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Eat these foods and sleep like a baby!
A good night’s sleep is vital for good health.
Sleep plays a role in just about every one of your bodily functions, from digestion to muscle building to metabolism to brain function.
Sleep loss stops your body from working properly. Sleeping enough every night, on the other hand, is crucial for keeping your body performing at peak capacity.
There are a lot of things that affect your sleep quality: daily exercise, the amount of caffeine you consume, alcohol consumption, stress and anxiety, mental health, comfort of your room, and the list goes on.
Food definitely affects your sleep quality. Not only can the wrong foods make it harder for you to sleep at night, but the right foods will give you a better night of rest.
Here are the foods you should be eating in order to sleep better:
Everyone knows that turkey is an amazing food to help you sleep, but do you know why? It comes down to a nutrient called tryptophan, an amino acid that is needed in the production of the hormone melatonin, which regulates your sleep-wakefulness cycle.
Turkey contains one of the highest tryptophan contents of any foods, which means that it’s one of the best to help increase production of melatonin naturally. The protein in the turkey also helps you to sleep, as studies have indicated that “moderate amounts of protein” consumed before going to sleep can help to improve sleep quality and stop you from waking up during the night.
Stick with a small portion of turkey breast—no more than 100 grams—as a late-night snack to help you sleep more easily.
The amazing kiwi fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals like potassium. Turns out it’s also quite excellent to help you sleep better!
Kiwis contain serotonin, the neurochemical that is known to help improve your sleep (as well as your mood). Kiwis are also loaded with carotenoids, and the Vitamin C they contain are known to have sleep-inducing effects.
Studies have found that eating just two kiwi fruits an hour before bedtime helps you to fall asleep faster—42% faster, in one case. Kiwi fruit can also help to improve total sleep time and reduce wakefulness during the night.
Salmon (and other Fatty Fish)
Salmon is one of the best of the fatty fish, but others—including sardines, mackerel, tuna, and trout—come in a close second. Not only are they loaded with minerals and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re amazingly rich in protein and excellent for your health.
More specifically, the combination of Vitamin D and fatty acids (including Omega-3s and Omega-6s) can help your body to produce more serotonin, which will improve sleep quality. One study showed that eating salmon just three times a week helped participants to fall asleep 10 minutes faster than the participants who consumed other proteins. This is believed to be due to the higher Vitamin D content of the fatty fish, as Vitamin D has been linked to better sleep quality.
Almonds provide your body with melatonin, the hormone that controls your internal body clock and sends signals that it’s time to get to sleep.
Almonds are also loaded with magnesium, the mineral that can help to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol will interfere with sleep, so blocking it is vital for a better night of rest. Magnesium can also help to reduce inflammation, which will in turn improve your sleep quality.
Stick with a 1-ounce serving of almonds—roughly one handful—before you sleep. That way, you can benefit from the almonds without kicking your digestive tract into high gear.
Chamomile is a soothing, relaxing tea that can help you to sleep better in a number of ways.
First, it’s going to calm your digestive system and relax your stomach, helping to settle down your body as you’re preparing to go to sleep.
Second, it contains flavones that can help to reduce any inflammation that could interfere with your sleep quality or promote wakefulness.
Third, it can reduce depression and anxiety, both of which are known to interfere with your sleep quality.
Fourth, it contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to neural receptors and in doing so help to promote better sleep and decrease your risk of insomnia.
Studies have found that chamomile tea not only helps you to fall asleep faster, but the quality of your sleep is improved and you wake up less throughout the night. Definitely a great reason to have a cup of hot chamomile tea before bed!
Tart cherries are an amazing source of nutrients, including Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Studies have found that tart cherry juice can be a treatment to help manage insomnia, as cherries contain high quantities of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep. Drinking just two 8-ounce glasses of tart cherry juice per day led to visible sleep improvements among the participants in one study—they not only slept better, but up to 84 minutes longer thanks to the cherry juice.
Best of all, cherry juice is loaded with antioxidants and flavonols, which can help improve your health while improving your sleep quality at the same time.
This tea, derived from the passionflower, is loaded with antioxidants, specifically flavonoids that can reduce inflammation, improve your immune function, and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Passionflower tea, like chamomile, is rich in apigenin, the antioxidant that can reduce anxiety and calm your brain, thereby helping you to shut your mind down for a better night of sleep. Research suggests that passionflower tea also helps to increase GABA production, thereby inhibiting the production of stress neurochemicals. One study found that adults who drank a cup of hot passionflower tea before bed reported “significantly better” sleep quality.
If you’re after a better night’s sleep, give these seven marvelous foods a try!
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