Although I know that eating isn’t always the answer, I turn to food for a lot of things. I love food and honestly can’t imagine a life where I don’t appreciate food. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and found that there were so many things that affected sleep. Food being one of them. Sleep is super important and I’ve written about some ways to get true beauty sleep as well. Eating fiber is actually associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep; the more you eat, the better you sleep (study found in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine). I found this super interesting and wanted to know if there were other foods to eat for better sleep.
5 Best Foods to Eat for Better Sleep
Easy to carry around with you and fairly cheap, this fruit can pack a punch! Leg cramps or muscle spasms that strike in the middle of the night and they’re not just annoying. The kick or sudden movement can actually cause your heart rate to go up and make it difficult to fall back asleep. By getting potassium regularly (e.g. from bananas) you can help prevent muscles from seizing up. Bananas also contain magnesium which can help the potassium enter your muscle cells more easily.
Although some people find oatmeal boring, I love the versatility of it! As if you need another reason to love carbs: they help boost your levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps to promote feelings of calm and plays a role in the production of melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep!). By adding more high-fiber to your diet, complex carbohydrates (like oats) can help promote deeper, more restful sleep than low-fiber diets. Careful what you add to your oatmeal too since sugary carbs also cause more nighttime wake-ups
Your body is actually trying to help you fall asleep each night but might need a bit of help. By choosing what to eat for better sleep, your body may be more relaxed and fall asleep much more quickly. Every night you go to bed your brain pumps out melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates your internal clock, so you feel mellow and drowsy at night. Walnuts are a good source of meltonin and may give your body an extra push it needs towards slumber.
In order to produce the relaxation-boosting hormone serotonin, your brain needs the amino acid tryptophan. Unfortunately your body doesn’t naturally produce tryptophan and you must eat it through food. Cheese is a great snack as it just happens to be a top source for tryptophan. You can even combine cheese with whole wheat crackers for carbohydrates and higher fiber.
Just like cheese, turkey may be a great food to eat before bed due to its high content of protein and tryptophan. Both tryptophan and protein may induce tiredness. When consumed on an empty stomach, tryptophan can lead to serotonin production and more vivid dreams.