Posted on Sunday, October 15th, 2023 at 9:00 am
When thinking about how nutrition affects sleep quality, the first thing that comes to mind is what you should avoid consuming before heading to bed. And while it’s undoubtedly true that skipping that late afternoon cup of coffee or evening glass of wine can improve your sleep quality, there are several foods that can have a positive effect on your slumber. Understanding what foods to choose before bed can help you optimize your system for a great night’s sleep. Here are five foods that can improve your chances of getting the sleep you need.
It might surprise you to learn that cherries are one of the most effective foods for improving sleep quality. Cherries are one of the only foods that contain a natural source of melatonin, a chemical that regulates your sleep–wake cycle. Tart cherries, such as the Martmorency variety, contain the highest melatonin levels. While cherries are only in season for a couple of months a year, you can get the same benefits by eating dried cherries or drinking tart cherry juice about an hour before bedtime.
Many people turn to almonds as a source of protein or monounsaturated fat. However, almonds also contain two chemicals that are good for sleep: magnesium and tryptophan.
Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant, which is why many athletes use it for post-workout recovery. Furthermore, it can calm nerves, helping you to release stress from your day.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that your brain converts into 5-HTP, a compound that is then metabolized into serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a relaxing effect on the mind and body.
Chamomile has long been prized for its relaxing and calming properties, and science can explain why. Chamomile contains the antioxidant apigenin, which binds to certain receptors in the brain. This process may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. Drinking a cup of hot chamomile tea before bed helps you relax.
Kiwis are rich in serotonin, as well as antioxidants like vitamin C and E. Serotonin’s mood-balancing effects can help you feel relaxed enough to sleep. These antioxidant vitamins also have stress-reducing qualities. Having a few slices of kiwi before bed is an easy way to sleep better.
Many people associate warm milk with bedtime in their childhood, and this psychological association alone may improve sleep quality. Furthermore, milk contains tryptophan and calcium, which have sleep-promoting properties. For best results, drink a small glass in combination with a carbohydrate-rich snack, such as toast or granola.
Contact Silent Night Therapy Today
The sleep experts at Silent Night Therapy understand that subtle shifts in what and when you eat can have a profound impact on your ability to achieve the sleep you need, but if changing your diet isn’t enough, call us today at 631-983-2463 or contact us online for an appointment. We can help you get the quality sleep you deserve.