Good sleep is vital for your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least …
Good sleep is vital for your health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Sleeping well is an important part of good health. It can improve memory, improve mood, and regulate appetite. It can also restore your vital organs like your heart; while you sleep, your body works to repair muscles, organs, and other cells. Studies have linked poor sleep to an increased risk of heart disease and weight gain.
There are many habits that improve the quality of our sleep, including avoiding electronic devices such as smartphones and televisions an hour or so before bed, following a consistent sleep schedule, keeping your bedroom dark (I love them blackout blinds) and sleeping at a cool and comfortable temperature. Creating soothing rituals like taking a hot bath also helps us prepare for bed.
Did you know, however, that what you eat can interfere with your sleep? For example, it’s important to avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed.
In addition, some foods contain natural substances that can promote a good night’s sleep. While research on sleep-promoting foods is inconclusive, here are six foods you can keep in your kitchen that are believed to help you fall asleep.
While we don’t know how much these foods can help you, they are healthy. You have nothing to lose by trying them to induce drowsiness.
This study from Taipei Medical University found that people who ate two kiwis an hour before bed fell asleep faster and slept longer and more efficiently.
The high levels of antioxidants – kiwis are a good source of antioxidant vitamins C and E – along with the content of vitamin B folate may explain the kiwi fruit’s sleep-promoting mechanism. Folate deficiency has been linked to insomnia.
The natural melatonin and phytonutrient content of tart cherries has been linked to their sleep benefits. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle and signals the body that it’s time to go to bed.
Tart cherries also contain anti-inflammatory drugs, which can help improve the quality of sleep. In this study, people who drank ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of tart cherry juice for a week slept about 40 minutes more each night than those who drank a placebo.
In another study, people with insomnia who started drinking tart cherry juice got more than an hour longer sleep each night.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, which help reduce hunger levels, and magnesium, which helps your muscles relax.
Almonds and walnuts, in particular, contain melatonin. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid and a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can be converted to melatonin.
Fish like salmon and tuna are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. These nutrients can help regulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter made from the amino acid tryptophan, which helps regulate the sleep, mood and other functions.
Oily fish are also rich in protein, which promotes sleep. Interestingly, studies show that the Mediterranean diet, which tends to include more fish instead of steak, has been linked to better quality of sleep in older people.
The heat of a hot drink can soothe you and make you want to sleep. The following herbal teas can help you relax at the end of the day: tea with chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower and hops.
Passionflower tea contains several flavonoids, which can help promote sleep time. In this study, drinking chamomile tea (my favorite!) Was associated with short-term sleep benefits and improved mood in postpartum women.
If you’ve ever read anything about sleepy foods, you’ve probably heard of this one. Scientifically, there may be a link between the melatonin and tryptophan content in hot milk and improved sleep.
But perhaps more powerful is the psychological connection between hot milk and bedtime as a child. The routine of drinking a glass of warm milk before bed can bring back childhood memories, which can help us relax. Whatever the reason, drinking warm milk before bed can help.
If you’re like me and don’t like drinking hot milk alone, try this concoction I wrote about in my book “Finally full, finally thin”. Moon milk, or hot milk spiced with natural flavors like soothing herbs, spices, or fruit, not only tastes better than plain milk, but if you add a sleeping pill, it can work twice as much. Try adding tangy cherry juice to hot milk for a tastier alternative to hot milk.
6 foods and drinks that can help sleep:
– Cherry pie.
– Nuts and seeds.
– Oily fish.
– Herbal tea.
– Hot milk.
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6 foods for better sleep originally appeared on usnews.com