Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Well, there are many foods that help you sleep. Eating these foods might help you with your problem. Plus, they are very healthy!
Foods that help you sleep
Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Do you feel like an after-dinner snack? Before you go and grab a cookie, you may want to think twice. Did you know that there are much better foods that help you sleep?
Why is sleep so important?
Although we have been hearing a lot about the negative impacts of screens on our sleep, people have been pushing back their bed times ever since the invention of the light bulb. Unlike our ancestors, however, we have an abundance of choice in entertainment and distractions that they could only dream of. As a result, we have not been getting the same quality of shut-eye.
Here are a few reasons why the quality of your sleep matters:
- Poor quality sleep is linked to weight gain. People who reported poor sleep quality were found to be at increased risk for obesity. Children and adults with shorter sleep durations were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese.
- Good sleep is linked to a better concentration and productivity.
It has been shown that good sleep improves problem-solving skills and memory performance whereas sleep deprivation has a negative impact on the same.
- Sleep is linked to type 2 diabetes.
Sleeping only 4 hours per night for 6 days in a row caused symptoms of pre-diabetes, while those symptoms were resolved after 1 week of longer sleep. Sleeping less than 6 hours per night increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Bad sleep is linked to depression.
All kinds of mental health issues are linked to a low quality of sleep and sleeping disorders. 90% of patients with depression have complaints about their quality of sleep. People with sleeping disorders report a significantly higher rate of depression than those without.
- Good sleep is linked to a better immune function.
People who sleep more than 8 hours a day are less likely to develop a cold than those who sleep less than 8 hours. If you are prone to frequent colds, you should make sure to get 8 hours of sleep.
Foods that help you sleep
Overall, you would want to look for things like tryptophan foods, serotonin foods, Vitamin B6 foods and nutrients like potassium and magnesium which help the production of serotonin. But what do all these things do?
Serotonin regulates your sleep but is also responsible for driving your happy feelings.
Melatonin is a sleep-promoting hormone.
Tryptophan (or L-tryptophan) acts as a natural mood regulator. It helps the production of serotonin and melatonin while reducing depression & anxiety.
Magnesium benefits the body in so many ways that it deserves its own article, but to summarize it supports the neurotransmitters that help calm the body and mind.
Vitamin B6 can be considered a middleman, of sorts. It aids the metabolism of Tryptophan and converts it into things like niacin, serotonin and Vitamin B3. A deficiency in vitamin B6 can potentially disturb your sleep pattern.
This is, of course, an overall generalization of things as they do a lot more, but elements highly influence your quality of sleep. So, in which foods can you find them?
Fruits & Vegetables
Cherries are an example of foods that help you fall asleep. They naturally contain high levels of melatonin that makes you sleepy.
Rich in potassium and magnesium, bananas promote muscle relaxation. They are also a good source of vitamin B6 which aids melatonin production.
You can also consume these fruits in the form of juice, but make sure they are 100% juice without any added sugars or preservatives!
Spinach is an excellent source of magnesium, and also provides a sizeable amount of other sleep-nutrients like potassium and calcium
Soybeans contain off-the-chart concentrations of tryptophan, thus giving your body more than enough raw material to work with.
Another example of foods that help you sleep is walnuts, as they are a great source of tryptophan. Walnuts also contain melatonin, which helps you fall asleep even faster.
Almonds are one of the foods for a good sleep. They contain a lot of magnesium, which is a mineral needed for good sleep. When the body’s magnesium levels are too low, it becomes harder to stay asleep.
Fish such as tuna, halibut, and salmon are foods that help you sleep. They contain a lot of vitamin B6 which is necessary for your body to make melatonin and serotonin. Fish are also rich in Omega 3 fats which is another beneficial source of melatonin.
Shrimp and lobster.
Eating shrimp or lobster at dinner is one of the ways to help you sleep. They are a very good source of tryptophan, which may bring an easier sleep.