Most of us have at some point at least dealt with sleep problems. It could be trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. There are also people who have trouble turning life “off” and tucking into bed at a reasonable hour.
The health benefits of a good night’s rest are countless. Sleep helps keep you happy, your brain sharp, your immune system strong, your waistline trim, your skin looking youthful, and lowers your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. EHC compiles a list of foods that might help get a good sleep.
Cherries contain a good amount of melatonin, the chemical that helps control the body’s internal clock. According to studies, eating a handful of cherries, especially tart cherries, a few hours before going to bed will help you sleep better. You may opt for cherry juice or dried or frozen cherries also.
Dark chocolate also contains serotonin, which relaxes your body and mind. Not to mention the other health benefits dark chocolate has, too.
Carbs are your best friend and your worst enemy. Simple carbs like candy and soda are great for a quick boost of energy, because they are quickly digested. Carbs like whole grains also tend to spike blood glucose levels but, once the glucose level drops back down, that can lead to an energy crash. This is why carbs are great for working out but not so great for a huge lunch.
Drinking a glass of warm milk before bedtime will also help you fall asleep. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin. Tryptophan and serotonin help you drift off easily at night. Milk is also a good source of calcium, which helps regulate melatonin production. Calcium is also effective in stress reduction and stabilizing nerve fibers, including those in the brain. Along with milk, you can eat other dairy products like yogurt and cheese.
According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate jasmine rice for dinner fell asleep faster compared to other types of rice.
This is mainly because jasmine rice has a high glycemic index, meaning the body digests it at a slow speed, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream. It also boosts the production of tryptophan and serotonin in the blood, thus encouraging sleep. So, eat jasmine rice to significantly cut the time it takes you to fall asleep.
Bananas have natural muscle relaxants, magnesium and potassium, that help promote sleep. The fruit is also a good source of vitamin B6, which the body needs to make the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The high carbohydrate content in bananas will help make you sleepy as well.
Tuna contains sleep-inducing tryptophan. It is also high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin.
Almonds are a good source of magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation. Studies have found that when the body’s magnesium levels are too low, it is harder to stay asleep. Almonds supply enough protein to help stabilize your blood sugar level while sleeping. They also help your body switch from your alert adrenaline cycle to your rest-and-digest cycle. Eat just a handful of dry roasted almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter at least one hour before going to bed to fall asleep faster.
Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the “body clock” hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycles. Also walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.
The natural sugar found in honey slightly raises insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily, according to nutritionist Lindsey Duncan on DrOz.com. A spoonful before bed or mixed with chamomile tea could give you a more restful sleep.
Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties and works the same way as the opium poppy. Green leafy lettuce also is high in calcium that helps bring on sleep as well as potassium that is a fundamental nutrient for the nervous system. Lettuce also helps treat anxiety, headaches, and muscle or joint pain that can cause restlessness throughout the night. To sleep well, you can drink a cup of lettuce tea before going to bed.
To sleep better, avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages in the evening. But you can surely enjoy a cup of herbal tea to aid sound sleep. Decaffeinated green tea and chamomile tea are the best options for this. Chamomile tea has chemicals that relax nerves and muscles and act like a mild sedative. Green tea contains theanine, which helps promote sleep. Choose green or chamomile tea, whichever you like the best, and drink a cup of it one or two hours before bedtime.