Foods To Eat For Better Sleep
Written by: Brandi Monasco
We are what we eat, but our food influences our sleeping patterns as well. Small ingredients can make a big impact. You may not realize it, but food plays a major role in setting up and maintaining your sleep cycles. Sometimes, too much sugar or caffeine for instance can disrupt your sleeping habits.
On the other hand though, there are certain foods that actually PROMOTE your sleeping habits, making it easier for you to fall into restful dreamland.
Good Snacks To Eat To Promote Sleep
Walnuts And Almonds
These nuts are full of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep. Tryptophan helps to make serotonin and melatonin, two hormones responsible for maintaining the daily rhythm of your body. These nuts may also contain melatonin. Having a steady intake of these hormones helps to promote regular sleeping cycles.
Give this walnut recipe a try from the blog of Martha Stewart.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat honey, oil and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat. Add walnuts; toss to coat.
- Sprinkle the sugar, salt, cumin, coriander and cayenne over the nuts. Cook, tossing and stirring until the nuts are well coated and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.
Lettuce has sleep inducing properties similar to opium! A lettuce salad or an infusion of lettuce leaves before bed helps to drain the stress of the day and soothes the brain. Lettuce contains lactucarium, which is the chemical responsible for these sleep inducing effects. Include this vegetable in your daily routine for a regular sleep cycle with fewer disturbances!
Give this lettuce wrap recipe from our friends at Daily Rebecca a try.
Avocado Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 4-6 romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 medium avocado
- ½ lemon or lime (for juice)
- 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
- 1 roma tomato (or handful of grape tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp chopped onion
- ¼ bell pepper, diced
- Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
- Cut avocado in half, remove pit and scoop flesh into a small mixing bowl.
- Using a fork, mash the avocado until nearly smooth.
- Squeeze lemon or lime juice into bowl and mix to combine.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder (to taste) into avocado and mix completely.
- Stir in chicken, tomatoes, onion and bell pepper until everything is evenly coated.
- Scoop mixture into clean, dry romaine leaves and enjoy!
Certain fish like tuna, salmon and halibut are loaded with vitamin B6. This vitamin is one of the essential raw materials for the production of our body rhythm regulating hormones, serotonin and melatonin. This vitamin also helps in the regeneration of body tissues, meaning it not only helps to increase and maintain healthy sleep cycles, but it also helps your body recover during these times too.
My favorite fish is salmon and all I do is simply season the salmon with lemon pepper and toss in the oven until it is flaky!
White rice has a high glycemic index. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that such foods can actually satisfy the basic requirements of the body rapidly and stimulate sleep. In particular, jasmine rice is known for its sleep stimulant properties. People that eat jasmine rice can fall asleep much faster than those who eat other kinds. All the more reason to include a healthy intake of rice in your diet.
It’s clear that what you eat influences your body in many ways. Where certain foods can be harmful, there are many others with positive effects on your system. Including them in your diet is extremely easy as well. Introduce some minor changes in your diet and shift towards a healthier lifestyle.
These foods in particular are known to be great for promoting sleep and a persistent intake of these nutrients can help provide you with regular hours of sleep on a daily basis.
What are your favorite sleep-promoting foods? Share with us in the comments below!
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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