If you are trying to sleep, or have just woken from sleeping, hunger has settled in. You want to know what is the best foods to get back to sleep? Some foods are Kiwi, tart cherries or cherry juice, malted milk, fatty fish, and nuts, as you’ll find out later in the article.
Even though many people struggle, it’s recommended to get 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. It can reduce your risk of chronic illness, keep your brain healthy, and boost your immune system. Source.
So let’s jump into the foods so you can sleep.
Specific Foods That Can Affect Sleep
Tryptophan-rich foods are scientifically proven to help promote sleep according to WebMD. Tryptophan foods tend to be higher in fat. Some examples are nuts and seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs. The list below has a few different options for everybody. Unfortunately, it doesn’t contain too many BBQ foods, even tho we know you can fall fast asleep after a good feast.
Despite being a low-calorie and nutrient-rich fruit, kiwis contain 42 calories and a significant amount of nutrients. This includes vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, as well as trace minerals.
Why eat a kiwi before bed?
24 adults after eating two kiwifruits one hour before going to sleep, the participants fell asleep 42% faster than when they hadn't eaten anything before bedtime. Additionally, sleeping through the night without waking was improved by 5%, and total sleep time increased by 13%.
Kiwis have been suggested to promote sleep due to serotonin, which is a brain chemical that helps you sleep. Anti-inflammatory antioxidants, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, may also play a role.
Salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. What makes them unique is their exceptionally high vitamin D content. Omega-3 fatty acid provides protection against heart disease, while omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin D may benefit brain health. Both have been shown to improve sleep quality by increasing serotonin production.
Why eat fatty fish before bed?
Men who ate 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of Atlantic salmon every three days for six months fell asleep approximately 10 minutes faster than men who ate chicken, beef, or pork. The study suggests that vitamin D may be behind this effect as those in the fish group had higher levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D was linked to an improvement in sleep quality.
Nuts- Almonds, Walnuts
There is some evidence that nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews, can be a good sleep aid. Though the precise amounts vary, nuts contain compounds like melatonin, magnesium, zinc, and other essential minerals. Researchers found that a combination of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc supplementation can help older adults who suffer from insomnia sleep better.
Why eat almonds before bed?
A single ounce of almonds provides 19% of your daily magnesium requirement, a mineral that may help with sleep quality for those who experience insomnia. Magnesium's role in promoting sleep is thought to be related to its ability to reduce inflammation as well as to lower levels of cortisol, which disrupts sleep. Although this is true, there is little research regarding almonds and sleep.
It is high in protein and is delicious and nutritious. Roasted turkey provides more than 8 grams per ounce (28 grams). Protein is critical to maintain muscle strength and maintain healthy digestion. Besides its modest vitamin and mineral content, turkey is an excellent source of selenium, with a 3-ounce serving providing 56% of the Daily Value (DV).
Why eat turkey before bed?
Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the production of melatonin, which is why some people feel sleepy after eating it or think it causes sleepiness. The protein in turkey may also promote tiredness. There is evidence that moderate protein consumption at night improves sleeping quality by reducing night wakings.
Other foods and drinks that may promote sleep
Several other foods and drinks have sleep-promoting properties. For example, they may contain lots of nutrients like tryptophan. However, some of these foods and drinks aren't studied specifically for their sleep-promoting effects.
- Dairy products: Dairy products, such as milk, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt, contain tryptophan, which has been shown to help older adults sleep better, especially when combined with exercise.
- Bananas: Tryptophan found in banana peels and magnesium in bananas may aid in sleep.
- Oatmeal: Rice is high in carbs, but oatmeal is high in fiber and is a known source of melatonin and drowsiness. It is also a source of carbs and has been noted to induce sleep when consumed before bedtime.
- Tart Cherries and Tart Cherry Juice
- Malted Milk and Nighttime Milk
- Tea - Chamomile tea, Passionflower tea
The bottom line
There are many ways to fall asleep faster and to satisfy your appetite when your are trying to sleep. Some foods and beverages listed above may help because they contain sleep-regulating hormones and brain chemicals like melatonin and serotonin.
Eating them immediately before going to bed may cause digestive issues, such as acid reflux. They are best consumed 2–3 hours before bed.