A good night’s sleep is getting harder and harder to achieve. Powering down at night is made even more difficult by our inability to power down our smartphones and tablets well before bedtime! Many people take pills to help them wind down but food can also be a great helper when it comes to not only getting to sleep, but staying asleep. Try these seven foods to help you get your zzz’s.
The high vitamin B6 content of fish like salmon, tuna, or halibut help the body make melatonin, a hormone that helps your body regulate its internal clock. The more melatonin your body produces, the easier you’ll find it to drift off.
Foods higher on the GI index, such as carbohydrate rich jasmine rice, help the body produce more insulin. Insulin triggers the body to produce more tryptophan, the same amino acid that causes your sleepiness after a delicious turkey dinner.
Eating cheese before bed won’t give you nightmares, but it will help you get to sleep. The calcium in dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk help your body use tryptophan to produce melatonin. Again, more melatonin means more nighty night time.
Whole grains contain magnesium. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can be a major cause of poor quality sleep. By eating plenty of whole grains with a high magnesium content like barley and quinoa, you can go to bed knowing you’re in for a better night’s sleep.
Leafy greens are healthy in so many different ways, it’s no surprise that they also help the quality of your sleep. Kale is high in calcium and helps the body in the same way that dairy does. Spinach and swiss chard are high in magnesium and will help you stay asleep all night long.
These delicious fruits are known for being high in potassium which helps with heart function and blood pressure. But they also contain a high dose of vitamin B6 which, like salmon, helps the body produce more sleep-inducing melatonin in the body.
These juicy little fruits are one of the only foods that actually contain melatonin. Popping a few of these in your mouth, especially the tart ones, will help you combat insomnia.
Sleep is such an important part of our health, and insomnia can come with so many other nasty health problems. In order to get to sleep and stay asleep there are foods we should eat, like the ones in the list above, but also foods we should avoid.
Fatty foods will cause heart burn and indigestion, two things that can keep you up at night. Alcohol might well make you feel sleepy but it’s also a major sleep disruptor, causing you to wake up throughout the night. And caffeine is definitely something you need to steer well clear of in the evenings if you want any hope of a peaceful night of sleep.