By: Amanda Froelich,
When you’re tossing and turning at night, dreaming about the possibility of real sleep, probably the last thing to cross your mind is what you could eat to help bring deep slumber that much closer. However, studies continually suggest that not only does a regularly healthy diet help promote better biochemical balance – hence, better rest and relaxation, but certain foods are even responsible for helping beat insomnia.
Nourish your regenerative time with the following tasty suggestions and catch up on your valuable Zzz’s.
1. Sleepy-time Snacks
While eating close to bedtime is not optimal, if you’re hungry in the evening, a small snack can be calming. For restful sleep, the best snacks contain both carbohydrate and the amino acid tryptophan, a natural sleep inducer. According to the Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic, foods rich in tryptophan include: dairy products, soy milk, legumes – such as chickpeas and lentils, and nuts and seeds. Because carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, this explains why carbs can make you drowsy. Natural peanut butter with whole grain crackers, low-fat cheese with apple slices, or a small bowl of whole grain cereal with soy milk are some examples to utilize these options.
2. Caffeine-free Afternoons
Caffeine is a mild stimulant that increases central nervous system activity for hours, so avoiding all sources of caffeine six to eight hours before bed is recommended. This can make a world of difference if you constantly battle insomnia.
While coffee is loaded with 100- 150 milligrams of caffeine, chocolate (12 – 25 mg) and energy drinks (60 – 140 mg) are other sugary, caffeinated substances to also avoid.
Instead, relax and indulge in caffeine-free herbal teas, warm almond milk with raw honey and cinnamon, or your favorite fruit juice with club soda to inspire refreshment but stimulate better sleep.
3. Hormone Producers
Melatonin is the hormone secreted by the body that regulates sleep patterns, therefore if you’re having an difficult time getting rest, there are natural ways to obtain more of this hormone. Researchers have reported that tart cherries, grapes, and walnuts are rich food sources of melatonin.
If that still doesn’t do the trick, consult with your Naturopathic physician about possibly consuming a natural melatonin supplement that best suits you.
4. Mellowing Minerals
According to studies, even a marginal magnesium deficiency can excite the brain, preventing relaxation at night. Good sources of anxiety fighting magnesium include: leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, black beans, and almonds.
By adopting a healthier, un-processed diet, it is estimated you will naturally experience better sleep. However there are plenty of fresh, delicious foods you can also include that will help boost your health while assisting you in obtaining nourishing rest.