Looking for a New Year’s resolution? How about getting enough snooze time through diet?
Having enough sleep is crucial to one’s overall health as it reduces the risk of developing chronic illnesses, promotes a healthier brain and digestion, and improves the immune system.
What a person eats has a significant effect on how they sleep. Some foods and drinks can help one fall asleep better (and faster). Here are some of the best diets for better sleep.
Some fruits have melatonin, which helps one sleep faster. For instance, whole tart cherries have a lot of melatonin. Pineapple, banana, and orange are also excellent sources. Other antioxidant-rich fruits (e.g., raisins, plums, berries, and prunes) and vegetables have the same effect in reducing oxidative stress that is often brought about by a sleep disorder.
For those suffering from insomnia, eating at least two kiwis before bed increases sleep duration to an hour over the course of the month.
Sipping a cup of herbal tea (peppermint, ginger, or chamomile) before going to bed comes with a variety of health benefits. It’s rich in antioxidants, which decrease inflammation that leads to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
For instance, some studies suggest that camomile tea improves your immune system and reduces depression and anxiety. It also contains a unique sleep property that improves one’s overall sleep quality.
Another study shows that those who consumed 270 milligrams of chamomile extract twice a day for 28 days reported having fewer instances of nighttime awakening and fell asleep 15 minutes faster.
Meanwhile, for those experiencing stomach upsets, the old belief about peppermint tea may be true, according to research. Several scientists at Tuft University found out that peppermint tea acts as a digestive aid, helping one fall asleep.
Therefore, sipping a relaxing cup of tea before hitting the sack is worth trying to improve one’s overall quality of sleep. It can be a great relaxing ritual as well.
3. Complex Carbs
The best bedtime snack is one that has complex carbs with a little bit of protein, like a small portion of wheat bread dabbed with peanut butter. If you want to fall asleep faster, then going with your recommended amount of carbohydrates daily will help.
In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found out that the participants who ate a carb-rich dinner that included high-glycemic-index jasmine rice instead of long-grain rice had better sleep. Researchers speculate that having a high-GI meal led to higher tryptophan levels in the brain.
There’s a reason a glass of warm milk before bedtime became so popular. Milk contains nutrients like B vitamins and tryptophan, which serve as natural sleeping aids.
Milk can also be a great snack because it’s nutritious and contains fewer calories. Warm milk can likewise create a great, soothing backdrop for a perfectly relaxing bedtime routine.
5. Fatty Fish
Eating fatty fish can also improve your sleep because it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. These nutrients facilitate the regulation of serotonin, which is mostly responsible for facilitating a fixed sleep-wake cycle.
A 2014 study found that those who ate at least 300 grams of Atlantic salmon thrice a week for three months fell asleep easier, letting them function better throughout the day. These subjects were compared with those who ate beef, pork, and chicken with the same nutritional value.
The researchers concluded that this was because of the vitamin-D levels in the body and the improvement of one’s heart rate regulation brought about by the omega-3 content of salmon.
Nuts are another great source of healthy fats. Walnuts and almonds, for instance, have a lot of melatonin, a hormone that helps you regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Eating them regularly boosts the blood levels in the hormone, making you sleep more soundly during the night.
Create a Sleep Sanctuary
On top of opting for a more slumber-friendly diet, create a room that helps your mind and body sleep better and faster. Set the temperature right, invest in a good mattress, use dimmer lights, and avoid bright screens.
Most importantly, listen to your body. If you’re snoring loudly and you feel drained even if you had a full night’s sleep, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Consider having a sleep apnea device, one specially designed to help treat obstructive sleep apnea, sleeping-disorder-related breathing problems, and snoring. Moreover, consult a doctor if getting enough good sleep has been a problem.