Good sleep is important to keep your body healthy and prevent diseases. However, one in three adults actually don’t get proper sleep, and this can impair brain functions, impede concentration, and delay the processing of memories. Nowadays there are lots of techniques or gadgets to help us fall asleep soundly such as glow lights or headphones, or advancements in sleep systems like the Biorhythm sleep technology.
While these can be a great help, you also have to watch what you eat as it can affect your sleep. Here are some common foods you can take before bed:
6 Types of Food to Help You Sleep Well
Chamomile tea is one of the well-known sleep remedies. The chamomile herb features calming effects not just on your body, but your brain as well. A warm cup of tea before bed can help you achieve restful sleep.
It has unique properties that help improve the quality of your sleep. It has apigenin, an antioxidant that helps promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. It can also help lower the risk of developing depression, which is often linked with difficulty in sleeping. It’s a healthier way to fall asleep compared to taking medications or alcohol.
Honey helps you sleep better due to its glucose content which lowers your orexin levels, a type of neurotransmitter that raises your alertness. A teaspoon of raw honey before sleeping also helps restock the liver with glycogen, which helps us sleep through the night without food. The natural sugars in honey help carry tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid, through the bloodstream and into the brain.
It also helps release melatonin, a hormone that causes your body to restore itself during sleep. It happens when sugars spike insulin levels, releasing tryptophan that becomes serotonin, which becomes melatonin. You can enjoy a teaspoon of honey in a cup of tea, on a cookie, or straight off the spoon.
Bananas are rich in potassium that helps us achieve a night of deep sleep. They’re also considered as nature’s sedative as they have both tryptophan and magnesium. Having a banana before bedtime will help you sleep and also alleviate hunger before bedtime. Aside from having vitamins and minerals that improves sleep quality, bananas also help reduce stress and anxiety and alleviate muscle cramps.
Vitamin B6 in bananas converts tryptophan to serotonin, and melatonin regulates the body’s internal clock to help you feel sleepy in the evening. It can be difficult to sleep without proper levels of melatonin. Eating a banana ensures that your body has what it needs to fall asleep naturally.
For a more relaxing sleep, pair your banana with a glass of warm milk. They’re both rich in carbohydrates that promote sleep, and banana and milk is more effective than a glass of wine.
Dairy is a natural source of tryptophan amino acid that induces sleep. Warm milk is traditionally enjoyed before going to sleep as it provides a calming effect. Some may prefer it warm or cold, but there’s no clear evidence that indicates the advantage of either method. There are no studies yet that milk temperature has a distinct effect on sleep.
However, drinking a warm beverage during the evening is a common practice to stimulate relaxation and alleviate anxiety. Warm liquids have a calming effect on your nervous system which still depends on the individual.
A handful of nuts is a great snack that helps improve serotonin levels in the brain. They’re also a good source of magnesium and tryptophan. Pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds contain high levels of tryptophan. Pistachios, for instance, are rich in melatonin that helps reset the body clock and lower the risk of insomnia.
Almonds contain high amounts of both melatonin and magnesium that help in a good night’s sleep. They have been shown to improve insomnia, especially in older people. You can also try almond butter that’s full of protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
Grapes have naturally-occuring melatonin. Keep them in the fridge for a cool summer snack and quick remedy to help you sleep. Instead of eating a sugary treat, try grapes instead. You can also make a peanut butter sandwich with grapes instead of jelly.
Everyone needs a good amount of sleep regardless of age. However, we all might not be able to sleep properly at night, and these foods contain compounds that help improve our sleep cycle. Remember that not enough sleep can affect your health, so try munching on these foods before bed to see improvements in your sleep cycle.