10 Foods to Help You Sleep Soundly
Are you having trouble falling asleep? What about staying asleep? While we don’t normally advocate for a midnight run to the fridge, there are plenty of foods that scientists have found to be helpful for inducing sleep. So, get your tastebuds ready, because we’re going to dive into the top 10 foods to help you sleep soundly!
Besides making for a delicious dinner, fish double as fabulous tools for increasing serotonin. Packed with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, fish can help you feel full and happy, leading to faster and better sleep.
2. Sweet Potato
In addition to being a healthy starch, sweet potato is a great sleep aid. It is a fantastic source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, lowering blood pressure and relaxing the body. Not only that, but the cooking possibilities are endless with this versatile vegetable.
Ever wondered why you always get sleepy after a big Thanksgiving meal? It might be more than just the amount of food you ate. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that increases melatonin production and helps you get sleepy.
Honey is not only a sweet, bee-produced treat, but it can also aid in sleep. Instead of helping the body produce sleep-related hormones, honey acts as an inhibitor for orexin. Orexin is a neurotransmitter that helps you stay awake and alert.
5. White Rice
The traditionally “unhealthy” cousin of brown rice, white rice is a carb-rich starch typically used as a base or side dish of a meal. It has a high glycemic index, which means that it increases blood glucose levels quickly. What does this mean for sleep? You will sleep for longer.
Just like how Thanksgiving dinner fills your belly with carbohydrates, supplemented by hormones, oatmeal does the same exact thing. Those who eat oatmeal before bed reported drowsiness that allowed them to fall asleep quicker.
Almonds have been touted as the perfect, healthy, on-the-go snack. But did you know this snack staple is a nutritious source of melatonin? Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone and the reason why you feel sleepy at night (or when you eat certain foods).
When it comes to sleep and drinks, tea is one of the most highly regarded for its sleep-inducing properties. Chamomile and Passionflower are both rich in antioxidants, which can reduce stress and promote relaxation.
9. Warm Milk
Did your mom offer you a glass of warm milk before bed when you were younger? A study in the “Nordic Journal of Psychiatry” says your mom might be onto something. Milk is rich in tryptophan, the same amino acid that is found in turkey and can also help to improve sleep.
You might not consider hummus a bedtime food, however, chickpeas (the base of hummus) is! Just like turkey and milk, chickpeas contain tryptophan, as well as vitamins folate and B6. These vitamins, combined with the tryptophan, regulate your sleep and internal clock with the production of melatonin and serotonin.
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