University of Southern California Master of Public Health Online
Insomnia is annoying, and this is more so when you want to sleep early and wake up early, or you feel tired after a long day at work and would just like to get some rest. The few minutes that you spend tossing and turning in your bed feel like an eternity. But, there is some hope because there are some kinds of food that are proven to help you sleep fast and well. Instead of rushing to buy sleeping pills that can have severe side effects, you should try out some of the following foods that were advised by Jane of G9SleepTight.
Cherries not only taste amazing but they are also special and this because they are among the few natural foods that contain a substantial amount of melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical that helps control the body’s internal clock. Different studies show that drinking cherry juice before going to bed improves the quality of sleep and duration for adults suffering from insomnia.
Almonds are a favorite snack for many people, and this is not only due to their crunchiness but also because they have an excellent flavor. However, they can also help you sleep better because they contain magnesium which is a muscle relaxing element that also promotes sleep. Crunching on a handful of almond or having a tablespoon of almond butter before bed is an excellent idea.
Oatmeal is a perfect breakfast addition for most people, but it can also be a snack that will help you sleep well. A bowl of it before bed is an effective sleeping aid because it contains magnesium, phosphorous and calcium the nutrients that are famous for supporting sleep. Apart from this, it is also soft, soothing and easy to prepare but make sure that you do not put too much sugar because it can reduce its effectiveness.
A banana before bed will help you sleep well and for longer because it contains potassium and magnesium which are very helpful in relaxing stressed muscles. Bananas also have tryptophan which will convert to melatonin and serotonin the two key calming hormones for the brain. You can peel a ripe banana and have it before bed, or you can make it interesting and tastier by blending it with a cup of soy milk or whole milk for a sweet bedtime smoothie.
5. Hard Boiled Eggs
Failing to eat enough proteins or consuming food that is too high in sugar carbohydrates like cake can prevent you from staying asleep, and you will end up waking at two or three in the morning. Instead, of having sugary foods you should eat a hard-boiled egg that is rich in protein as it will not only make you feel full but also help you sleep for many hours continuously.
6. Cheese and Crackers
There is an old wives’ tale that claims that a glass of warm milk at night will make you very sleepy. It is not just a tale as it is very factual, but it is not just warm milk but any other dairy product including cheese. Just like all the other dairy products, cheese contains calcium, and it helps the brain use the tryptophan that is also in the milk product to produce the slip triggering element melatonin. Apart from this, the calcium will also regulate the movement of muscles and hence relax them. To make the cheese enjoyable to eat, you should pair it with crackers for a soothing bedtime snack.
Most salads are not complete without some lettuce, and this is one of the things that make it a perfect vegetable. Whether you have it as part of your salad or burger, it still tastes amazing. What most people do not know is that it can also help you sleep well, and so it is one of the best foods to have before going to bed. It contains lactucarium an element that has sedative properties and research findings show that it will affect the brain in a similar to opium. You can have it as a bowl of salads or prepare your lettuce by simmering a few leaves if you prefer to have it hot.
8. Fish (Tuna, Salmon, and Halibut)
Certain types of fish and this is more so those that live is salt water like salmon and tuna have a high level of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is an essential element that the body needs to produce the sleep-inducing compounds serotonin and melatonin. Having a small portion of any of these fish or snacking on them before bed is a good way to ensure that you sleep well. Pistachio nuts and garlic also have high levels of B6, and so they are a perfect alternative for vegans or those that do not like fish.
9. White Rice
Rice is one of those foods that will not come into most people’s mind when they think of something that can help them sleep. However, it is a perfect food for any individual that wants to sleep well, and this is because of its high glycemic index. According to an Australian study, eating white rice before bed will slash the time that you take to fall asleep significantly. Another study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also shows that Jasmine rice is more useful because people that eat it tend to fall asleep faster than those that consume other types of rice.
Kales are not most people’s vegetable of choice, but they are perfect for those that want a good night sleep. This plant is very rich in calcium which aids the brain in the utilization of tryptophan to produce the sleep-inducing compound, melatonin. If you do not like kale, or you do not have them at home, you can also have mustard greens or spinach because they are also full of calcium.
There are still many other foods that help you sleep well and for long but there are also others that will keep you awake for many hours, and so it is important to be keen with what you consume. And since you cannot have the same thing every day the best idea is to try out as many sleep aiding foods as possible and come up with those that are the most useful for your body.