Foods That Help You Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep
As we get older, sleep is harder to come by. Even when we do fall asleep, too many of us don’t have a restful night. Either we don’t get enough sleep or our sleep is interrupted and we struggle to fall back asleep. Sometimes just eating the right foods can help you nod off and get better quality sleep. Try a few of these next time you’re struggling to catch some Zzzzs.
Tart cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep. Increased levels of melatonin help you sleep better, which is why many of us start having trouble sleeping as we get older. Melatonin decreases with age so supplementing with tart cherries helps to replace it naturally.
Tea, because it is a hot liquid, has a relaxing effect on the body. The herb has been shown to be relaxing and sleep inducing, without the side effects of synthetic over the counter pills. The lack of caffeine in chamomile tea is a plus also.
Whole Wheat Bread
Eating whole wheat toast before bed can help make you fall asleep faster. The carbohydrates raise brain levels of tryptophan, which can make you sleepy. Whole wheat bread also doesn't have as much of a blood sugar spiking effect as white bread does.
Almonds are rich in magnesium, a mineral needed for quality sleep (and help keep you regular). Sleep studies have found that when the body’s magnesium levels are too low, it makes it harder to stay asleep.
White rice has a high glycemic index, so eating it will significantly slash the time it takes you to fall asleep, according to an Australian study. In particular, jasmine rice in particular brings on sleep faster. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate a meal that included jasmine rice fell asleep faster than when they ate other rice types.
Hummus and Whole Grain Crackers
Chickpeas, which are what hummus is made from, are a good source of tryptophan. Having a light bedtime snack of hummus and whole-grain crackers (crackers will help the tryptophan reach the brain), is a good way to help your body nod off.
Tuna, halibut, and salmon are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin (the sleep producing powerhouses). Other foods high in B6 include raw garlic and pistachio nuts.