Did you know that the foods you eat before bed can affect your sleep? Yes, there are foods that can help us have a pleasant night’s rest. While there are other foods and eating habits that can prevent us from getting the sleep we need when we sleep.
“Foods rich in specific nutrients can improve our ability to sleep and the quality of sleep,” Vandana Sheth, a registered nutritionist, told Citizen Free Press. California-based Sheth also provides diet and sleep hygiene counseling to clients.
So this is probably good news for those of us who experience trouble sleeping occasionally or almost every night.
Here is a list of foods and dishes that are worth considering for a good night’s sleep:
1. Berries with yogurt
The carbohydrates in berries can help increase serotonin production in the brain, while yogurt is a source of tryptophan that promotes sleep.
“Yogurt is not just for breakfast. And it helps satisfy that sweet, creamy treat that many people enjoy as a late-night snack,” Nancy Z. Farrell Allen, registered dietitian nutritionist, explained to Citizen Free Press.
Farrell Allen, based in Virginia, is also a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
2. Juice of tart cherries, or cherries, with walnuts
This food option is rich in melatonin, a hormone that plays a critical role in the body’s sleep cycle. When it gets dark, melatonin production increases, which helps promote healthy sleep.
Although some people with sleep problems may consider a melatonin supplement, tart cherries (also called sour cherries) provide a natural source of this hormone. In one study, those who drank tart cherry juice had higher levels of melatonin.
In addition, they experienced longer and better quality sleep compared to a group that received placebo. Tart cherry juice also showed beneficial effects on sleep in older adults with insomnia in other research.
Walnuts, along with pistachios and almonds, are another source of melatonin. In fact, they can be paired with a shot of tart cherry juice for an after-dinner snack, according to Sheth.
3. Chickpeas with a glass of milk
Chickpeas and milk are sources of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help improve sleep. Tryptophan is converted to melatonin in the brain, as well as serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps promote sleep and relaxation.
One option is to roast chickpeas with a little olive oil and salt, which gives them a crunchy texture. (Just rinse, pat dry, mix with oil and seasonings, then roast at 220 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.)
You can enjoy them with a glass of warm milk for a late night snack. (Note that both cow’s milk and soy milk are sources of tryptophan.)
Kiwifruit is a source of antioxidants and serotonin, which can help improve the initiation, duration and efficiency of sleep in adults with sleeping disorders, according to a study. Sleep efficiency refers to the percentage of the total time in bed that we actually sleep.
An easy way to enjoy kiwi is to cut the fruit in half horizontally and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.
5. Spinach salad with quinoa, avocado and pumpkin seeds
Start your dinner with a salad that contains these ingredients. Precisely because they are rich sources of magnesium, a mineral necessary to achieve normal sleep.
“Magnesium regulates the neurotransmitter melatonin and helps keep our sleep cycles in check,” explained Farrell Allen.
Magnesium also works by increasing the neurotransmitter GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, in the brain. Which slows down thinking and helps you fall asleep. In fact, not having adequate levels of this mineral can contribute to insomnia.
If you don’t have pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds are other good sources of magnesium, Farrell Allen said.
For an added touch of flavor, you can also add a pinch of toasted pine nuts.
6. Bananas with peanut butter
Not only is this combination rich in magnesium, it will also help reduce blood sugar spikes, Sheth explained. And in that sense, he added, it can be especially helpful for people with diabetes.
7. High protein foods for dinner
Consider fish, eggs and cheese for dinner, as they contain the amino acid ornithine, Sheth noted. According to a small study, this amino acid can potentially relieve stress and improve sleep quality when it comes to fatigue.
8. Herbal tea
A cup of herbal tea can serve as a perfect sleeping drink. “Some of my clients find chamomile tea useful as part of their sleep routine to relax and go to sleep,” Sheth said. “It is relaxing, calming and contains an antioxidant called apigenin that can help start the sleep cycle.”
Passionflower tea may offer short-term sleep benefits in healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality, according to a study. “In fact, it increases the levels of GABA in our brain,” Sheth added.
9. Golden milk made with turmeric
Turmeric calms your stomach, and when you add warm milk to it, it can help you fall asleep faster or sleep better, Sheth explained. You can add black pepper, which improves our ability to absorb curcumin, the bright yellow compound in turmeric that offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
These foods give you a variety of options and are easy to incorporate into your weekly nightly routine. Try them for a more peaceful break.
Ashley Johnson is the lead reporter for Globe Live Media on things related to Astrology, Lifestyle and Music. Being a fitness enthusiast, her background involves growing up in Beverly Hills, where She often interacts with famous Artists and also talks about their ways for a Healthy Lifestyle. She is in fact a profound Yoga student. You can be well assured about the authenticity and quality of Lifestyle, Health, and Music reports published by her.