Eating the right food can help you sleep better

mature woman suffering with insomnia

Do you have trouble sleeping? Insomnia is an annoying problem that affects millions of people across the world, but did you know that eating the right foods could help you get a little more shut-eye?

mature woman suffering with insomniaA lack of sleep can have a number of impacts on your life and health – it’s one of the factors that increase the possibility of developing heart disease and high blood pressures. Many things can keep you awake, but it is important to find ways of dealing with them so that your body can get the shut-eye it requires. Try eating the following foods before bed and see if this makes a difference to your night’s sleep.

1. Salmon and tuna

Sea fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut are very helpful when you want to get a good night’s sleep. These types of fish have a high amount of vitamin B6 which your body needs to produce the sleep-regulating compounds melatonin and serotonin.

But, just as with most other kinds of seafood, it is important to make sure that the tuna and salmon that you eat does not contain a lot of mercury as this will lead to more harm than good. If you are a vegetarian there are also other natural sources of this vitamin, such as pistachio nuts and raw garlic.

2. Jasmine rice

Rice is a staple food in most societies, and many people have it at least once a week. However, if you want to get some shut-eye, replace your regular rice with jasmine rice. Research shows that the high glycemic index of this rice can help reduce the time that it takes you to get to sleep.

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3. Herbal tea

Bedtime herbal teas are one of the most useful remedies for insomnia and most other sleep problems. In fact, many people that drink them every day claim to have very little trouble falling asleep or sleeping for longer. The recommended herbal teas are chamomile, lavender, valerian and lemon balm, as they have calming properties. Herbal teas are easy to make – just steep the herbs in hot water for a few minutes.

4. Cherries

Cherries are a super food when it comes to dealing with sleep problems. One of the simplest but most useful sleep remedies, the best thing is that you can still get dried cherries when they are not in season.

As one of the few natural sources of melatonin, cherries can make you feel sleepy almost immediately after you eat them. Snack on a bowl of fresh or dried cherries, or drink a small glass of cherry juice a few minutes before you snooze.

5. Almonds

Almonds are widely available and, as well as being a tasty topping for ice creams and other sweets, can also help you sleep. These nuts contain a high amount of magnesium which relaxes your muscles, giving a calm and sleepy feeling. Almond milk contains calcium and tryptophan which help the body in the production of melatonin. So, munching on a handful of these tasty nuts or drinking their milk can be very helpful for insomniacs.

6. Whole grain cereal with milk

Whole grain cereals are rich in magnesium, and this makes them great for aiding sleep. Mix them with some warm milk and you will also benefit from calcium and tryptophan, as well as enjoying a nutritious, tasty and sleep-inducing bedtime snack.

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7. Leafy green vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are fantastic for sleep, so try to include them in your dinner. These vegetables contain a high amount of calcium, needed to help the body use tryptophan in the production of melatonin. Certain lettuces can also help you snooze faster and for longer because they contain lactucarium which has some mild sedative properties.

If you spend hours tossing and turning in bed because you can’t fall asleep, try eating some of the foods mentioned above. Keep a sleep diary to see which ones work best for you – and let us know how you get on.