Food for Sleep: Sleeping well is important. It allows you to carry out daily activities with the right concentration and energy. Not taking the right hours of rest, however, will make you feel more tired and irritable during the day.
Nutrition plays an important role in sleep dynamics. There are in fact some foods that help you sleep better, increasing the quality of night’s sleep. So, if you suffer from sleep disturbances, try to contrast them by eating the right foods.
What do the foods that help us sleep better contain?
But what do the foods that help us rest better contain? These are particular foods that stimulate the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone that regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle. The production of this hormone peaks during the night, while the values drop during the day.
In addition to melatonin, a diet rich in vegetable fiber also helps prolong the duration of the deep sleep phase. Also important are vitamins, which help to relax, water, which keeps the body hydrated, and mineral salts, especially magnesium and zinc.
In addition to choosing the right foods to promote good sleep, it is also important not to go to sleep immediately after dinner. Wait at least 2-3 hours before going to bed, so as to avoid digestive problems that could disturb sleep, and prefer these 11 food for sleep to relax and relieve stress.
Food for Sleep – 11 Foods That Help You Sleep Better
But let’s find out what are the 11 Food for Sleep, which help us fight insomnia by promoting restful sleep.
1. Rice and cereals
Rice is ideal for those who want to fight insomnia. This food actually contains tryptophan, an amino acid precursor of serotonin, which stimulates and regulates melatonin, that is, the sleep hormone.
Preferred cereals include barley and oats, which contain carbohydrates, melatonin and minerals such as calcium and magnesium; all elements that regulate serotonin levels, reducing stress and acting as natural sedatives.
The nuts are among foods that promote sleep: they contain protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, Omega 3 fats and minerals, especially magnesium, which stimulates relaxation, helping you to rest better. Walnuts are also capable of raising the levels of melatonin, the hormone that the body produces to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, improving sleep quality. 30 grams per day should be consumed to sleep well.
The almonds are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps you sleep better, as it stimulates the normal energy metabolism. It is also helpful for muscle relaxation and, therefore, promoting sleep.
This valuable food also contains vitamins and Omega 3 which also help preserve the health of bones, arteries and heart. To recover the quantities of magnesium useful for good sleep, just consume a handful of almonds a day and nibble them as a healthy snack.
4. Pumpkin seeds
The pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, and encourage relaxation. They are useful especially if you wake up often during the night. You can consume a handful of them naturally, while watching TV or you can also make an herbal tea with pumpkin seeds, warm and restful.
Put 100 grams of pumpkin seeds washed and crushed in a pot, cover with water and cook for a few minutes in slow fire. Finally add more water and a teaspoon of honey. A cure-all before going to sleep.
5. Fresh dairy products
Dairy products are also friends of good rest: milk, yogurt and fresh cheeses are rich in tryptophan and calcium which combine sleep and relax the nervous system. In particular, it is advisable to drink warm milk before going to bed, because it decreases the gastric acidity, which could ruin the night’s rest.
It also contains casomorphins, natural opioids that help you sleep better, avoiding nighttime awakenings. Those who are lactose intolerant can choose from hummus, lentils, tofu or soy milk.
Eating a banana can have a great relaxing effect: thanks to tryptophan, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6 which help muscle relaxation, reducing physical tension. They also stimulate the body to produce serotonin, the so-called “happiness hormone”.
Serotonin promotes mental balance, improves mood and fights sleep disorders. You can consume bananas as a snack: fruit chips are a crunchy and delicious idea. In this case, the bananas will be peeled, cut into thin slices and baked in the oven. A delicious snack that will encourage a good rest.
Among the anti-insomnia foods there are also apricots. They are considered a fruit with a calming action, thanks to the high content of potassium, magnesium and vitamin B. They reduce nervousness and anxiety, thereby promoting night rest.
In summer they can be eaten fresh to fill up on vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene. In winter, however, you can reconcile sleep by consuming 3-4 dehydrated apricots: just be careful not to overdo it. The anxiolytic properties are in fact the same as for fresh apricots, but dried ones contain more calories.
Eating two kiwis before going to sleep also improves sleep quality. They are fruits rich in minerals such as potassium & magnesium and vitamin C, which is known for its antioxidant properties. They reduce stress levels by promoting rest.
They also contain folate, the lack of which can cause insomnia. In addition, they raise the immune system and protect the body in the winter months.
Among the broad-leaved vegetables that favor a good rest, there is lettuce which should be eaten in cooked form. In this way it is well tolerated even by those with digestive problems. Thanks to the presence of Lactuca, a whitish juice present in the leaves and at the base of the lettuce, it performs a sedative action too. Lactucin, a bitter substance with hypnotic properties is particularly effective.
If you don’t prefer to eat cooked lettuce, then you can prepare an infusion. Boil a head of clean salad in half a liter of water for about 15 minutes. Strain and drink the warm lettuce infusion. To drink before going to bed. Spinach, which contains magnesium and chlorophyll, as well as vitamin B6 and folic acid, all substances that help sleep, is also recommended among the broad-leaf vegetables that combine sleep.
The blue fish and salmon are a remedy for all those who have trouble falling asleep. They are in fact rich in Omega 3, essential fatty acids that promote the synthesis of vitamin D, as well as regulating the level of melatonin and promoting the release of serotonin.
To enhance the soporific effect of fish, you can cook it with the addition of aromatic herbs and anti-insomnia action such as marjoram, which has a sedative action and is particularly tasty. Among the fish to be preferred, in addition to salmon, there are mackerel, sardines, anchovies, sea bass and sea bream. Being small fishes, the risk of accumulation of heavy metals is reduced.
The eggs contain protein and tryptophan and are very digestible, also they increase the feeling of satiety. They are therefore recommended as an evening dish, accompanied by a vegetable side dish, to avoid nighttime awakenings. The yolk, in particular, is rich in vitamin B and diamine, an antioxidant that guarantees a more relaxing sleep.
In addition to the classic fried eggs, you can also prepare eggs in purgatory, cooked in tomato and ideal as comfort food for a delicious winter dinner. If you prefer the omelet, you can enjoy it simple or with the addition of seasonal vegetables, to make it richer and more nutritious.
What are the foods to avoid to sleep well?
But what are the foods to avoid to reconcile night’s sleep? Certainly, it is advisable not to consume fatty and over-seasoned foods for dinner because they slow down digestion. Sausages, aged cheeses and canned foods should also not be consumed. Chocolate and exciting drinks such as coffee, tea, coca cola and alcohol should also be avoided because they are stimulating and can cause nighttime awakenings.
Refined carbohydrates are also to be avoided. Therefore pasta, biscuits, white bread and packaged products should not be consumed for dinner because they are difficult to digest and rich in sugars. Even the tomatoes are enemies of sleep, as they are rich in thiamine, a substance that stimulates brain activity and increases blood pressure.
It’s generally recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, though many people struggle to get enough. National sleep foundation’s Bedtime Calculator is available to help you figure out what time to go to bed or wake up for better sleep health.
There are many strategies you can use to promote good sleep, including making changes to your diet, as some foods have sleep-promoting properties.
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