9 Foods For Better Sleep
Do you sometimes have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep? You can't function at your best if you don't get the rest you need. Sometimes there are underlying medical problems that cause sleeping difficulties. But it could be something more simple, such as having a proper sleep schedule, improving your sleeping environment, or eating the right foods. If you haven't done it already, take a look at your bedroom. Make sure it's clean, comfortable, and the correct temperature. Try to keep your sleep and wake times similar each day. Once you've checked your sleeping environment and schedule, take a look at your diet. There are some foods that can keep you from sleeping well, and others that can help you sleep better. Below are a few foods that may help you sleep better and why they can induce sleep.
Walnuts -- Walnuts are a great source of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin. Foods that contain tryptophan not only help create neurotransmitters that regulate your sleep schedule, they will also make you sleepy shortly after you eat them.
Almonds -- Almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that helps you get more quality sleep. Low magnesium levels are linked to waking frequently during the night. Getting adequate magnesium is important so that you feel rested when you wake up.
Pistachios -- Pistachios contain vitamin B6, a vitamin that helps tryptophan create serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that help regulate your sleep and wake cycles.
Bananas -- Bananas are a good source of magnesium and potassium. Both help relax your muscles and aid in the production of serotonin and melatonin. Bananas also contain tryptophan, which helps induce sleep and creates serotonin and melatonin.
Cherries -- Cherries are one of the only natural sources of the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin. Eating a few cherries near bedtime will help you fall asleep easier.
Cheese -- Cheese and other high calcium foods can help improve your ability to fall asleep because calcium helps you fall asleep faster. There are links between low calcium levels and difficulty going to sleep.
Yogurt -- Yogurt is a great source of tryptophan, the sleep inducing amino acid. After eating foods with tryptophan, you become relaxed and ready for rest.
Whole wheat bread and crackers -- Eating whole grain bread or crackers can help induce sleep if you eat it an hour or two before bedtime. Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar. Then you'll get a natural drop in blood sugar close to bedtime, making it easier to fall asleep. Pairing the bread or crackers with cheese or nut butter will give a boost to its sleep inducing potential.
Oatmeal or cereal -- Oatmeal, like whole wheat bread and crackers, will lead to a natural drop in blood sugar levels and sleepiness at bedtime if eaten a couple of hours before you're ready for bed. Cold cereal has an added bonus when paired with milk, which is high in calcium and can help you fall asleep faster.
If you're having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, these foods can help you regulate your sleep and wake cycles. Some can also help make you sleepy at the correct time of day if you eat them at the proper times. Introduce these foods into your diet and see if you have improved sleep quality.