Now that we’ve covered which types of foods to avoid before bedtime, you’re probably wondering which foods will help you sleep a little better at night? Sometimes, we just cannot resist a snack at bedtime. Choosing the right foods that will enable you to relax and not keep you up at night is a not rocket science. Knowing which foods or beverages stimulate the mind vs. calming the mind is straight-forward. So, get your grocery app ready and prepare to stock the pantry.
Don’t ditch your carbs just yet. Studies show that eating jasmine rice four hours before bedtime is an excellent way to induce sleep faster than other rice products.
You probably know the old cliché that a warm glass of milk can do the body good? According to WebMD, dairy products help the brain to produce sleep-triggering melatonin thanks in part to the levels of tryptophan that is available in this food group. L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is available through diet.
The body uses tryptophan to create niacin which is responsible for the production of serotonin in our body. Serotonin is the chemical that gives us a sense of relaxation. Also, serotonin assists in the creation of melatonin which regulates our sleep and wake cycles.
Salad Dinners as a Sedative?
Keeping it healthy during dinner could have positive effects on your sleep experience. Salad dinners rich in the ingredient lettuce could be your saving grace for a good night’s rest. Lettuce is abundant in the chemical lactucarium (the milky fluid secreted by several species of lettuce) which contains analgesic and sedative properties.
Foods rich in vitamin B6 like tuna, salmon, or even halibut can assist your body in increasing its production of melatonin and serotonin. These two chemicals together enable your body to achieve a resting state of high-quality sleep.
Want to boost melatonin levels in your body naturally? Add cherries to your grocery basket next time you visit your supermarket. According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, Louisiana State University researchers found Montmorency tart cherry juice when drank twice a day for two weeks improved the overall sleep time in older adults suffering from insomnia by 90 minutes. Thanks to the ruby red pigments in Montmorency tart cherry juice, the availability of tryptophan increases which serves also to improve serotonin levels which contribute to sleep. This process makes for the perfect formula for getting a good night’s rest.
Want to go herbal? Chamomile is an herbal cure that has been around for centuries as a treatment for insomnia. Studies show that chamomile acts as a tranquilizer in mice. It has the power to reduce anxiety in some individuals thanks to its calming effects.
Bananas are a great addition to any breakfast meal, but you might consider adding this fruit to your diet just for its effects on your sleep experience. Bananas contain magnesium and potassium which are great minerals for muscle relaxation.
Why is this quality important? For those who experience restless leg syndrome or muscle cramps, these two minerals can be your best friend in battling these two conditions that might keep you awake at night.
Add a handful of almonds to your snacks during the day. These nuts are another source of magnesium, and they also contain calcium. Not a fan of almonds? Swap them out for almond-butter. You can spread it over a slice of toast. In addition to magnesium and calcium, almonds contain the necessary sleep-inducing amino acids and vitamins which help to trigger the release of melatonin.
These foods can help you improve your sleep experience. If you are in the midst of switching your diet to enhance your sleep experience, take slow steps. Take the time to understand what works well for your palate and what produces the chemical and hormonal changes necessary for quality sleep. Your experience may differ from that of another person.