If you’re having trouble falling asleep, it may be time to change your diet. We’re all aware that exercise and stress management helps us sleep better, but did you know certain foods can aid in a better night’s rest? Next time you’re having a bout of insomnia, try these foods before bed. You can even blend several of these ingredients into a delicious smoothie!
Bananas naturally contain melatonin, serotonin, and a solid dose of magnesium. Melatonin and serotonin are vital hormones for healthy sleep while magnesium acts as a natural muscle relaxant.
Walnuts & Almonds
Almonds and walnuts are an excellent, healthy snack and naturally contain soothing tryptophan and relaxing magnesium. Eat a handful of raw almonds or walnuts 30 minutes before bedtime for the best results.
Not only is oatmeal filling and healthy, but it contains a healthy dose of melatonin to help ease your slumber. Opt for raw, organic oatmeal with no added sugar for best results. Sweeten with a bit of honey and a splash of milk. (Both milk and honey are sleep inducers as well!)
Add a teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm chamomile tea. Too much sugar can make you hyper, but just the right amount of glucose turns off the alertness neurotransmitter, orexin.
Tart Cherry Juice
A study at Louisiana State University concluded that drinking tart cherry juice twice a day increased sleep time by 90 minutes in adults with insomnia. The study found that tart cherry juice helps increase the availability of tryptophan which aids in longer, more restful sleep. So, drink up!
Kale & Leafy Greens
Calcium deficiency is linked to poor sleep. Leafy greens such as kale and collards are super rich in calcium, aiding in a better night’s rest. If you don’t love the taste of kale, try blending it up in a smoothie with banana, yogurt and honey for delicious bedtime snack.
Fish such as halibut, tuna, and salmon contain high doses of B6, a vital nutrient that your body needs to make the sleep hormone, melatonin. If you’re having a bout of insomnia, try eating more fish. Just make sure it’s wild caught! Farmed fish is worse for your health than none at all.
Chickpeas / Hummus
Good news, hummus lovers! Chickpeas are a great source of both B6 and tryptophan. There’s never been a better excuse to snack on some hummus and pita before bed.