Eating—and drinking—for better sleep means more than just avoiding caffeine and heavy, heartburn-inducing foods at night. Certain foods and beverages could actually help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Here are some things to put on your grocery list for more restful nights.
Skip the white bread, refined pasta, and sugary, baked goods, which may reduce serotonin levels and impair sleep. Instead, choose stick-to-your-ribs whole grains for your bedtime snack: Popcorn, oatmeal, or whole-wheat crackers with nut butter are all good choices.
A Handful of Nuts
Nuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats. And almonds and walnuts, specifically, contain melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Eating them can increase your blood levels of the hormone, helping you sleep more soundly.
Foods that are high in lean protein, like cottage cheese, also pack the amino acid tryptophan, which may increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a brain chemical and low levels of it can contribute to insomnia. To sweeten it up, top the cottage cheese with raspberries, which are rich sources of melatonin.
A Cup of Bedtime Tea
A nightly cup of tea (sans caffeine, of course) can be a perfect relaxing ritual. Chamomile, ginger, and peppermint are calming choices for bedtime.
Scientifically, there may be some link between the tryptophan and melatonin content of milk and improved sleep. But perhaps more powerful is the psychological link between warm milk and bedtime as a child. Just like hot tea, a warm drink of milk can provide the perfect soothing backdrop for a relaxing bedtime routine.
Certain fruits that contain melatonin may help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. For instance, tart cherry juice and whole tart cherries contain a lot of melatonin, and bananas, pineapple, and oranges are also sources. If you have insomnia, eating two kiwis before bed can increase your sleep duration by an hour over the course of a month. Other fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants (like berries, prunes, raisins, and plums) may have a similar effect by helping to counteract the oxidative stress caused by a sleep disorder.
The right head support can greatly improve how comfortable you feel in bed.Learn more about how these medical devices can make a big difference in nighttime comfort for people with breathing issues.Is pain keeping you awake? Find out why pain affects sleep and what you can do to sleep better.Nearly one-quarter of all workers have shifts that are not during the daytime, and more than two-thirds of these workers…Have you ever wanted to know what happens to your body during menstruation? The latest infographic from the National Sleep…The Electronics and Sleep infographic highlights how technology affects the modern family and how parents can help design a sleep…Orexin receptor antagonists: A new class of sleeping pill Find out more about orexin, and a new type of sleep…You don’t have to struggle with sleepless nights. Help is available! There are treatment options for insomnia, ranging from behavioral…Great news: more than three-fourths (76%) of those surveyed say that they had a good night’s sleep at least a…Having a normal sleep schedule—meaning you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day—can help your…