Some of us just can't fall asleep. The reasons behind all the trouble falling asleep may vary from the stress of an upcoming meeting, to heartburn because you had a very heavy dinner. Ultimately, we are all aware of the fatigue and exhaustion that follows a night full of disturbed or no sleep at all. A continuous routine of disturbed or no sleep at all can lead to sleep disorders such as insomnia that can further affect other aspects of our health and life. Apart from all that you may have tried to fall asleep, including counting the sheep, taking a bath, there are several foods which are indeed quite helpful in inducing a comfortable, undisturbed sleep.
The Best Foods for Inducing Sleep
Every food listed here has certain compounds that help enhance sleep. It is these compounds that make these the perfect foods to consume before sleeping, to get all that sleep you have been craving but not been getting for a long time now. However, always remember to consume these foods a minimum of 3 hours before sleeping. Eating very late can cause you discomfort and keep you awake through the night. The prime components in the foods mentioned below are tryptophan, carbohydrates, melatonin, and magnesium. All these components are known to enhance sleep and send you into a relaxing snooze to find yourself fresh the next morning. The foods that help you sleep have been enlisted here.
|Nutrients & Foods that Help you Fall Asleep|
|Turkey||As an evening snack, have a lean turkey sandwich (a slice of turkey with whole wheat bread - avoid heavy dressings.) It will help you sleep better through the night.|
|Seafood & Poultry||Include fish or chicken, (steamed or grilled - without too many spices), and eggs in your dinner and enjoy a good night's sleep.|
|Potatoes||Consume potatoes, baked or mashed, in a small amount in order to rid your body of toxins that hinder the effects of tryptophan. This helps in enhancing your sleep.|
|Almonds||Not only are almonds one of the many foods high in tryptophan, but they also contain natural muscle relaxants in the form of magnesium. Have a handful for an evening snack.|
|Whole Wheat Bread||Consume whole wheat bread with a cup of herbal tea that contains honey to allow the production of insulin that transports tryptophan to the brain.|
|Warm Milk||A glass of warm milk just before you go to bed enables you to fall asleep because of its tryptophan and calcium levels.|
|Oatmeal||Instead of heavy dinners, try a bowl of oatmeal with some honey in it, and you are bound to drift into the coziest sleep ever.|
|Bananas||A banana at dinner time will not only enhance melatonin production in the body, but also its magnesium levels will relax your muscles and put you to sleep.|
|Tart Cherries||Consuming a handful of tart cherries that are rich sources of melatonin half an hour before you sleep will give you undisturbed sleep. You may also try drinking cherry juice to fall asleep.|
|Walnuts||Have a handful of walnuts as they are, or sprinkle some on a bowl of yogurt and enjoy a good night's sleep. These are known to increase the production of melatonin that aids the process of falling sleep.|
|Whole Wheat Grains||Whole wheat cereal, whole wheat pasta, or whole wheat bread, toast, or a bagel is a great source of carbohydrates that can enhance your sleep.|
|Dates||Consumption of dates is not only healthy, but also the rich carbohydrate content releases serotonin, a feel good hormone, in the body that relaxes the mind and enables you to fall asleep. As such, it is also one of the many great serotonin foods that relax the mind and calm the body.|
|Honey||Touted as one of the best foods that help you sleep, simply have a teaspoon of honey before bed, or apply some on a piece of whole wheat toast. Not only will you ease into sleep, but also you will have undisturbed sleep through the night.|
|Green Leafy Vegetables||Foods such as spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, celery, etc., are all magnesium-rich foods that enhance sleep and also keep the body healthy.|
|Beans||A variety of beans in your diet, including soybeans and black beans will give you the necessary magnesium to fall asleep and stay asleep.|
|Pumpkin Seeds||A handful of pumpkin seeds added to your cereal is the perfect way to give you the daily dose of magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant, required by your body.|
Apart from these foods, flax seeds, dairy in the form of yogurt, cheese (avoid aged cheese), and cottage cheese are all helpful aids when attempting to attain quality sleep. While you consume these sleep-inducing foods, make sure that you avoid foods that keep you awake and active. First of all, no sugary treats are allowed as they give you a rush and keep you active. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these are both stimulants. Do not exercise at least 2-3 hours before you sleep because it activates your metabolism and is likely to induce sleep much later. Once again, remember, all the aforementioned foods are extremely healthy foods. By inducing a healthy sleeping pattern, they will also improve the quality of your mind, your body, and the overall quality of your life.
Disclaimer: This SleepHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.