Catch some Zzz’s
A good night’s sleep can be difficult to come by these days. In a Consumer Reports survey, 27 percent of Americans said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights. And 68 percent—or an estimated 164 million Americans—struggled with sleep at least once a week.
Maybe you’ve tried taking sleeping pills or supplements, using a white noise machine, buying a new mattress or even consulting a sleep coach without any relief. But have you ever thought your diet may be contributing to your sleeplessness?
Here are some foods that can help you sleep better:
- Nuts: Almonds and walnuts are high in potassium and B vitamins, which helps your nervous system relax and can result in a better night’s sleep.
- Fish: Salmon, halibut and tuna boast a high Vitamin B6 content, which is needed to make melatonin.
- Bananas: Like almonds and walnuts, bananas are high in potassium and B vitamins, providing a natural muscle relaxant.
- Brown rice: Brown rice contains the amino acid GABA (or gamma-aminobutyric acid). This amino acid helps calm your nervous system at the end of the day.
- Cherries: This fruit helps the body release melatonin and promotes a natural sleep cycle. (Psst… this is a great snack for jet lag!)
- Dairy products: Calcium deficiency can make it harder to fall asleep. Foods like milk, yogurt and cheese are high in calcium and can help you get a full night’s sleep.
- Kale: Kale is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential for the function of the GABA receptors in the brain. Eat more kale for a restful sleep!
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal doesn’t have to be reserved for just breakfast. This high-fiber meal is a natural source of melatonin and helps release sleep hormones.
- Kiwi: Chock-full of vitamins C and E, kiwi also contains serotonin and folate. All of these vitamins and minerals promote a healthy snooze.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas can help you relax, as they can help boost your vitamin B6 intake and melatonin production.
Do you have any nighttime snack rituals that help you sleep better? Let us know in the comments!