Getting good sleep is incredibly important for your overall health, not just your mental health. It may reduce your risk of developing certain chronic illnesses, keep your brain healthy, and boost your immune system.
It’s generally recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, though many people struggle to get enough. Anxiety can really get in the way when you are trying to wind down and go to sleep. There are many strategies you can use to promote good sleep, including making changes to your diet, as some foods and drinks have sleep-promoting properties.
Here are four of the best foods and drinks you can have before bed to enhance your quality of sleep.
They’re an excellent source of many nutrients, as 1 ounce (28 grams) of the dry roasted nuts contains 18% of an adult’s daily needs for phosphorus and 23% for riboflavin. An ounce also provides 25% of the daily manganese needs for men and 31% of the daily manganese needs for women.
Eating almonds regularly has been associated with lower risks of a few chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is attributed to their healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Antioxidants may protect your cells from harmful inflammation that can lead to these chronic diseases.
It’s been claimed that almonds may help boost sleep quality as well. This is because almonds, along with several other types of nuts, are a source of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates your internal clock and signals your body to prepare for sleep.
Almonds are also an excellent source of magnesium, providing 19% of your daily needs in only 1 ounce. Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium may help improve sleep quality, especially for those who have insomnia. Additionally, it may help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to interrupt sleep.
It’s high in protein, with roasted turkey providing almost 8 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams). Protein is important for keeping your muscles strong and regulating your appetite. Additionally, turkey is a modest source of a few vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin and phosphorus. It’s an excellent source of selenium, with a 3-ounce serving providing 56% of the Daily Value (DV).
Turkey has a few properties that explain why some people become tired after eating it or think it encourages sleepiness. Most notably, it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the production of melatonin. The protein in turkey may also contribute to its ability to promote tiredness. There’s evidence that consuming moderate amounts of protein before bed is associated with better sleep quality, including less waking up throughout the night.
- Chamomile tea
It’s well known for its flavones. Flavones are a class of antioxidants that reduce the inflammation that often leads to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. There’s also some evidence that drinking chamomile tea may boost your immune system, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve skin health. In addition, chamomile tea has some unique properties that may improve sleep quality.
Specifically, chamomile tea contains apigenin. This antioxidant binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia.
One 2011 study in 34 adults found those who consumed 270 mg of chamomile extract twice daily for 28 days fell asleep 15 minutes faster and experienced less nighttime wakening compared to those who didn’t consume the extract. Another study found that women who drank chamomile tea for 2 weeks reported improved sleep quality compared to non-tea drinkers. Those who drank chamomile tea also had fewer symptoms of depression, which is commonly associated with sleep problems..
One fruit contains only 42 calories and a significant amount of nutrients, including 71% of the DV for vitamin C. It provides men and women with 23% and 31%, respectively, of the vitamin K they need each day. It contains a decent amount of folate and potassium as well as several trace minerals too.
According to studies on their potential to improve sleep quality, kiwis may also be one of the best foods to eat before bed. In a 4-week study, 24 adults consumed two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed each night. At the end of the study, participants fell asleep 42% more quickly than when they didn’t eat anything before bedtime. Additionally, their ability to sleep through the night without waking improved by 5%, while their total sleep time increased by 13%.
The sleep-promoting effects of kiwis are sometimes attributed to serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that helps regulate your sleep cycle. It’s also been suggested that the anti-inflammatory antioxidants in kiwis, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, may be partly responsible for their sleep-promoting effects.
More evidence is needed to determine the effects that kiwis may have in improving sleep. Nevertheless, eating 1–2 medium kiwis before bed may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
If you are struggling with insomnia, a counselor at Acadia Counseling can help you determine the best strategies to alleviate your nighttime struggles. Reach out to us to get an appointment with this form: