Foods and Drinks to Help You Fall Asleep at Night
Having trouble sleeping at night? There are many factors that contribute to poor sleep quality. This includes work stress, lack of exercise, improper diets, and sleeping disorders. If you’re in desperate need of a restful sleep at night, changing your diet may help you get much-needed rest. That said, here are some foods and drinks to eat before bed that may contribute to improved sleep quality.
Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats, and they also contain many nutrients, including phosphorus and manganese. Almonds and walnuts, in particular, can promote better sleep. Both contain the hormone melatonin, which functions to regulate the body’s sleep and wake cycle.
Eating almonds and walnuts also increases serotonin levels, a feel-good hormone, which also improves sleep quality. Finally, almonds have magnesium, asleep-promoting mineral.
Drinking chamomile tea is a popular way to relax and sleep better at night. According to some studies, the antioxidant apigenin in chamomile tea may encourage sleepiness and reduce insomnia. Moreover, the drink may also help reduce anxiety and soothe the nerves, helping you sleep easier at night.
SleepFoudation.org also suggests drinking noncaffeinated ginger tea and peppermint tea to relax at night and get ready for bedtime.
Kiwi is a nutrient-rich fruit with low calorie content, making it the perfect snack before bedtime. The fruit also contains serotonin and antioxidants that promote better sleep quality. Plus, kiwi aids in digestion, so it may ease discomfort of an overstuffed stomach before bedtime. To improve sleep quality, eat one to two kiwi fruits before going to bed.
Many people have memories of drinking warm milk before bedtime. This is believed to be one of the reasons drinking warm milk makes people sleepy. The other reason has to do with the tryptophan, an amino acid that helps production of serotonin, and melatonin content in milk. Either way, drinking warm milk before going to bed is a soothing ritual, which may help you sleep faster at night.
White rice is a staple food in many countries. It’s a versatile food that can be prepared in many ways. Although not as nutritious as brown rice or red rice is, white rice contains some vitamins and minerals, including folate, thiamine, and manganese.
White rice also has a high glycemic index, which may contribute to better sleep quality. High glycemic index, according to the American Sleep Association, “will give you a natural increase in blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn, helps tryptophan go to work in your brain faster.”
People who eat chicken and turkey will be happy to know that these protein foods may help improve sleep quality. Both contain the amino acid tryptophan and high amounts of protein, which may induce tiredness and sleepiness.
Know When to Visit a Doctor
It’s normal to have a few sleepless nights, especially when there’s a lot going on in your life. However, when your lack of sleep gets worse and starts to affect your ability to function, it can be a sign of a more serious problem. An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. If you suspect you have one, visit your doctor now.
Your health-care provider can help you find the best treatment to manage your sleeping disorder. For example, people with sleep apnea stop and start breathing in their sleep, so doctors typically recommend a breathing device to open their airways and help these patients get uninterrupted sleep at night.
Always consult your doctor before trying any medical treatment for your sleeping disorder. You could be placing your health and safety at risk when you try random treatment.