Ever find yourself lying on your pillow at night, wishing you could sleep?
Well, if you’re tired of counting sheep, trying one of these foods before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster. Here are ten of the best foods that help you sleep. These eats will not only fulfill those late night cravings but also help you get a healthy night’s sleep.
Most of these foods that help you sleep can be eaten as a late night snack or added to your daily diet. Either way, various studies have shown these foods can help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Finally, you can stop counting sheep and start getting sleep.
If you’re the type that reaches for a banana each morning to get your day started, maybe also consider munching on one at night. Bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, which allow your body’s muscles to relax.
Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body to produce serotonin that aids your body to regulate sleep. Tryptophan is commonly found in turkey, which is why you feel like a nap after eating Thanksgiving dinner. So, next time you get the late night munchies, reach for that banana. Your body will thank you for this perfect bedtime snack!
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is one of the most common herbal teas in households around the world, and for good reason. For years, people have used chamomile to settle upset stomachs and calm anxiety. When it comes to sleep, chamomile tea is the perfect way to mellow out after a stressful day.
To make the dreamy effects of chamomile more effective, brew a cup just before bed and sip on your cup while doing a calming activity in low light. Turn off the TV, computer and your smartphone and drink your tea while reading, listening to music, or simply sitting quietly and reflecting on your day.
No, we aren’t talking about pasta or bread. But maybe consider eating breakfast for dinner? For example, try a bowl of cereal and milk. This simple snack has some secret ingredients that can help put your body at ease and get you ready for a night of sweet dreams.
Milk, like bananas, contains tryptophan, which helps produce the sleep aid, serotonin. A sugar-free, carb-packed cereal helps your body absorb tryptophan quicker, which will also help you fall asleep faster. Plus, eating 30 minutes to an hour before bed can keep you from getting hungry and help you sleep through the night.
4. Cherry Juice
If you are lacking some much needed shut eye, consider adding cherry juice into your daily routine. Researchers believe that adding two glasses of tart cherry juice into your diet every day can drastically improve your sleeping patterns.
Many of the other foods on this list help your body relax, allowing you to fall asleep easier. Cherry juice, on the other hand, is packed with melatonin, which helps your body stay asleep longer, in addition to tryptophan and serotonin for deeper sleep. This makes cherries a powerful sleep-inducing fruit that will both help you fall asleep, and stay asleep, for a good, peaceful rest.
Chickpeas are a great source of vitamin B6, and, of course, tryptophan. Vitamin B6 helps your body to convert tryptophan into serotonin. If your body isn’t receiving enough B6 on a daily basis, your sleep cycle may be disrupted. You might be wondering how to get chickpeas into your diet, but it’s easier than you’d think!
Chickpeas are a great snack if you’re looking to add some diversity into your diet. You can also eat raw chickpeas by tossing them in a salad, or cooking them up and adding them as a side dish to any meal. Better still, turn to hummus. Hummus is made with chickpeas and it makes a healthy snack or delicious condiment on sandwiches.
You don’t need a whole meal before bed to help you get to sleep. There are a variety of snack foods out there that promote a healthy sleep. Walnuts, for example, are a great way to help your body produce the nutrients it needs to fall and stay asleep.
Walnuts contain melatonin, which helps regulate your sleep patterns. The amount of melatonin that can be found in walnuts is anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5 nanograms. The average adult needs around 1 to 5 grams of melatonin daily to help produce the amount of melatonin that will increase your drowsiness.
7. Oranges or Grapefruits
Vitamin C deficiencies can cause a plethora of issues, including sleep deprivation. The daily amount of vitamin C recommended for adults is around 65 to 90 milligrams per day. Researchers believe that vitamin C deficiencies can cause you to wake up more frequently throughout the night.
While vitamin C can help you stay asleep through the night, it’s also believed to help prevent restless leg syndrome. If you find that you suffer from restless leg syndrome when you’re about to shut your eyes, then consider adding a little bit of vitamin C into your diet. Whether you just want to catch a few extra minutes of uninterrupted sleep, or you struggle with restless leg syndrome, vitamin C might be the solution you need.
8. Peanut Butter
Next time your sweet tooth is craving something after dinner, swap your dessert out for some peanut butter.
Peanut butter is loaded with tryptophan, but also has been known to boost your metabolism, so you can burn more calories while you sleep and through the next morning. For an added benefit, put the peanut butter on half of a whole-wheat bagel to get those sleep-inducing carbs.
Yes, you read that correctly! You can have popcorn before bed to help you sleep.
Popcorn is another great complex carb that will allow your body to release enough serotonin to help you fall asleep. But, stick to a low-carb, unseasoned popcorn to prevent any unwanted stomach aches that could potentially keep you up.
Like chickpeas, most varieties of fish are high in vitamin B6 and Omega 3s. Fatty acids like Omega 3s are believed to help regulate your sleep patterns. They can also improve sleep quality, so you don’t feel groggy first thing in the morning. Additionally, the vitamin B6 in fish will help your body convert tryptophan into serotonin. The serotonin then allows your body to relax and become comfortable enough to fall asleep.
The combination of these nutrients makes fish a healthy meal to have for dinner, with effects that last all the way through the night. But, if you want these benefits without having to eat fish, try fish oil pills.
What Not To Eat Before Bed
We’ve talked about the top 10 best foods that help you sleep. You may be wondering what foods you shouldn’t be eating before bed for a better night’s sleep. Here are a few:
The fat in ice cream makes your body work harder while you’re asleep, and the jump in your blood sugar levels will give you a spike of energy right before you hit your pillow. Both of these things decrease your restful sleep and will not help you fall asleep faster.
Spicy foods are not your friends when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that lying down right after eating spicy food increases the chances of heartburn, which definitely reduces your sleep quality! Additionally, spicy foods elevate your body temperature, which is another factor in not getting a good night’s sleep. No one wants that!
Although we all love an after-dinner cheese board, cheese contains an amino acid which actually makes our brains more alert. Avoiding it is probably the best idea to help you fall asleep faster.
In general, it’s best to avoid heavy meals before bed too. Heavy meals bring a significant chance of heartburn and they also tend to make you lose sleep because your body is focused on digestion.
You might not realize it, but dark chocolate has a fair amount of caffeine in it. Caffeine is definitely not what you want to be eating right before bed, so save the chocolate for the next day.
Food with lots of fat are harder for you body to digest, which can keep you up at night. It’s better to not consume foods rich in fat before bed.
Technically not a food, alcohol is still important to mention. Although you may feel tired after drinking alcohol, it actually keeps your body from going into deep sleep. Avoiding it at bedtime will probably help increase your quality of sleep.
Another drink, the caffeine in coffee makes it a killer of a great night’s sleep. It’s probably best to avoid other drinks with large quantities of caffeine before bed, as these can easily disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and keep you from falling asleep.
If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping, consider the foods in your daily diet to see how they might be impacting your sleep cycle. Keep this list handy when you’re wondering what to eat before bed. Each item list can be eaten individually or mixed together for diverse meals and snacks to add to your diet. Don’t shy away from late night snacks, especially if you can’t sleep. Snack away, and remember to avoid food and drinks high in caffeine, specifically after 3 PM.
Banish bad sleep with these foods to help you sleep better, and while you’re at it check out the Purple™ Bed. This mattress uses the perfect mix of science and comfort to get you the best sleep of your life, no matter what you eat!