What’s for dinner? Well, that question actually has a connection to how we sleep. What we eat does have a connection to keeping away from those nights of tossing and turning. Diets high in refined sugar can cause indigestion and trigger insulin surges that interfere with the hormones that affect sleep. So what to do? Trying a diet of low-fat and high-fiber foods could help. And, when you eat is as important as what you eat for a peaceful night. Eating late at night forces your body and brain to be digesting instead of resting. Avoid eating 3 hours before you go to bed.
Take a look at these tasty and nutritious options to help you get the 7-8 hours of sleep that are so critical to your health:
Bananas are loaded with potassium and magnesium, which both help to relax your muscles to give you a peaceful night’s sleep. Bananas also have the added benefit of helping to lower your blood pressure while you sleep.
The sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan, like in turkey, raises melatonin and serotonin levels which help promote stable sleep. Consider adding chia seeds to your salads, yogurt, smoothies and other foods. With more than twice the tryptophan of turkey, you’ll need just 2 ounces of chia seeds to help you snooze.
Cheese and Crackers
Cheese and 100% whole grain crackers are one of the best bedtime-snack options. The whole grains help produce serotonin. Cheese, like other dairy products, contains tryptophan. Together, it’s a winning combination.
Tart cherry juice is rich in melatonin, the sleep hormone that regulates and resets your internal clock. Drink an 8 oz. glass in the morning and 2 hours before bed for sweet dreams. To get the full benefit, drink this juice at a scheduled time every day.
Popcorn with parmesan cheese provides a delicious combination of carbohydrates and dairy. Dairy has tryptophan in it, which is a precursor to a sleep-inducing hormone, and the carbohydrates in the popcorn help your brain absorb tryptophan better.
Another great bedtime snack are sunflower seeds. Full of the amino acid tryptophan, sunflower seeds can help you manage stress and will stimulate the chemicals in your brain that get you to doze off.
A turkey burger with spinach on a whole wheat bun is the perfect meal to provide restful sleep. Once again it’s the tryptophan in turkey that brings the benefits. Tryptophan not only affects melatonin, but it also creates serotonin, which helps to stabilize sleep. Adding spinach brings the needed iron known to help relieve the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome.
Wheat germ sprinkled on yogurt or cereal provides you a boost of vitamin B6. Used in sleep aids Vitamin B6 helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. Try 1 teaspoon of wheat germ for more restful sleep.
The natural compounds in valerian tea have been used as a sedative and may help reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. Add some honey as the glucose in honey will help you relax as you are trying to fall asleep; it affects orexin, a neurotransmitter that has been linked to alertness.
The material on this website is provided for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.