We have often read and experienced that a healthy and balanced diet can help your body by providing strength and energy, increasing immunity against diseases, keeping the body weight balanced, etc. Similarly, the kind of food and drinks that we include in our diet decides how good our sleep health is going to be. Failing to achieve a quality sleep in the night on a consistent basis can give birth to a number of health issues such as obesity, decreased alertness, poor memory consolidation, etc. Therefore, failing to add foods that help you sleep better at night in your diet will defeat the purpose of maintaining a diet in the first place. So, without further hassle, let us quickly go through some of the most nutritive and sleep-inducing foods to help you sleep better at night.
Walnuts are counted as one of the richest sources of naturally occurring melatonin. Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Although found easily in the form of supplements, it is better to stick to foods and drinks that are naturally rich in the component. Walnuts also come packed with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of essential omega-3 fatty acid, that the body uses to convert into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)- another important omega-3 fatty acid that is considered paramount for the proper development of the brain, especially among the children. This is the reason why a lot of health experts recommend that parents who are caring for children affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be provided food rich in DHA. Studies in the past have shown that DHA is instrumental in providing better sleep and reducing nighttime disturbances.
Known widely as rich storehouses of fiber and protein, almonds are also one of the best foods to eat before bed because of their high content of magnesium and melatonin. Magnesium present in food has the ability to remove additional stress of the mind and helps calm the nervous system before bedtime. The fact that it is also a rich source of other sleep-inducing nutrients like magnesium and phosphorus makes almonds the go-to bedtime food for a good night’s sleep. A mixed serving of almonds and walnuts before going to bed can therefore boost your sleep health drastically.
Most of us have been administered a warm glass of milk in childhood as a way to promote good sleep. This is primarily due to the rich content of tryptophan that milk has. Tryptophan amino acids work by maintaining the level of melatonin and serotonin in the body, thus increasing your ease of falling asleep at bedtime. The rich amount of calcium in milk further ensures that the tryptophan is easily absorbed in the body. Other dairy products like cheese and yogurt are also preferred by people for their sleep-inducing properties.
Bananas are liked by everyone for their nutritive benefits, sweet flavor, soft texture, and of course, their enchanting aroma. These elongated fruits are packed to the brim with components that help you achieve a good quality sleep such as melatonin, magnesium, tryptophan, vitamin B6, etc. Tryptophan and magnesium help regulate the sleep-wake cycle and the sleep hormones in the body. Vitamin B6 aids the process by converting tryptophan amino acids into serotonin, the neurotransmitter that controls the levels of melatonin in the body.
Kiwis are an excellent source of antioxidants and potassium- both of which can make it easier for you to doze off at night when taken close to bedtime. Kiwifruits are also essential to make up for the required amount of serotonin and folate in the body. The deficiency of folate in the body can lead to a number of health problems which include insomnia and depression. People suffering sleep deprivation due to such issues should also look towards ways to improve the bedroom environment in a more sleep-friendly way. It is also concerned with the proper regulation of serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine in the body.
#06 Fatty fish
Fatty fish have known widely as good sleep-inducing foods because of its high content of vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acid. A light meal containing fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, etc., before bedtime will help you fall asleep quicker and help you remain that way through the night. People having trouble falling asleep at night should try out remedies like progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and image distraction. Visit Inside Bedroom’s sleep blog for more quick and informative sleep tips that will help you sleep fast. The higher DHA levels in fatty fish reduce inflammation and help combat sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and insomnia. Several pieces of research have linked omega-3 with not only good night sleep but also a better IQ among children.
#07 Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are not just a great way to soothe your mind and increase your immunity but are also very helpful in inducing quality sleep. Moreover, they act as the perfect alternative for caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee which are notorious for causing sleep deprivation when taken in the latter part of the day. Tea made from herbs like lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, valerian root, on the other hand, does wonder for your sleep health. The antioxidants present in the herbal teas ensures protection against body pain, muscle cramp, and other causes of inflammation. Although more research in the area is required to better associate the nutritive value of such tea with sleep, it is safe to consider that herbal teas are one of the best bedtime beverages for improved sleep quality.
#08 Tart Cherries
Another great drink to have before retiring to bed is the juice extracted from tart cherries. Tart cherries, whether eaten raw or in the form of juice, help promote good sleep because of the high content of melatonin and potassium present in them. Sliced pieces of tart cherries are an excellent addition to your regular bowl of oatmeal where the combined effects of all the nutrients usher you towards a restful night of sleep.
Poor lifestyle practices like taking a heavy meal before bed, smoking and drinking, and taking caffeinated products too close to bedtime can contribute towards ruining your sleep to a great extent. The effect of such lifestyle is also visible on your skin aging, body weight, heart health, etc. At the same time, switching to light and healthy servings of sleep—inducing foods that we mentioned above to assure that you continue to get restful sleep on a daily basis and maintain overall good health.
Photo by Kamila Ferreira from Pexels