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best foods that help you sleep

We all know that sleep is very important for good health, but unfortunately, there are so many people who suffer from insomnia, which disrupts their life and health.

However, there are many things you can do to improve your sleep. And among these is to choose foods that help you sleep better.

So before you reach out for that Ambien, look at the food you eat regularly. Food does so much for our health including its effect on how we sleep as well.

Are the foods you eat optimal for sleep? Do the foods you choose to eat especially those two hours before bed have the nutrients and compounds that are known to promote sleep?

Perhaps you have been told to drink milk before bed to combat insomnia, or maybe you know about the expected sleepiness after indulging in Thanksgiving Turkey.

You see many foods that promote sleep contain proteins, enzymes, and hormones that contribute to sleepiness. These include nutrients and compounds such as tryptophan, melatonin, calcium, magnesium, and L theanine.

So in this post, we are going to take a close look at the best foods to help you sleep better.

Nuts

best foods for sleep

Nuts are superfoods and great for promoting a good night’s sleep. Have a handful of almonds, walnuts, or cashews before bed to improve your sleep. Nuts are great sources of melatonin the sleep-regulating hormone.

In addition, almonds and walnuts also contain magnesium, potassium, omega 3 fatty acids, healthy carbs, and fiber as well.

While magnesium and potassium help you relax, carbs are used to make serotonin, and omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation so your brain and nerves work as they should for better sleep.

Lowering inflammation also eliminates aches and pains and discomforts so you can sleep.

And, magnesium specifically is known to promote sleep. Research studies have examined the role of magnesium in sleep and found that magnesium lowers the stress and alertness hormone cortisol, but also enhances the effect of GABA helping you feel relaxed.

And of course, all that helps you ease off to sleep and stay asleep through the night.

 

fatty fish

Eating fatty fish 2 to three times a week has many health benefits, and it turns out also improves sleep. Fatty fish contain omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which promote sleep.

Omega 3 fatty acids maintain brain structures and enhance nerve cell activity to keep the brain healthy. And of course, a healthy brain allows for better sleep regulation.

Also, according to research,  vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids also help with serotonin production and function.

And that means they can ease depression and anxiety helping your mind to relax enough to sleep.

Kiwi

food for sleep

This exotic-looking fruit is tiny but mighty and a great bedtime snack. Kiwi is a good source of melatonin, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and antioxidants including flavonoids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids.

Magnesium, calcium promote nerve and muscle relaxation while melatonin helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Tart cherries

Tart cherries have been praised for their ability to promote sleep for ages and are a great before-bed snack because they contain melatonin.

In fact, studies have shown tart cherries contain above-average levels of melatonin which is good to help you fall asleep faster sleep deeper and longer.

In fact, this study found that those who drink a glass of tart cherry juice before bed slept better and had better sleep quality and quantity.

And apart from having melatonin, tart cherries also contain antioxidants, which fight inflammation and its negative effect on health and sleep.

best foods to eat for better sleep

Warm milk

Mothers in all generations have been right all along. A warm cup of milk helps you sleep better.

The truth is milk is a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D  which help you relax enough to fall asleep. Milk also contains tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin.

And the calcium in milk helps your nerves and muscles to relax, eases stress so you fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

Besides, a warm cup of milk is pretty soothing and comforting, giving you warm fuzzies that induce sleep.

Poultry

Eating turkey and chicken provides you with tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted to serotonin and then melatonin.

And eating protein also helps you feel full and gives you a lulling effect so you fall asleep easily.

 

Sweet potatoes

Leave out the sugar to make your sweet potatoes so much healthier. These delicious tubers are a great source of potassium and magnesium as well as carbs and fiber.  This combo is perfect for a good night’s sleep.

Healthy carbs and fiber ensure you feel full which is good for sleep. And carbs are used to make serotonin, a soothing sleep-promoting neurotransmitter.

And of course, magnesium and potassium also help to relax you into a deep and restful sleep.

Eggs

Eggs are a good source of vitamin D and vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 plays a role in melatonin synthesis, and studies are finding that healthy vitamin D levels correlate to better sleep.

Collard greens

Collard greens are a great source of calcium and magnesium, both of which contribute to better nerve and muscle function and relax you to sleep.

So include collards for a side for dinner often and you will enjoy better sleep.

Bananas

best foods for sleep

Reaching for bananas as a bedtime snack is a good idea to promote good sleep. Bananas are a good source of healthy carbohydrates which induce sleep.

Furthermore, bananas also contain magnesium and potassium mineral that relaxes you enough to help you sleep as well as the amino acid tryptophan.

Magnesium also keeps your heart healthy so you have good blood circulation throughout the body keeping your organs including the brain working properly. Eat a banana for a bedtime snack and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Figs

Figs are a delicious fiber and nutrition-packed fruit. They contain magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. These are minerals elements that are key to good sleep.

Calcium, magnesium, and potassium, help with muscle contraction and relaxation, and when not at optimal levels you may have problems such as restless legs, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.

And optimal level keeps your muscles relaxed so you rest well. Magnesium is important to nerve function and relaxing your nerves so you can easily fall asleep and stay asleep.

So for a night snack choose some delicious figs.

And there you have it! These are among the best foods that help you sleep better at night.

What other foods do you know of that help you sleep better at night? What do you like to eat to help you sleep?

Also read:

How to sleep better at night

14 best foods for anxiety

Simple nighttime routine for anxiety