If you are having a hard time falling asleep or waking up feeling not rested properly, maybe it is time you did a few changes in your diet. There are number of different food items out there that packed with essential components like melatonin, magnesium, potassium, vitamins and other nutrients that help you sleep. To make it easier for you to draw out a new diet filled with sleep inducing foods, we are going to list the top 15 most beneficial food items, that help you sleep better.
01. Sweet potato
This sweet and starchy root vegetable is a great source of fibers and carbohydrates and is rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium. It also helps in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate several bodily functions including the sleep-wake cycle. Eating a meal of sweet potato before bedtime can facilitate the production of melatonin, the natural sleep hormone produced in the body’s pineal gland.
Eggs are not only the ultimate source of protein but are also rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin. Eggs whites are considered rich in melatonin and hence can be had in the night regularly.
03. Warm milk
Though there is no substantial research to prove that milk helps you sleep but it does contain a number of beneficial properties that makes it the perfect pre-bedtime drink. Being a protein food, milk also contains tryptophan which helps fight insomnia. Apart from inducing sleep, warmness of the milk helps soothe your stomach and the calcium in the milk gets easily absorbed by the bones overnight.
Kiwis are widely known as one of the best fruits to consume before sleeping due to their rich content of serotonin. Kiwis are also packed with decent amount of other nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, carotenoids, etc., all of which help boost a person’s sleep quality. Different studies have shown that eating kiwifruit regularly can help reduce blood fat, decrease chances of blood clotting and help fall asleep.
Bananas are rich storehouses of nutrients like vitamin C, manganese and potassium that help you sleep better. Not only is this fruit the easiest to consume, but also rich in the serotonin regulating amino acid called tryptophan.
Figs are probably known popularly for their sweet taste due to high sugar content and additional fibers. However, figs are also a good source of essential nutrients and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, copper and magnesium. Though they are good for people suffering from insomnia, overeating them can lead to situations like diarrhea.
Eating turkey can provide your body a good amount of tryptophan, niacin and vitamin B6, all of which are considered essential for aiding the production of melatonin and serotonin. Turkey meat is also a good source of protein, potassium and phosphorus and other minerals important for improving the body’s immunity.
08. Herbal teas
Herbal teas are considered a good alternative for caffeinated drinks because of their many health benefits and sleep-inducing properties. Teas made of herbs like chamomile, peppermint, lavender, valerian root, lemon balm, etc., are known as excellent beverages that not only calm your mind and body but also help you sleep better and prevent sleep interruptions.
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts when introduced into the diet are known for improving one’s sleep quality. Almonds are a good for people with insomnia due to their high content of melatonin and magnesium. Walnuts are not only rich in tryptophan but also help inhibit cortisol levels, the hormone which is known as a leading cause of insomnia. However, one needs to consume only a limited amount of these nuts daily because of their high calorie content.
10. White rice
White rice is often termed as a food that makes you feel sleepy. This is due to its high carbohydrate content which helps the production of serotonin. The grain is also rich in other nutrients that help you sleep better such as vitamin E, thiamin and manganese.
11. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese just like milk is rich in the amino acid tryptophan and is thus a great pre-bed food. It also happens to be rich in casein, a protein that helps you sleep better and also combats muscle breakdown overnight. Unlike whey protein, which is also derived from milk, casein takes longer to digest and hence is ideally taken before sleeping.
12. Romain lettuce
Leafy vegetables in general are known for their sleep aiding properties because of their rich calcium content. Romain lettuce is one such vegetable that is not only rich in calcium but also contains lactucarium. Lactucarium is a phytonutrient that enables sleep and causes mild sedative effect.
13. Fatty fish
Studies in the past have shown how consumption of fatty fish is linked with improved sleep quality due to its calming and sleep-inducing effect. They are known to be containing omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which help boost the production of serotonin, decrease risk of depression, reduce inflammation and prevents heart diseases.
Considered by many as the perfect breakfast, oats are also one of the best foods that can be eaten before bedtime. Oats are naturally rich in carbs and melatonin, minerals, fibers and antioxidants. When taken along with milk, the added tryptophan makes oats the perfect meal for you, be it breakfast or dinner.
15. Tart cherries
Tart cherries are amongst the few most widely consumed pre-bedtime food. Because of the high level of melatonin, tryptophan amino acids and anthocyanins, tart cherries can be called as the perfect sleep-inducing food. Adding them in a meal of oats and milk can work wonder for your sleep quality.
Including sleep-inducing foods in your diet is almost as important as exercising regularly, maintaining a sleep schedule or investing in a good mattress. Maintaining a good sleep quality not only helps you shed extra weight but also helps keep up a good appetite.
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