Whether you want to doze your way slim, or you just want to wake up feeling more refreshed in the morning, check out these foods that help you sleep.
Eating—and drinking—for better sleep means more than just avoiding caffeine and heavy, heartburn-inducing foods at night. Certain foods and beverages could actually help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Here are some things to put on your grocery list for more restful nights.
Skip the white bread, refined pasta, and sugary, baked goods, which may reduce serotonin levels and impair sleep. Instead, choose stick-to-your-ribs whole grains for your bedtime snack: Popcorn, oatmeal, or whole-wheat crackers with nut butter are all good choices.
Many foods contain naturally occurring substances that bring on sleep. Here are some of the best choices to help you settle down for a quality rest.
This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Adults who ate two or more soy servings a day slept longer and reported the best-quality sleep.
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3. Fibre-Rich Foods
Eating more fibre could be key for better sleep. Eating fibre was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep. Fibre prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fibre boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
Most fish—and especially salmon, halibut and tuna—boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness).
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5. Tart Cherry Juice
In a small study, melatonin-rich tart cherry juice was shown to aid sleep. When adults with chronic insomnia drank a cup of tart cherry juice twice a day they experienced some relief in the severity of their insomnia.
Dairy products like yogurt and milk boast healthy doses of calcium—and being calcium-deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep.
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7. Whole Grains
Bulgur, barley and other whole grains are rick in magnesium—and consuming too little magnesium may make it harder to stay asleep.
Dairy products are well-known calcium-rich foods. But green leafy vegetables, such as kale and collards, also boast healthy doses of calcium. And being calcium deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep.
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Bananas, well-known for being rich in potassium, are also a good source of Vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness).