Nighttime Snacking: Foods to Help You Sleep Better
After a long day, there’s no better feeling than slipping into bed and going down for a good night’s sleep. For many though, the process isn’t quite so simple, and the constant tossing and turning that interrupts not only the process of falling asleep, but staying asleep, can be exhausting.
As it turns out, the right bedtime snack could mean the difference between effortlessly dozing off into dreamland and staying up for hours on end dreaming about dozing off into dreamland.
Read on to see some great sleep-inducing foods that you can munch on before bed to sleep better and ensure you are always well-rested to tackle what each day has in store!
Bananas are one of the best foods for inducing sleep for a number of reasons. For starters, bananas are a great source of magnesium, which research has shown plays an important role in reducing insomnia and improving sleep quality. Bananas also provide your body with a good dose of potassium, which is a natural muscle relaxer, along with magnesium. On top of that, bananas also contain tryptophan, a compound that helps your brain produce a chemical called melatonin, which plays an important role in calming you down and regulating sleep.
Honey is full of natural sugar in the form of glucose. When consumed, the glucose in honey can cause a decrease in your brain’s production of orexin, which is a chemical that causes alertness. As a result, the reduced levels of orexin in the body help you grow more tired and are likely to contribute to a deeper sleep.
Milk’s calcium and tryptophan contents are essential to its role as a sleep-inducing food, particularly in how the two work together to regulate sleep. Calcium is a key component when it comes to facilitating the process by which the brain converts tryptophan into melatonin, the chemical that leads to a slowing down of nerve processes and relaxation of the mind and body, all of which contributes to better sleep. Try warming up your glass of milk for an added comforting effect, which is sure to help ease you into a peaceful sleep, as well.
Another strong source of magnesium and tryptophan, almonds are like milk and bananas in their ability to calm your system down, encourage muscle relaxation, and increase your brain’s production of sleep-inducing chemicals like melatonin.
Cherries serve as a good natural source of the melatonin, making them especially beneficial when it comes to inducing sleep. Melatonin that occurs naturally in the body is already regulated throughout the day, with higher levels being triggered by lower levels of light. In other words, your body’s natural melatonin levels are highest at night, which is why this is the time we are usually the most tired. However, when this isn’t enough and you find yourself struggling to doze off, the extra dose of melatonin from cherries can definitely help you get to bed.
Passion fruit is one of those foods you may not have in your kitchen regularly and that you may not consume too often, if ever, but it can be amazing when it comes to helping induce sleep. The fruit is high in minerals like potassium, and it can have an extremely calming effect on the body and nervous system. This relaxing effect essentially makes it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep until the next morning.
How do you feel about using foods like this as natural sleep inducers? Will you try snacking on one of these foods next time you can’t get to sleep? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi