9 foods to help you sleep
If you’re having trouble getting to or staying asleep, the solution may be as easy as making simple changes to your diet. Many foods contain naturally occurring substances that induce sleep. Here are some of the best choices to increase your odds of a quality slumber!
Walnuts: 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. Researchers have also found that walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.
Almonds: Almonds are rich in magnesium, a mineral needed for quality sleep. It helps to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm. Studies have found that it is harder to stay asleep when the body’s magnesium levels are too low.
Dairy: A bowl of yoghurt, a slice of cheese or a glass of milk are all rich in calcium. Research suggests being calcium deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep. The calcium helps to regulate muscle movements and helps the brain to use the tryptophan found in dairy to manufacture sleep-triggering melatonin.
Cherries: Cherries naturally boost levels of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Eat whole cherries or drink cherry juice regularly to help regulate your sleep cycle.
Fish: Fish, specifically tuna, salmon and shrimp, are rich in the natural sedative tryptophan. Tuna and salmon are also high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin.
Rice: White rice, in particular jasmine rice, has a high glycemic index, so eating it will significantly slash the time it takes you to fall asleep, according to an Australian study.
Chamomile tea: Drinking chamomile tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative. It is also hydrating and stomach soothing.
Honey: According to nutritionists, the natural sugar found in honey slightly raises insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily. A spoonful before bed or mixed with chamomile tea could give you a more restful sleep.
Bananas: These super-fruits are packed with potassium and magnesium, two minerals that promote muscle relaxation. Magnesium deficiencies are related to restless leg syndrome and nighttime muscle cramps, two conditions that can certainly interfere with your sleep. Bananas are also a good source of vitamin B6, needed to make the sleep inducing hormone melatonin.
Further great reading: https://www.healthambition.com/eat-to-sleep-foods-that-can-make-you-sleep-like-a-baby/