You may have tried many tips and tricks to fall asleep quickly. But did you know that food can influence your sleep too?
Getting enough sleep reduces the risk of having serious diseases, boosts your immune system, and keeps you mentally healthy as well.
It’s recommended to get a minimum of 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
Everything from our exercises to our food can affect our sleep cycle. Speaking of food, not only does it affect our sleep quality, but it can also lead to digestive issues at night.
Here are 15 foods and drinks that help you get a good night’s sleep.
Almonds are a powerhouse of nutrients.
One ounce of the dry roasted almonds has:
As almonds are a rich source of melatonin hormone, a hormone that helps you sleep by regulating your circadian rhythm.
Chamomile tea provides various health benefits like boosting your immune system, reducing anxiety, and improving skin health. Moreover, it helps in enhancing the quality of your sleep.
Chamomile tea has apigenin. Apigenin is an antioxidant that attaches to some receptors in your brain that may lead to sleepiness.
In 2011, a study was conducted on 34 adults. Participants who consumed 270 mg of chamomile extract twice a day for 28 days fell asleep 15 minutes faster and had less nighttime waking than those who did not drink it.
Tart cherry juice has essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Tart cherry juice can help in promoting sleepiness as it contains a high amount of melatonin. Research is also being done on its role in relieving insomnia.
According to a study, people with insomnia who drank 240 ml of tart cherry juice twice a day for 14 days slept 84 minutes longer and had better quality sleep than those who didn’t drink the juice.
Kale is rich in antioxidants and calcium, which help make the sleep hormones work efficiently. It’s a good idea to consume kale if you struggle with sleep.
Barley grass powder is packed with calcium, potassium, and tryptophan content. It also has Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), which promotes sleep and prevents insomnia. You can add the powder to smoothies, scrambled eggs, salad dressing, or water.
Kiwi has many sleep-inducing compounds like:
It’s helpful to eat kiwi before bed. The best part is that you can also consume it late to fight midnight hunger. As per a study, people who drank two kiwis 60 minutes before bedtime fell asleep 45% faster and improved total sleep time than those who did not.
Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which improves melatonin production. Consequently, turkey promotes tiredness and sleepiness. It can help with better sleep and less waking up during the night. So, it’s not just tasty but good for your sleep as well.
As per studies, yogurt can help you sleep and reduce insomnia. Yogurt has calcium, tryptophan, and melatonin that can help you sleep. If you don’t like yogurt, you can try other dairy products for calcium intake. You can consume bananas with yogurt for more benefits.
Walnuts have the goodness of more than 19 vitamins and omega-3 fats. They have melatonin and ALA. It helps with serotonin production, which is a sleep-enhancing chemical. Like almonds, walnuts are also recommended for good quality sleep.
Lettuce has a phytonutrient called lactucarium that promotes sleep and relaxation. Lettuce is said to have a mild sedative-hypnotic effect. You can consume it as a salad or lettuce tea. Pour hot water over romaine leaves, seep them and add honey for the flavor.
Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids and vitamin D. These two nutrients help regulate serotonin, which promotes sleep and fixes the sleep-wake cycle.
Fatty Fish has sleep-promoting nutrients like:
In a study, participants who consumed 0.3 kg of Atlantic salmon thrice a week for six months fell asleep faster than those who consumed food items with the same nutritional value.
Honey is one of the important foods to help you sleep. Orexin is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel alert. Honey has glucose which lowers the levels of orexin. Reversing the levels of orexin can help you fall asleep.
This herbal tea has been used to treat various health problems for many years. It has flavonoid antioxidants and apigenin. The presence of apigenin can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Apigenin creates a relaxing effect by sticking to some receptors in your brain. Passionflower tea is also responsible for increasing GABA production.
Due to its calming properties, it promotes sleepiness. Hence, if you face trouble while sleeping, drinking passionflower tea can be beneficial.
Warm milk contains sleep-promoting compounds like:
Having warm milk before bed can be a relaxing night routine activity. Consider having low-fat dairy, as it will be nutritious and low in calories.
Eating food items that are quickly digested, like white rice, at least 1 hour before bed can improve sleep quality. High Glycemic Index (GI) promotes better sleep.
A study was conducted on the sleep habits of 1,848 people. It was based on their rice, bread, or noodles intake. Higher rice intake resulted in better sleep than bread or noodles.
The list didn’t end there. There are several drinks and foods that help you sleep through the night. These food items are a great source of sleep-promoting compounds like tryptophan and others.
Best Foods and Drinks for Sleep:
Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, yogurt have tryptophan as well as calcium. When these products are paired with light exercise, they show great sleeping results.
Oatmeal is rich in carbs, melatonin, and fiber. It induces drowsiness if consumed before bedtime.
Some foods that make you sleepy:
Not every food item can help you sleep better. Some snacks can affect your sleep cycle and keep you awake.
Fried food is the most attractive option at midnight, unfortunately not a good one. Fried food requires a lot of time to digest and can cause heartburn if consumed before bedtime.
We understand your love for spicy food, but if you have heartburn, lying down will only aggravate the feeling of heartburn. This will make it nearly impossible to sleep.
Avoid thinking about leftover red pasta. Food with a huge amount of tomato sauce interferes with sleep by causing acid reflux and heartburn.
Like fried food, high-fat food also takes longer to digest. Avoid eating burgers, pizza, or fries near bedtime.
High sodium foods like sushi, smoked meat will wake you up feeling thirsty and disturb your sleep.
Along with food items, you should avoid these drinks too before bed. What to drink to sleep faster?
You might have guessed this already. Caffeine is famous for making you feel active and alert. If you are trying to sleep, you must avoid coffee near bedtime. In fact, don’t consume caffeine after 4 PM; you can drink herbal tea instead.
Energy drinks have caffeine and taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that increases alertness and heart rate, making it challenging to fall asleep.
Herbal teas are excellent for sleep. On the other hand, black tea has caffeine, and it should be avoided.
Certain food items and drinks have sleep-regulating hormones and brain chemicals that can easily make you sleep for long hours.
Some of these sleep-regulating hormones are:
These can enhance the quality of sleep, making you fall asleep faster and for longer. To get the optimum benefits of these sleep inducing foods and drinks, it’s best to consume foods that promote sleep 2 or 3 hours before bedtime. Eating just before sleep can result in digestive problems.
More research is needed to assure these benefits, but the known effects look promising.
Most of us have midnight cravings, and that’s normal. However, it’s advisable to avoid junk food late at night and consume melatonin rich foods.
In short, not all bedtime snacks are bad. In fact, some can help you fall asleep. Consume the snacks that help you sleep, make delicious recipes using them. You can find millions of ideas on the web or in your mother’s cookbook.
What to eat before bed? Look for healthy late night snacks rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Some of these might not taste the best but are efficient for your sleep.
A good quality sleep every night is significant for your overall health and well-being. If a good night routine, exercising, and natural remedies are not helping, maybe it’s time to look at what you eat as well. Foods for deep sleep can help you sleep better. Eat the best foods for sleep, and you will witness incredible results.