Resting easy can be hard work! Occasional sleeplessness can affect all of us. Some nights it’s hard to fall asleep. Other nights it’s tough to stay asleep.
Is there an easy way to sleep better?
Yes there is!
There are many natural foods that you can eat that will help you to sleep better!
So what are the best foods for helping you sleep better? Check out our list below!
Tart cherries are a fantastic bedtime snack because they help your body produce more melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm (source). More melatonin in your system helps you fall asleep faster.
You can eat cherries plain, or have a cup of unsweetened cherry juice before you head to bed.
Walnuts are high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps you to fall asleep (source). Keep in mind though, that tryptophan works even better to help you fall asleep when it is combined with carbohydrates.
Besides tryptophan, walnuts are also packed with omega-3s and antioxidants, which makes them overall a healthy food.
Try eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime. They are also great when added to a bowl of yogurt. Which leads us to our next food…
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Turns out that warm milk can help you fall asleep at night! Dairy products contain both protein and tryptophan, which help you to sleep better.
Try greek yogurt with walnuts and tart cherries (you’ll get the benefits of all of the top sleep foods!). To help reduce sugar intake, look for unsweetened yogurt. If you can’t resist a little bit of sweetness, you can drizzle honey over the top.
For those who can’t tolerate dairy, almond-based products are a great alternative, as almonds are also very high in tryptophan. So give almond milk, or almond yogurt, a try!
Turkey is famous for inducing post-Thanksgiving naps, so it’s not surprising that it is on our list. Due to high amounts of tryptophan, turkey is a great option for a pre-bed snack.
As mentioned earlier, make sure to eat something that contains carbs when consuming foods with tryptophan, as this will increase its effectiveness (source).
Try wrapping a turkey cold cut around a piece of cheese for a quick pre-bedtime snack. The tryptophan + carbs will having you snoozing in no time!
5. Raw Honey
Raw honey is a good food to eat before bed due to the fact that it contains a high amounts of carbs. Remember, high carb foods combined with tryptophan = bed time! So when eating honey before bed, make sure to eat foods high in tryptophan.
Try drizzling raw honey over yogurt or cereal, or you can simple stir it into herbal tea!
6. Kiwi Fruit
Kiwi is high in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in your circadian rhythm, and has been shown to help you fall asleep more quickly (source). It’s also high in antioxidants and potassium and is considered a superfood.
Eat a few slices of kiwi fruit before bed, or mix it into a tropical smoothie with banana and pineapple!
Pistachios are very high in an important nutrient known as Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps convert tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle. In fact, a deficiency in Vitamin B6 may even be causing your sleeplessness!
Make sure to eat some pistachios before bed!
Tuna, and other fish such as salmon and halibut, also contain Vitamin B6. Avoid farmed salmon, as it tends to lower levels of Vitamin B6.
You can eat tuna for dinner, or have it as a snack before bed. An easy snack idea is to eat canned tuna with crackers, this can help you fall asleep!
9. Whole Grains
Eating carb-filled foods like whole-grain bread, rice, and cereal can make you sleepy by causing a quick blood sugar spike. This can be the perfect thing to help you fall asleep…However, if you have issues with waking up in the middle of the night, you may want to steer clear of this solution. Waking up in the middle of the night is often the result of your blood sugar dropping after it’s initial spike.
Bananas have high levels of potassium and magnesium, which have a relaxing and calming effect on your body. This calming effect will help you to doze off at night.
Try mixing up a smoothie with banana! It gives a sweet flavor to a smoothie, and adds a smooth consistency.
SMOOTHIE HACK: Freeze your bananas before using them for a smoothie. The frozen banana is easier for your blender to chop up, and it mixes better!
So there you have it. Eat these 10 foods and start sleeping better! If they don't help you sleep better, you can always consider an alternative, such as a natural sleep aid to help you fall asleep.