Food for Sleep
Posted: Mar 01 2017
We've talked about "beauty sleep" before, specifically about how important a good night's sleep is for the condition of our skin. In order to ensure you get a good rest, it's important to know that there are certain foods which can affect your sleep. Here's a list of foods that can aid your sleep and foods that are certainly worth avoiding in the evenings...
Foods to eat:
Almonds are naturally rich in magnesium, which is a mineral needed for quality sleep. They also contain calcium. A combination of these two minerals help to calm the muscles and relax the body.
You will see bananas in lots of healthy food lists, and although they have energy-boosting benefits they are also rich in potassium and magnesium, which help to relax and soothe tired muscles. Bananas also contain tryptophan, the precursor to calming and sleep-regulating hormones, serotonin and melatonin.
One teaspoon of honey is enough to stimulate the release of melatonin in the brain and shut off orexin – the chemical known to trigger alertness – to calm the mind and help you wind down.
Oats are known to be rich in vitamins, amino acids and minerals, which help to produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. The grains in the oats trigger insulin production, which will leave you feeling relaxed and sleepy.
Turkey is a very good source of tryptophan, an amino acid which demonstrated powerful sleep-inducing effects. It is also a great source of protein that will help keep the hunger away whilst you sleep.
Foods to avoid:
Whilst alcohol will help you nod-off, it prevents you from reaching a deep state of sleep, meaning that you are more likely to be restless throughout the night. Alcohol also leads to dehydration, meaning that you are likely to wake up throughout the night.
Cheese contains high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which causes the brain to feel more alert. So it is better to avoid having cheese late in the evening, to avoid having trouble falling asleep.
- Spicy Food
Spicy food might be a go-to food for revving up your metabolism, but it can really affect your ability to fall asleep. Some spices, like cayenne, chilli peppers, or tabasco, contain capsaicin, which makes it harder to regulate temperature and can lead to heart burn. Raised body temperature can make you feel more awake.
- Fatty Food
Fatty foods are harder and take longer to digest. This will keep your body up, rather then letting it relax. It can often cause bloating and indigestion, obstructing sleep.
This is an obvious one, but still worth mentioning. It is worth knowing that caffeine can stimulate your nervous system several hours after consuming it. It's stimulating effects can last anywhere between 8 to 14 hours. So if you are sensitive to caffeine, it is definitely worth limiting your consumption to before lunch.
We've gathered some dinner and evening snack recipes that can help you include those sleep-inducing foods in your diet in a yummy way: