). In addition to reducing inflammation and contributing to good heart and brain health, omega-3 fatty acids promote serotonin production in the brain, which enhances sleep.
Researchers found that eating omega-3-rich fish regularly improved sleep quality, increased sleeping efficiency, and enhanced daytime performance in a study that followed a group of young men who ate fatty fish three times per week for several months.
Milk, yogurt, and low-fat cheese have been shown to improve sleep since they are high in calcium, according to the American Sleep Association. Melatonin and tryptophan are processed by the body with calcium.
Nuts contain melatonin as well as nutrients. Walnuts are one of the top foods that contain melatonin, making them an ideal sleep-inducing snack. In addition to their healthy fats, walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid, which may promote better sleep by boosting serotonin levels.
A single ounce of almonds contains 19% of the daily magnesium requirement for an adult.
Fruits high in melatonin are recommended by the National Sleep Foundation for faster sleep and less waking up at night. Choose ingredients such as whole tart cherries, tart cherry juice, raspberries, bananas, oranges, and pineapple. Its magnesium and potassium content makes it an effective sleep aid.
For chronic insomnia, kiwifruit might be the answer. The study found that adults who ate two Kiwi fruits one hour before bed fell asleep more quickly than those who ate nothing. After the study ended, the kiwi consumers also reported improved sleep.
You should limit foods that contain refined flour because highly processed products reduce serotonin levels, which can interfere with sleep. Consider eating whole grain foods such as whole-grain breads, whole-grain pasta, and whole-grain crackers instead. In the brain, whole grains stimulate tryptophan activity, which helps produce insulin.
Foods to Avoid Before Sleep
Even if these foods are otherwise perfectly healthy choices, snoozing may become a challenge if eaten too late in the day:
- Black beans: Having gas pains can interfere with sleep
- Chips: Fried foods can cause bloating, heartburn, and reflux
- Dark chocolate: Despite its wide array of health benefits, caffeine may make you drowsy
- Grapefruit: Heartburn can be caused by its acidity
- Pizza: Fats are harder to digest
- Tomatoes: the high acidity of tomatoes may cause indigestion in sufferers
- Watermelon: The high water content can cause nighttime bathroom trips
Eat well before you go to bed. Either a slice of turkey or some yogurt and cherries will help induce sleep due to their calming effects. Sleep is more important than that bag of greasy chips late at night. Sleep tastes as good as it feels.
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