You may not know, but your diet can have a huge impact on your sleep – that’s why eating the right foods is so important to getting a good night’s kip.
While you probably already know it’s not a good idea to have caffeine or sugar before bedtime, meaning chocolate is firmly off the agenda as a midnight snack, there’s still a whole host of food you can enjoy before bed to prepare for a great night’s sleep.
Here’s our round-up of the top sleep-inducing foods to help you nod off at night…
Go nutty with almonds
Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, which both help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm – so grab a handful before bed and you’ll be dozing off in no time!
Swap sugar for honey
Refined sugar can keep you awake however honey contains glucose, which tells your brain to shut off orexin – the chemical known to trigger alertness. So using honey to satisfy your sweet tooth before bed may actually help you sleep better.
Have a cuppa
…but not the caffeinated kind! Swap your brew for chamomile tea which contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain. This is said to promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia – sounds like a dream to us!
The magnesium and potassium in bananas serve as muscle and nerve relaxants. The fruit also contains vitamin B6 which converts tryptophan into serotonin, increasing relaxation even more.
Time to go cold turkey?
Did you feel the effects of Christmas dinner on your sleep over the festive period? It might not just be the big meal that left you feeling sleepy – the tryptophan in turkey can make you feel drowsy, but the jury is still out on whether or not it has real results.
Kiwis have the potential to improve sleep quality. The sleep-promoting effects of kiwis are thought to be due to their content of serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate your sleep cycle – and the sweet taste may be all you need to curb any late-night sugar cravings.
Snack on hummus
Hummus is another great source of tryptophan. If you find you often wake up in the middle of the night hungry, munching on hummus during the day could be the solution.
A simple slice of whole grain bread
It’s no secret that carbs can be your best friend – and your worst enemy. Like whole grains they tend to spike the blood glucose levels but once the glucose level drops back down you will have an energy crash. This is why carbs are great for working out but make you sleepy if you have a huge lunch!
Remember, eating well isn’t the only recipe for better sleep. Our blog is full of tips and tricks to help you find a sleep solution that works for you.