10 Foods And Drinks That Are Great For Sleep
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the U.S., in which restlessness and struggling with sleep is an issue many people suffer from. Whether you’re going through a stressful period in your life or are trying to overcome an awful sleeping schedule, eating and drinking the right things can be a simple solution to your problem.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to reduce the amount of food you eat in the evening and eat 3 hours before heading to bed. In addition to portion controlling and time restricting your dinner, it is equally essential and beneficial to eat foods that will help you sleep and get a good night’s rest. Here are 10 foods and drinks that are great for sleep and will have you back on track!
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato is the perfect vegetable for the sleepless as the popular staple food is a fantastic source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium–minerals that work together to help relax the body. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain vitamin B6, a vitamin that boosts the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin in the brain. Simple and healthy ways to enjoy sweet potatoes are sweet potato toast, mashed sweet potatoes, and sweet potato chips. Incorporating this veggie as a late-night bite will do wonders for your sleep.
2. Chamomile Tea
A well-known tea for a calming and soothing feeling is chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is made from the chamomile flower, as the tea has been used as a natural remedy to treat insomnia and anxiety. The hot drink is even known to be a mild tranquilizer due to the compound apigenin found in chamomile and various herbs and plants. Ending your day with chamomile tea can slowly and naturally sedate you into the deep sleep you so longed for.
If you’re craving something sweet or want an extra taste in your chamomile tea, try grabbing your favorite jar of honey. The sticky substance is approximately 35% glucose, a simple sugar that lowers a neurotransmitter’s levels in the brain associated with alertness known as orexin. Thus, consuming honey contributes to decreasing your attentiveness for a great sleep. Substituting honey for sugar by drizzling your favorite foods with it and adding it to herbal teas should do the trick before hitting the sack.
4. Warm Milk
Although milk has specific nutrients that promote and induce sleep (like L-tryptophan and melatonin), the real reason warm milk puts us to sleep is more psychological. And it’s more effective than you think. Warmed up milk is a comfort drink that most people associate with home and a sense of calm and a nighttime ritual to follow. Having a sleep schedule means routine and warm milk and helps provide protein and encourages a lighter dinner due to its richness.
Another sleep superfood you should consider is nuts! Not only are nuts great to snack on, making it a light mix of fruit to eat before going to bed, but they are extremely rich in vitamin B6 and high in protein. You can also get creative and pour yourself any type of nut milk or nut spread on toast as well. Just make sure not to over exceed on eating a ton of pistachios or almonds at night because too much might keep you awake!
6. 100% Coconut Water
An interesting drink on this list is pure coconut water. Minerals such as potassium and magnesium in 100% coconut water relax muscles and provide an easier time snoozing at night. Additionally, the liquid also contains vitamin B, which reduces levels of stress. This is also the perfect drink before bed if you’re under the weather and/or are very dehydrated. If you aren’t a huge fan of pure coconut water, try fruit and lemonade drink recipes to cater to your taste.
Everyone is more than willing to fix themselves a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, but this nutritious breakfast food is also a cure for those suffering from sleeplessness at night. Oatmeal naturally elevates blood sugar, triggering insulin levels and making you sleepy in an instance. It also contains melatonin, making you want to fall asleep even more. Putting fruits like bananas, kiwi, and nuts in your oatmeal will also help promote a night of better sleep.
8. Tart Cherry Juice
Sipping on tart cherry juice is not only limited to festive and fun summer days, but incorporating the drink in your nighttime routine might be for the better. Like many foods and drinks on this list, the tangy beverage is rich in melatonin, as well as tryptophan and anthocyanins, precursor compounds to melatonin. Tart cherry juice is a safe way to treat insomnia and regulate your sleep cycle if drunken regularly.
Kiwi is great to eat at night, considering it’s low in calories and very nutritious for the body. The antioxidant-rich and serotonin filled fruit is an anti-inflammatory, as it improves the quality of sleep. Many experts even suggest that eating kiwi can be one of the best things you can eat to gain sleep. In fact, a 4-week study examined a couple dozen adults and their consumption of two kiwis an hour before going to bed. The study showed that participants fell asleep 42% quicker than when they didn’t consume anything before bedtime.
10. Banana Smoothie
If smoothies are your jam, try comforting yourself with a banana smoothie before getting some shut-eye. Bananas are high in potassium, a mineral shown to calm and relax the body significantly. The fruit also contains magnesium, another mineral relaxant, and vitamin B6 to help promote sleep. Making a banana smoothie truly gives you the agency to use other foods and drinks, like nuts or almond milk, to make something a little more fun and appetizing than just eating a banana.