15 foods to eat for a better night’s sleep

Getting a night of beauty sleep isn’t just important for our looks, it’s also essential for healing damaged cells and recovering from the day’s pursuits. Sleep boosts the powers of our immune system and restores all of our systems for the next day – just like you plug in your iPhone to charge its battery, we must sleep or suffer the consequences.

If you don’t get adequate sleep you’ll be drowsy, struggle to take in information, be irritable and also crave junk foods full of bad fats and sugar. Doesn’t sound good, does it?

Fear not, today we bring you 15 foods which will help you get sufficient shut-eye so you can soak up all the benefits of sleep.

Kiwifruit

These tart and tangy green fruits are full of folate, serotonin and Vitamin C and E, all linked to a better night’s sleep. In fact, research done in Taiwan shows volunteers getting an extra hour of quality snoozing in if they had a pre-bed kiwi!

Honey

A chamomile tea sweetened with honey may be the ultimate pre-bed ritual. The glucose in the honey has been shown to lower levels of the neurotransmitter which raises our levels of alertness.

Figs

Figs are chockers with iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium, a potent cocktail of minerals helping to get you a good night’s rest. These minerals can help with easing muscle tension and increasing blood flow, both vital to fall into a restful slumber.

Cottage cheese

This particular type of cheese his high in amino acid tryptophan which has been linked to increased serotonin levels. We’ve already mentioned serotonin as it’s an important brain chemical associated with sleep–in fact, low levels of serotonin can contribute to insomnia.

Soy

Soy-based foods like tofu, tempeh and miso are abundant in isoflavones, compounds which increase serotonin production. In a Japanese study higher daily isoflavone intake was associated with optimal sleep duration and quality.

Milk

Your mum was right, a glass of warm milk will help you sleep better. Like cottage cheese, milk is also rich in tryptophan, and its natural calcium content will also boost the effect of this amino acid.

Sweet potato

While not a traditional before bed snack, you might want to try a few slices of sweet potato pre-sleep for seriously good slumber. The blend of calcium, magnesium and potassium which sweet potato contains is ideal for helping you to relax around bedtime.

Herbal tea

A cup of naturally caffeine-free tea before bed is a soothing routine which can help you get a good night’s rest. Try chamomile for calming, ginger for tummy taming and mint for proper digestion.

Fish

Fish species like salmon and tuna are home to Vitamin B6 which is key to the production of melatonin. The pineal gland in the brain produces melatonin, another sleep-related hormone. When the light of the day decreases melatonin production increases, inducing quality sleep.

Bananas

Bananas are another source of potassium, a mineral which is key to getting a good night’s sleep. And guess what? Bananas also include tryptophan and magnesium–by now we know you know how essential these are to quality shut-eye!

Pistachios

These crunchy green nuts are a powerhouse to get you into the sleep zone, containing magnesium and Vitamin B6. You’ll only need a small handful to reap the benefits and avoid the salted version.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are another rich source of Vitamin B6, helping your body to produce sleep-inducing serotonin. Why not try a chickpea, sweet potato and kale salad for dinner to ensure excellent beauty sleep.

Cherries

A summer favourite which boosts melatonin levels and extends sleep times, cherries help with melatonin production. This melatonin boost also helps with regulating your sleep cycle.

Kale

It’s not just milk that’s rich in sleep-inducing calcium, green leafy veg like kale are also high in this mineral. Research has shown that being deficient in micronutrients like calcium, can have an adverse effect on sleep.

Poultry

Chicken, turkey or fowl–they’re all rich in amino acid tryptophan which aids in serotonin production in the brain. Try adding some poultry to your chickpea, sweet potato and kale salad for a genuinely sleep-inducing dinner!

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