Sleep is essential for good health but it doesn’t come easily to everyone. Insomnia, late night work, stress… many reasons can cause sleeping issues. But you can help it!
“Although the research is a bit spotty when it comes to which foods help or harm sleep, anecdotal evidence does suggest that certain items consumed right before bedtime are more likely to be “sleep promoters” while others may be “sleep stealers,” says Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the National Sleep Foundation.”
Let’s see what are the best foods to eat before bed and how they help your sleep:
The Main Dinner Components
Build in your dinner any one of these: Lobster or Prawns, Turkey, Hummus or anything with chickpeas, Walnut or some Milk. The miracle component is called tryptophan.
Tryptophan is a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the “body clock” hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycles.
(Check out our Lemon & Prawn Spaghetti recipe)
To go for fish is always a good idea. Tuna, Halibut and Salmon are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin. Other foods high in B6 include Raw garlic and Pistachio nuts.
(Check out our Maple Salmon recipe)
Sweet Potatoes not only provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium: Potatoes, Papaya, Lima Beans.
Choose The Right Side
Green leafy vegetables like kale are loaded with calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. Spinach and mustard greens are other good options.
(Check out our Kale Chips recipe)
Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties and affects the brain similarly to opium.
Complex (good) Carbohydrates
Fortified cereal, Quinoa, Barley and Buckwheat are excellent choices.
Snack On These
Bananas and Almonds help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium.
Snack on Cherries: they are one of the few natural foods that contain melatonin. Keep some Tart Cherry Juice in the fridge (but forget all that sugar, use a little honey instead).
The Last Resort
The root of the Valerian plant has been shown in some studies to speed the onset of sleep and improve sleep quality. Motherwort, Chamomile and Catnip brews will help make you drowsy as well.
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