You really can’t replace sleep with anything else. If sleep eludes you, it affects your whole life. Rather than turning to sleep medication, why not try a more natural approach? It’s worth a try. Consider one or more of these foods to help sleep, and see if they make a difference for you tonight. You might find food number 3 surprising (I did). Let’s take a look…
Quick Links to Info on this Page
Let’s look at foods to help sleep. Which foods will help you sleep a little better at night? It’s not difficult. Sometimes, we just cannot resist a snack at bedtime and now this can be a good thing.
Choosing the right foods that will enable you to relax and not keep you up at night is not rocket science. Knowing which foods or beverages stimulate the mind vs. calming the mind is straight-forward. So, get your grocery app ready or pick up a pen and paper and prepare to stock the pantry.
1. Jasmine Rice – but be sure you get the correct rice
Don’t ditch your carbs just yet. Studies show that eating jasmine rice four hours before bedtime is an excellent way to induce sleep faster than other rice products according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (University of Sydney).
It is important to realize that this study also found that long grain rice actually caused the test subjects to take longer to fall asleep.
Therefore, it is important to try jasmine rice as one of the best foods to help sleep. Don’t buy the wrong rice!
Jasmine rice is easy to cook and fragrant to eat.
Just note that jasmine rice is a high glycemic index food and may not suit diabetics or people with other medical conditions. You’d need to speak to a medical professional about this before trying it.
2. Dairy – a glass of milk, anyone?
Personally, I find that dairy does help me as one of the best foods to help sleep. You probably know the old cliché that a warm glass of milk can do the body good? According to WebMD, dairy products help the brain to produce sleep-triggering melatonin. This is partly due to the levels of tryptophan that are available in this food group. L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is available through diet.
The body uses tryptophan to create niacin which is responsible for the production of serotonin in our body. Serotonin is the chemical that gives us a sense of relaxation. Also, serotonin assists in the creation of melatonin which regulates our sleep and wake cycles.
3. Salad Dinners as a Sedative? Why would this work as one of the best foods to help sleep?
Could a salad really help sleep? Keeping it healthy during dinner could have positive effects on your sleep experience. Salad dinners, rich in the ingredient lettuce, could be your saving grace for a good night’s rest. Lettuce is abundant in the chemical lactucarium which contains analgesic and sedative properties.
When I first learned this I was very skeptical. How could lettuce be one of the best foods to help sleep? Surely not! Anyway, try it yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results!
Foods rich in vitamin B6 like tuna, salmon, or even halibut can assist your body in increasing its production of melatonin and serotonin. These two chemicals together enable your body to achieve a resting state of high-quality sleep.
When you eat a fish dinner including tuna or salmon notice whether your sleep improves. You may want to increase how often you eat it during the week.
5. Cherry Juice
Want to boost melatonin levels in your body naturally? Add cherries to your grocery basket next time you visit your supermarket.
According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, Louisiana State University researchers found Montmorency tart cherry juice, when you drink it twice a day for two weeks, improved the overall sleep time in older adults suffering from insomnia by 90 minutes.
Aside from the natural boost in melatonin, you may be wondering what else is the driver of this phenomenon? Thanks to the ruby red pigments in Montmorency tart cherry juice (proanthocyanidins), the availability of tryptophan increases which serves also to improve serotonin levels which contribute to sleep. This process makes for the perfect formula in getting a good night’s rest.
Want to go herbal? Replace your evening tea or coffee containing caffeine, with a calming chamomile drink.
Chamomile is an herbal cure that has been around for centuries as a treatment for insomnia.
Studies show that chamomile acts a tranquilizer in mice. It has the power to reduce anxiety in some individuals thanks to its calming effects.
For more details on this high quality chamomile tea (on the right) click the image and you can see further details along with the price.
This tin of chamomile also makes a nice gift for someone you care about.
The humble banana is a great addition to any breakfast meal, but you might consider adding this fruit to your diet just for its effects on your sleep experience. Bananas contain magnesium and potassium which are great minerals for muscle relaxation.
Why is this quality important? For those who experience restless leg syndrome or muscle cramps, these two minerals can be your best friend in battling these two conditions that might keep you awake at night.
Add a handful of almonds to your snacks during the day. These nuts are another source of magnesium, and they also contain calcium.
Not a fan of almonds? Don’t want to chew threw these nuts. Easy, swap them out for almond-butter. You can spread it over a slice of toast. In addition to magnesium and calcium, almonds contain the necessary sleep-inducing amino acids and vitamins which help to trigger the release of melatonin.
These foods can help you improve your sleep experience. If you are in the midst of switching your diet to enhance your sleep experience, take slow steps. Take the time to understand what works well for your palate and what produces the chemical and hormonal changes necessary for quality sleep. Your experience may differ from that of another person. If you’re trying a new food be very careful about food allergies. Consult your medical professional before you try it.
The advantage of using foods to help sleep is that you can take it slowly and try one or more when you feel like it. Record your results to see what works best for you.
⇒ Looking for ways to get better quality sleep? See more here.