The Best Foods to Help You Sleep
Not being able to go to sleep is a frustrating feeling, especially if you know you have to get up early the next morning because you have work or other responsibilities. If you don’t want to take sleeping pills, or you’ve tried them and they just don’t work, you do have other options. Many of these alternatives are all-natural ways to fall asleep faster, but did you know there are also foods you can eat that help you do the very same thing?
Nature is amazing, and one of the ways it proves that to us is by making foods that already have ingredients in them to help you sleep. These are naturally nutritious foods that most people love anyway, so if you’re curious about the best food for sleep, below are some foods that you should definitely consider.
Whole Grain Toast
Whole grain toast is a complex carb that can help you control your blood sugar, and if you spread some delicious nut butter on it, the taste is through the roof. Complex carbs not only boost sleep but are also very healthy for you, and they encourage sleep because they are thought to boost both serotonin and tryptophan. If you’re having trouble sleeping, fix yourself a delicious piece of whole grain toast an hour or two before you go to bed, and it should help.
While chocolate does have a small amount of caffeine in it, it also contains serotonin, which is a natural relaxer. If your serotonin or melatonin levels are too low, you can have trouble going to sleep and staying asleep, but eating foods that contain these hormones can put more of them into your system and help you sleep much better.
This one is no surprise, and even though science is not completely sure why this tea works to help put people to sleep, the fact is that it does work. Not only that, it has a great taste and is naturally caffeine-free. In fact, since the beginning of time, it seems that people have been drinking chamomile tea whenever they can’t fall asleep, and it’s worked extremely well this whole time. You can drink it plain or just add a little honey to it, and the rest is history.
Bananas and Almonds
If you need to improve your sleep patterns, try eating a banana and a handful of almonds an hour or two before you go to bed. The protein in the almonds will help control hunger pains and the tryptophan helps make you sleepy. The banana contains not only potassium and magnesium, which is healthy for you, but they also help relax the muscles and they contain tryptophan as well. It’s really the perfect combination for those who are trying to fall asleep.
Eating a small bowl of rice can greatly help you fall asleep faster. Why? First of all, the best food to help you sleep normally fills you up, and eating a small bowl of rice can help you feel full. This helps you stay asleep through the night, and it also contains both tryptophan and melatonin, so even a little does a lot to help make you sleepy enough to say nighty-night to everyone. Brown rice is, of course, healthier for you, but white rice will do in a pinch.
Drinking a glass of tart cherry juice may help you fall asleep much faster, but it can’t be just any type of cherry juice. It has to be the tart kind, and it works because it has melatonin in it. You can find tart cherry juice in most grocery stores and health food stores, and even a small glass of it will do you a lot of good. If you don’t like the taste of the juice by itself, try adding a little sparkling water to it to help it go down a little better.
Dark, Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are chock full of magnesium and folate, making them a very healthy food, but they have also been proven to help people fall asleep faster. Just steam a small amount of them, add a sprinkle of sea salt and some lemon juice, and you have a delicious bedtime snack. You can also eat them at supper time because consuming foods like this within four hours of bedtime can help you sleep much better at night.
Because of the beans used in hummus, this is a great way to regulate blood sugar, but hummus also contains tryptophan to help you get sleepy so that sleep doesn’t elude you. To make it even healthier, try eating it with some cut-up veggies instead of crackers. It makes a delicious bedtime snack and helps you sleep much better.
If you can’t sleep, eating a small amount of protein a few hours before bedtime can help because it puts a small amount of food in your tummy to keep you full, which in and of itself can aid in sleep. Protein also helps stabilize your blood sugar, which goes a long way in helping you stay asleep throughout the night. After all, uninterrupted sleep is always better for you.
If you can’t sleep, you can try baking half of a sweet potato and eating that an hour or so before you go to bed. It contains potassium, which is a natural muscle relaxant, and it is a complex carb, which helps keep you feeling full so you can get to sleep and stay asleep. Plus, it tastes absolutely yummy sprinkled with a little cinnamon and some vegan butter.
An odd-looking fruit, the kiwi is a sweet fruit that many people consider an important part of their diet. Thanks to the amounts of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate your sleep cycle, it is also a great food to eat to help you fall asleep and stay asleep much better. In one study, people who ate kiwi before going to bed fell asleep an average of 42% faster than those who ate nothing.
Why These Foods Work
All of these foods contain natural ingredients that make you sleepy or increase your levels of hormones such as melatonin and serotonin, all of which help put you to sleep and keep you asleep for a long time so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. The best food for a good night sleep is often something we love to eat anyway, so it shouldn’t be a chore to eat one of these foods to help you get to sleep.