When it comes to sleep, we fall into two categories. Either you sleep easily, or you stay up on your phone until 3AM wondering how you’re going to wake up in the morning. It’s important you have a healthy sleep schedule.
Unfortunately, some of us could use some help. Today, we will be talking about the 6 best foods to help you sleep better.
Is it kiwi or rice? Can tart cherries help? Is the rumor about warm milk and sleep true? We will be talking about all of this AND more…
We’re starting this list off on a high note. This popular fruit from New Zealand is grown throughout the world and is amazing for your health. You can get green or gold kiwi. Both are great to put you in a deep sleep!
Various healthy diets call for kiwifruit in your breakfast. This is because it contains several important vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and E, potassium, and folate. But research has shown it’s even better if you opt for it at night, as eating kiwi can improve sleep.
Studies reported that those who had kiwis just an hour before bed fell asleep faster. Not just this, they even slept better and longer. Are you hearing this? Sounds like a kiwi dessert after dinner is the right choice.
So why is kiwi so helpful in putting you to sleep? Could be the high level of antioxidants this yummy fruit has to offer. Kiwi is also your answer to folate deficiencies and low serotonin levels. All of which you need to catch a sound sleep every night.
Time for a kiwi smoothie, am I right? Do you like eating kiwis? What is your favorite way to eat them? Do you like smoothies or fruit salads?
2. Tart Cherries
Craving some tart cherries? How about tart cherry crisp? Are you salivating already? Wait until you hear how awesome it is for your health AND your sleep. You already know tart cherries taste different from the usual sweet cherries. The distinct flavor makes it an interesting choice for various dishes.
Some people prefer to call them sour cherries due to the unique taste. Some popular cherry varieties you can relish in are English Morello, Montmorency, and Richmond. Eat them whole, or as tart cherry juice. The choice is yours. But why are we stressing on tart cherries so much?
Turns out there are several studies that have reported tart cherry juice is great for your sleep. Drinking this juice right before bed can put you to sleep faster.
In fact, in one of the studies, it was found drinking two cups of tart cherry juice per day increases your sleep time and helps you sleep with more efficiency. So why are they so good for your sleep? Because they are rich in a special hormone responsible for regulating your sleep and circadian rhythm. Curious to know the name of this special hormone? Melatonin! It gives you a healthy sleep.
Tart cherries aren’t just loaded with melatonin. They are also rich in antioxidants that increase the overall chances of you catching Z’s.
3. Fatty Fish
Another reason to embrace seafood. Especially fatty fish rich in omega 3! Experts have found concrete evidence of fatty fish being good for your sleep.
This particular study concluded that eating salmon three times per week made people sleep better overall. It also improved their mood during the day. So why is fatty fish so good for your sleep? The answer is in an important nutrient… Vitamin B6. Your body needs this vitamin to make melatonin- the sleep hormone.
Your body makes this sleep hormone in the dark. Without melatonin, you are basically a sleepless zombie! The catch is that fatty fish is rich in Vitamin B6. Do you get where we’re going with this? All of a sudden tuna, salmon, and halibut look a lot better.
These fishes have the most B6. If you’ve been having sleepless nights, maybe try a tuna sandwich or a salmon salad for dinner. Give your body a head start to make more melatonin. This will give you a good night’s sleep. There is another reason we favor fatty fish for sleep.
Experts believe vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids present in fatty fish also have a huge role to play. Both of these essential nutrients help your body regulate serotonin. Low serotonin levels are responsible for insomnia and depression. Need fish inspirations? Honey garlic salmon with grilled asparagus sounds like an awesome dining option.
You can also go with garlic butter baked salmon if you aren’t counting calories!
There has been a lot of confusion in the past overeating a carbohydrate-rich dinner. Several studies gave overall mixed results. Up until it became clear that different types of carbs produced different sleep results. There is solid proof that eating rice for dinner improves sleep.
For instance, a study conducted in Japan reported that eating rice regularly promotes better sleep. In fact, it’s much better than the sleep you get after eating bread or noodles.
Experts have already proven earlier that when you eat high glycemic food a few hours before your bedtime, you are able to fall asleep easily. But don’t think that eating rice gives you a pass to start snacking on sodas and ice creams. Both of them are responsible for giving you sleepless nights. Even worse, disturbed sleep.
Guess what this means? Not all carbohydrates have the same effect on sleep. Similarly, it’s not necessary that all high glycemic index foods like rice would put you to sleep early. Different carbohydrates have different effects on your sleeping patterns. Rice is so far your best bet.
There is another factor impacting the effectiveness of carbohydrates on sleep. It actually matters what you eat with the rice. Make sure you’re eating something high in protein along with white rice. This is because protein has a sleep-promoting amino acid called tryptophan.
Carbohydrates make it easier for tryptophan to reach the brain. So what do you pair with your bowl of hot rice? How about slow-roasted delicious turkey? Or maybe chicken curry? Sounds like a delicious dinner option with tons of protein and carbohydrates to make you sleep better.
5. Warm and Malted Milk
Several cultures suggest that you drink warm milk at night. How about a glass of warm milk with a little turmeric and honey right before bedtime? This is a common home remedy for sleepless nights.
But why is milk so important in the first place? Because it contains not one or two but FOUR sleep-promoting compounds. Calcium, vitamin D, melatonin, and tryptophan! It’s not just the chemical part of milk putting you to sleep. There is also the nostalgic effect playing an important role in this.
Most people drank milk before bedtime as kids. Because it becomes a relaxing nighttime ritual. If you dislike the idea of warm milk, there is another option. You can add the specially formulated powder to your milk. This is malted milk, and it is also great for putting you to sleep. This formulated powder is made from malted wheat, wheat flour, and malted barley. Sugar is added to it for taste, along with an assortment of vitamins.
There have been studies showing malted milk to be effective in reducing sleep interruptions. Just drink it right before bed. Experts believe it’s the B and D vitamins in malted milk that help you sleep better.
Not to mention the melatonin in milk. It adds to the effect. And here is a fun little fact you will be surprised to know. There have been studies on the effect of milking cows at night. It has been found their milk has more melatonin, which makes it a great natural source to sneak more sleepy hormones into your dinner.
Can’t sleep? Snack on a couple almonds maybe. You can eat it raw or add it to your dessert. Turns out almonds have high doses of melatonin. And by now you know what a wonderful effect it has on your sleep cycle.
Just one ounce of almonds contains 76 milligrams of calcium and 77 milligrams of magnesium. Both these minerals promote muscle relaxation.
And do you know what this means? Better sleep! Will you be including any of these foods on your dinner list? Do you have a healthy sleep cycle? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!