Foods That Can Significantly Improve Sleep
There are a lot of conflicting and controversial opinions when it comes to what you should be eating for dinner and nighttime snacking. Some say it slows down your metabolism and puts you at risk of heartburn or indigestion, others are strong advocates for changing the things you eat before bed to aid in weight loss. We say think what you want, but do not come in the way of our precious sleep! Because when it comes to health, sleep is as vital as good exercise and maintaining a balanced diet.
First, we have gathered 3 essential components for an overall better night’s sleep that you should know about:
- Serotonin, also known as the happy chemical. It is the key neurotransmitter that stabilizes your mood and feelings of well-being. This hormone impacts your whole body, including your eating, digestion and sleep.
- Melatonin is a hormone that your brain secretes as a response to darkness in order to make you sleepy.
- Tryptophan is an essential amino acid needed for general growth, development and ultimately serotonin.
On that note, here are 7 foods that will help you catch a few Zs, you busy bee.
- Fatty Fish
Examples like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel are incredibly healthy. The combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in fatty fish enables the production of serotonin in the body, and therefore has the potential to enhance sleep quality.
As it turns out, this nutritious low-calorie fruit from down under is a superfood for sleep! Researchers have recently found that eating kiwi on a daily basis improves both the quality and quantity of sleep.
The reason behind its possible benefits to sleep is linked to its high levels of antioxidants and serotonin.
Whether you’re looking for a healthy late night snack or a natural remedy for your insomnia, cherries are surprisingly but definitely the way to go.
Cherries are so high in fiber and loaded with nutrients that you might as well incorporate them in your diet even if you’re one of those people that sleep like a baby (do they still exist in this day and age?). One of those wonderful nutrients is none other than melatonin. Sound familiar? Cherries are full of them, so by all means go all out!
Despite not containing any neurotransmitters that help in stabilizing your mood or sleep cycle, bananas are packed with two important elements: potassium and magnesium. These two are well-known for allowing your muscles to relax in addition to reducing stress and anxiety.
Bananas also contain tryptophan, and with a little help from the vitamin B6 that they contain, is converted to serotonin.
In addition to containing a wide range of crazy healthy nutrients, almonds are richer than most foods in tryptophan and magnesium. So not only will your sleep cycle be regulated well enough for you to get tired at night and wake up in the morning, you will also be sleeping better overall and waking up more refreshed.
If you want to eat almonds before bed to enhance your sleeping experience, we’ve determined that a good handful will suffice.
- Lean Chicken or Turkey
Because your body is naturally unable to make tryptophan on its own, it must obtain it from food protein. In this case, lean chicken or turkey would be the way to go. They both contain significant amounts of it, and let’s face it: they are generally good for you. Since the dawn of diets, lean protein has always been a staple and still is to this day.
But don’t go blaming your post-Christmas lethargic slumber on the turkey. That probably happened because of all the carbs and desserts you ate before, during and after ;)
In all seriousness, a good night’s sleep is truly essential to your mental and physical health. The day you decide to try consuming the foods on this list, you will forget about all those mornings where even your coffee needed a morning coffee.
Remember: your future depends on your dreams. So go to sleep.