Did you know, there’s some sleep inducing foods that can help you to doze off at night. If you aren’t sleeping well, you might want to review the food you have before bedtime. Foods containing caffeine and stimulants will keep you up all night, but others will aid sleep.
Sad as it may be, sleep deprivation is pretty common in today’s world. One 2012 review published in the Lancet found that 25% of American adults suffer from sleep problems. If you’re finding it hard to get some restful shut-eye, consider trying these bed-time friendly foods:
A few specific nuts are ideal as a pre-bedtime snack. Almonds for example are packed with magnesium, which can help you get some quality sleep. According to a study by the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, if you are lacking magnesium, it’s harder to remain asleep. Walnuts can also help you sleep as they contain tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid. They may help you fall asleep quicker because they contain melatonin. Pistachio nuts can also aid sleep as they contain B6 which assists with making melatonin and serotonin.
Ironically, the bowl of oatmeal which many people have for breakfast – laden with nuts and fruit and maybe a tablespoon of honey – is almost the perfect meal for putting you to sleep at night. Oatmeal itself contains melatonin (the “sleep hormone”) and raises your insulin levels, putting you into a tired state. Cherries contain melatonin, as do walnuts, while honey is rich in glucose and also promotes sleep.
In the olden days people would sip on warm milk to help make them sleepy. Most dairy products will do the trick as they contain calcium that helps make melatonin, a hormone which may make you feel sleepy. Calcium also helps regulate muscle movements.
Perhaps not the appealing thing to eat before bed, but certain types of fish such as halibut, tuna and salmon contain lots of B6. Your body needs B6 to make melatonin, a hormone which could help you sleep. Fish is also rich in the amino acid tryptophan which has been shown to promote sleepiness and reduce the time needed to fall asleep. Fish such as cod, tuna, and halibut have the highest levels of tryptophan.
Green leafy veg
Believe it or not, green leafy veg can make you feel tired. Spinach is rich in a variety of nutrients, including calcium. Calcium has been shown to have a significant impact on your body’s ability to produce melatonin (the hormone associated with keeping your daily rhythm in order).
Rice, but specifically Jasmine rice which has a high-glycaemic index can lessen the time it takes for you to fall asleep, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Carbs that are easy to digest such as potatoes and bread around four hours prior to bedtime can help you sleep.
Calming tea blends
Stock up on some calming tea blends, or make some yourself and they will help you to feel sleepy at night. Go for ingredients such as lavender, chamomile and spearmint. Apparently passion fruit tea is also a good choice, as it has chemicals that act on your nervous system to make you feel sleepy.
Whole grain toast with almond butter
Both whole grain toast and almond butter contain good quantities of magnesium, which studies have shown to have a significant impact on reducing the symptoms of insomnia and promoting restful sleep. Additionally, whole grain bread is high in carbs (with around 12g carbs per slice), which promote the release of serotonin, raise blood insulin levels, and encourage a restful night’s sleep.
Lemon Balm and Valerian
These two herbs, when combined, have been shown to have a significant effect on reducing sleep disorders. The herbs may be taken as a supplement, or brewed together into a tea.
Honey is rich in glucose which signals the body to cease production of the amino acid orexin (a hormone which prevents sleepiness). A tablespoon of honey before bed should be enough to help you drift off for the night.
A good fruit salad before bed will be both light and delicious, as well as containing the right combination of nutrients to see you swiftly off to the land of nod. Your evening fruit salad should include some of the following, and should be eaten about an hour before bed:
Kiwi fruit – studies have demonstrated that kiwi fruit not only promotes more restful sleep, but also makes falling asleep and waking up easier.
Cherries – rich in melatonin, shown to aid restful sleep.
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