Getting good and quality sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Proper rest can reduce the risk of certain chronic illnesses, boost your immune system, and ensure your digestion and metabolism always function optimally. Unfortunately, many people struggle with getting enough shuteye as they should. There are many strategies you can use to improve your sleep, starting from creating a consistent sleep and wake schedule and exercising more to implementing a bedtime ritual and making specific changes to your diet.
Many people aren’t aware that certain foods can affect their sleep either positively or negatively. If you are thinking about changing your diet to improve sleep, here are some of the best foods for sleep that should be eaten before bed.
Almonds are an excellent source of many nutrients, and they are associated with multiple health benefits. Apart from lowering your risk of getting heart disease and type 2 diabetes, this nut can also help you sleep better. Almonds aid sleep because they are a source of melatonin – a sleep-regulating hormone. Apart from containing melatonin, almonds are also rich in magnesium, and magnesium can improve your sleep quality, especially if you have insomnia due to stress.
Turkey is a very delicious and nutritious protein that helps to build strong muscles and properly regulate your appetite. It’s also a great source of vitamins and minerals such as riboflavin, phosphorus, and selenium. Turkey may induce sleep because it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin. Since turkey is a protein that takes a lot of time to digest, it consumes a lot of energy from our body making us tired.
Chamomile tea is very popular and known to offer numerous health benefits. It can reduce inflammation that often leads to chronic diseases, boost your immune system, reduce anxiety and depression and relieve stress.
Chamomile tea also contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to specific receptors in the brain and improves sleep quality. Particularly, it’s recommended for promoting sleepiness and reducing insomnia.
Kiwis are a low-calorie fruit that not only provides you with your daily dose of vitamin C and vitamin K but also improves sleep quality. According to some studies, kiwi is one of the best foods to eat before bed. Apart from aiding sleep, this fruit will also benefit your digestive health, reduce inflammation and lower your cholesterol.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is high in essential nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and manganese. It’s also a rich source of antioxidants which help to protect your cells from harmful inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and so on. It also helps to induce sleep and relieve the symptoms of insomnia. For these reasons, drinking cherry juice before bed may improve your sleep quality. This is an excellent sleep-inducing food because it contains melatonin, meaning it can regulate your circadian rhythm.
Fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are abundant in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (specifically EPA and DHA). These substances, when combined have the potential to enhance sleep quality because both elements stimulate the production of serotonin.
Walnuts are particularly rich in magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. They are also a great source of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid. When it comes to sleep, they are also recommended to eat before bed because they contain melatonin and serotonin.
Passionflower tea is another herbal tea that has been used centuries to treat a number of health issues, including insomnia. This herbal tea is rich in flavonoid antioxidants, which are known for reducing inflammation, boosting immune health and reducing anxiety. Passionflower, same as chamomile, contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to specific receptors in the brain and promotes relaxation. This herb also stimulates the production of GABA, a brain chemical that is vital for regulating sleep and inhibiting stress.
Many people don’t know the difference between white and brown rice. The most significant difference is that white rice has had its bran and germ removed, which makes it lower in fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. Nevertheless, white rice is still very healthy to eat. It’s rich in carbs, folate, thiamin, and manganese. Since its rich in carbs and lacks fiber, it’s considered a good with a high glycemic index, meaning it can quickly increase your blood sugar. Some studies suggest that consuming foods with a high glycemic index a few hours before bed can help to fall asleep faster.
Apart from the foods we mentioned, there are a lot of other foods and drinks that can help to induce sleep or improve overall sleep quality — for example, milk and bananas and a great source of tryptophan, and other vital nutrients. It’s known that milk improves sleep in the elderly. Oatmeal and cottage cheese are also one of the best foods for rest and should be consumed before bed.