If you are having sleeping difficulties, trouble falling asleep at night, or even insomnia, changing your diet could help. There are, of course, many ways you can increase the chances of a better night’s sleep, but the foods and drinks you consume can all contribute. Here are some of the things you can include in your diet to improve your sleep:
Food and Drinks to Choose:
1. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts contain the hormone melatonin, which helps to regulate you sleep cycle. These nuts, along with flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, can also help to boost your serotonin levels, and the magnesium and tryptophan levels can help you to sleep better too.
Eggs are a really good for you as a source of protein and also contain nutrients, but when it comes to better sleep, the amino acid tryptophan found in eggs is what you should be interested in. Despite their popularity as a breakfast dish, eggs are a great option for dinner or an evening snack instead, as they can help you with your sleep.
3. Whole Grains
Foods like white bread and cakes are sugary and can reduce serotonin levels, keeping you awake at night. Instead, you can eat oatmeal and whole wheat crackers for a boost of magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that could interfere with your sleep. Whole grains are also good for insulin production, which in turn, will help your brain process tryptophan quicker.
The calcium found in dairy products will help you to process tryptophan and melatonin, both of which help you to sleep better. You could try eating yogurt before bed or even a glass of milk, milk is a great source of tryptophan too. A warm cup of milk is a popular drink before bed as it is soothing and can make you feel more relaxed, so it’s a psychological aid too.
A great addition to your bowl of oatmeal or mug of warm milk is a spoonful of honey. The glucose in honey can help lower levels of orexin, which makes you more alert. Not only that, it can help to raise insulin levels slightly which will help you to process tryptophan. Honey and milk or honey in chamomile tea can be calming and relaxing and will help you to fight insomnia.
Things to Avoid:
Whilst a balanced diet will keep you healthy and there are plenty of foods and drinks that will promote better sleep, some things are best avoided. Caffeine is the main offender, found in coffee, tea and energy drinks – it can also be found in chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant and you should avoid caffeine if you are having sleeping problems. Look for decaf or caffeine-free products instead, or even better, avoid coffee and energy drinks altogether.
A Healthy Routine:
A healthier diet can help you to sleep much better, but there are other things that can help too. Taking the time to relax in the evening will reduce stress levels, and a comfortable bed makes it much easier to sleep! It is easy to order a new mattress online and quickly reap the benefits. You can use comparison sites to help you find the best bed in a box, boxed mattresses delivered to you, so that you don’t even need to leave your home. A good schedule will help your brain to form a routine and this is important too.
Hopefully this has given you some helpful things to start with and remember that there are lots more food and drinks to try if you’d like even more variety!