There are so many health benefits to getting a good night’s sleep, but a lot of people don’t get enough shut-eye each night. There are lots of tips and tricks out there to help you get to sleep, but did you know you can eat your way to a better night’s sleep with a few tweaks and changes to your diet? Food relates directly to serotonin, a key hormone that — along with Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid — helps promote healthy sleep. Here are a few sleep superfoods to help you get that much needed shut-eye:
Eating carbohydrate-rich suppers can help you fall asleep more quickly at bedtime. High-glycemic-index (GI) jasmine rice seems to be more effective than lower-GI long-grain rice.
Dairy products are well-known calcium-rich foods, but green leafy vegetables, such as kale and collards, also boast healthy doses of calcium. So make sure you eat your greens, because research suggests a lack of calcium can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
This fruit is well-known for being rich in potassium, and is a good source of vitamin B6, essential for production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, which helps regulate sleep, and wake cycles. Bananas have a great deal of potassium which acts as a muscle relaxant, preparing the body for sleep, and are also high in carbohydrate which can help make you sleepy as well.
This popular spread can help curb your appetite come night time to prevent you waking up hungry in the middle of the night. It also contains L-tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you sleepy, and helps to release relaxing serotonin.
Eating tuna, or fish like salmon and halibut, can give you a high amount of vitamin B6 which helps produce melatonin. Fish is also high in tryptophan which can induce sleepiness, as are other lean proteins like turkey and chicken.
Unsaturated fats will not only boost your heart health but also improve your serotonin levels. Examples include peanut butter (read the label to make sure peanuts are the only ingredient) and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios.
The old wives’ tales suggest that warm milk can make you sleepy, but the truth is any dairy product can help. Calcium (found in cheese, yogurt and milk) helps the brain use the tryptophan found in dairy foods to produce sleep-triggering melatonin.
So for your full forty winks, add these sleep superfoods to your diet to help eat your way to successful slumber!