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8 Foods to Help You Sleep

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8 Foods to Help You Sleep

July 27th, 2016

Let’s be honest, as soon as your head hits the pillow all you want to do is actually go to sleep.

Not being able to go to sleep can be upsetting, and according to Amanda Gardner, writer from health.com “evidence is piling up that sleep is essential for good health. Although the research is a bit spotty when it comes to which foods help or harm sleep, anecdotal evidence does suggest that certain items consumed right before bedtime are more likely to be “sleep promoters” while others may be “sleep stealers,” says Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the National Sleep Foundation . ”

Try the foods listed below; they may just help you to fall asleep!

1. Cherries

Keri Gans, a registered dietitian in New York City and author of The Small Change Diet, says that cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock.

2. Milk

‘Drink a glass of warm milk, that will help you fall asleep!’ How many times have we heard this from our mother or grandmother? It might not be an old tale after all… Amanda Gardner shares that “milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin.”

Even though the subject is a little bit controversial, some people think that tryptophan and serotonin could help you sleep. Who knows? Maybe just the childhood memories a glass of milk brings could help you drift off.

3. Jasmine rice

Amanda Gardner also comments that “Jasmine rice ranks high on the glycemic index, meaning the body digests it slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream.”

In 2007, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that eating jasmine rice four hours before going to bed reduced in half the amount of time it took to fall asleep, when compared with consuming a high-glycemic-index meal at the same time interval.

4. Fortified cereal

Carbs can sometimes be good for sleep, but it’s not always a good idea to eat a whole packet of biscuits before bed.

A good option could be shredded wheat which contains “good”, complex carbs or even better, cereal and milk are perfect together and we’ve already mentioned the sleeping benefits of milk, so as Rosenberg says “That’s two for the price of one”.

5. Bananas

Keri Gans suggests that bananas are great for sleeping because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium, and guess what? THEY ARE ALSO CARBS! (See previous point).

Let’s just say bananas are the winner of this round. Rosenberg says “They’re overall health promoters. We need potassium for cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning.”

6. Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream.

As Amanda Gardner says, “not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain the muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium include regular potatoes (baked and keep the skin on), lima beans, and papaya.”

7. Turkey

According to Amanda Gardner, “turkey contains tryptophan, a chemical that can make people doze off in front of the TV after dinner. But if you’re a die-hard insomniac, a meal’s worth of turkey (or a glass of milk) isn’t likely to help you.”

“You’d have to drink a lot of milk or turkey to have a major effect,” says Rosenberg. “[But] if you need a little bit of a push in the right direction [it might help].”

8. Valerian tea

Amanda shares, “the root of the valerian plant has been shown in some studies to speed the onset of sleep and improve sleep quality.

Some people hold that valerian tea along with motherwort, chamomile, and catnip brews, none of which contain caffeine, will help make you drowsy.

It may not be any property of the actual tea however, but the power of the relaxing ritual as you get ready for bed, says Roehrs.”

Always remember: Eating the right food before bed can mask the real issue to why you are having trouble falling asleep. The right mattress lays the foundation and is essential for a great night’s sleep. Ask us today about how we can find the best match for you.

Eat Well, Sleep Healthy!