Did you know there are some food and drink choices that actually help you get a better night’s sleep? We know we usually preach that you should stop eating before bed to get good quality sleep, especially heavy and sugar-laden foods, but some foods can actually HELP you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Here are some great food options to enjoy before bed and why they help with sleep:
1. Walnuts, hummus and shrimp
These foods are all excellent sources of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is only taken in through diet. It is the key ingredient our body uses to produce serotonin, a chemical that acts as a calming agent and serves a key role in facilitating sleep. You are probably familiar with tryptophan since it is what is to blame for “post-turkey consumption tiredness” on Thanksgiving!
2. Almonds, sweet potatoes, prunes and whole grains
These foods contain significant levels of magnesium, a mineral your body needs in large amounts. Magnesium is known to help with insomnia and give people a calm, sleepy feeling. It is thought to help decrease cortisol levels in the body, the “stress hormone” that can keep you awake at night, and play a role in helping you stay asleep.
3. Cheese and crackers and other dairy products
It is a common belief that products containing milk are known to help induce relaxation and sleep. Milk contains the hormone melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan, both beneficial to inviting sleep. However, you should probably avoid dairy products that are high in sugar, like ice cream. Adding crackers or other carbohydrates to dairy products in your snack will cause insulin levels and blood sugar to rise, and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. A good option before bed is sugar free cereal with milk.
Lettuce has a high level of lactucarium, not a word you hear every day. Lactucarium is the milky fluid secreted by several types of lettuce that seems to have sedative properties. A salad may not be on your list of bedtime snacks, but it could help send you off to dreamland.
5. Tuna, bananas, chickpeas, garlic, cherry juice, fish, kale and pistachios
All of these choices help your body produce serotonin and melatonin, key ingredients to a good night’s sleep.
6. Passionfruit tea
This tea is known to naturally relax you due to its high content of Harman alkaloids, a naturally occurring type of alkaloid that helps quieten the nervous system. Enjoy a cup of passionfruit tea an hour before bed and be ready to enjoy a sound sleep.
We want you to enjoy a great night’s sleep every night, and making better food and drink choices before bed can help you do just that. So, go ahead and enjoy that healthy midnight snack and be prepared for a night of excellent sleep on your Shifman mattress!
We don’t claim to be scientists. We just care a lot about sleep. If you want to learn more about the foods that might help you sleep better and the science behind it, read these articles: