10 foods for a better sleep
Sleeping is a physiological process and it’s therefore affected by what we eat. Our diet influences our sleep way more than we think and being sensible with our food can really help us sleep better. First of all, we need to say goodbye to massive dinners, greasy food and spicy things, and take things that work on the nervous system. These favour the production of certain substances that improve our sleep quality. Here you will learn what feels better for your tummy and your sleep and why are they this good for you.
Melatonin, that thing that helps us sleep
Melatonin is a hormone produced by our brain that is related to circadian rhythms and helps regulate the biological clock. The body generates melatonin when it sleeps in the dark and it’s a great ally for your rest. This substance is found in a bunch of different foods, whose intake can be increased for a better sleep. The richest foods in melatonin are tomatoes, bananas, walnuts, oats, rice or corn. Some people with severe problems of insomnia go for melatonin pills, but we recommend modifying the diet without resorting to medicines.
A warm cup of milk
Dairy products are rich in tryptophan, a substance that helps synthesize the right amount of serotonin and melatonin. A cup of warm milk, preferably with honey, is a perfect dinner drink for a better sleep. Other dairy products, such as yogurt or cheese, are also recommended, as they provide minerals that favour the assimilation of tryptophan.
Omega 3, your sleep ally
Blue fish is a great source for Omega 3 fat, which help preventing cardiovascular illnesses and reduces your stress levels, making it easier to fall asleep. Salmon, trout and sardine are great and will really make a difference in your body.
Rest better with a banana
Bananas are a natural source of two of the most beneficial substances at bedtime, melatonin and tryptophan. Try taking a banana for dessert and you’ll see how relaxed you feel and how easily you fall asleep.
Chocolate, the serotonine stimulant
Although having sweets at night is terrible for your sleep, a bit of sugar-free, dark chocolate can be a blessing against your insomnia. Its relaxing effect will help you sleep, giving you a feeling of well-being that will take you to Cloud 9.
Chicken, rich in tryptophan
One of the biggest sources of tryptophan is chicken, which makes this white meat a super effective anti-insomnia pill. Moreover, it’s a low fat food, so it will help you feel lighter before going to bed.
Teas and warm drinks
Tea and decaf warm drinks are a great natural alternative to sleeping pills. Herbs such as melissa or passionflower have an undeniable relaxing effect. Try and stick with the one you like the most, as there’s a huge range of herbs that favour your sleep.
Whole wheat cereals
They have vitamins B1 and B6 that reduce stress and stimulate the production of serotonin. Having whole wheat bread or cereals for dinner will help you rest the natural way.
Make the most out of cherry season and have lots of them for dinner if you can’t sleep, as they help you produce melatonin as good as oats or nuts.
Almonds and nuts
Almonds are rich in magnesium and tryptophan, both which help you fall asleep. Having a bunch of nuts will help you sleep like a log without having to take any pills.
Water as a must
We can never say this enough: remember that correct hydration improves the health and well-being of your body. Don’t go crazy over it, but drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day is one of the keys to an adequate rest. But beware! Be sure to schedule your water intake throughout the day and avoid the last few hours so you don’t have to spend the night visiting the restroom.
Never for dinner
Getting stuffed at dinner is one of the worst ways you can hijack your sleep. A heavy stomach makes it more difficult to fall asleep and some even say it gives you nightmares. Generally speaking, you must avoid big meals, drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Acid foods can make your stomach have reflux, so it’s not a good thing to eat a night.