9 Foods that can improve your sleep
Last week we brought you 3 top tips for better sleep, and now we're back with 9 foods that can improve your sleep. With many of us being out of our usual routines, and stressing about the state of the world, our sleep may be taking a hit. Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation are linked to issues with concentration, memory, and judgement. In the long-term, sleep deprivation has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, both mental and physical.
So why does diet help?
Firstly, our bodies contain a neurotransmitter called tryptophan which modulates sleep. There are some foods that naturally contain this, and eating them about an hour before you go to bed can really help you to fall asleep, and improve sleep quality. Furthermore, one major cause of insomnia is anxiety. Including more magnesium in your diet can relax your body and mind, helping you to fall asleep and sleep better.
So here is our list of the top 9 foods to improve your sleep.
1. Walnuts and almonds
These nuts are an excellent source of magnesium and melatonin - the sleep hormone!
Turkey contains high levels of tryptophan, as well as plenty of protein which is also beneficial for falling asleep.
Kiwi contains a high level of antioxidants, so when eaten regularly it can improve both sleep quality and the amount of sleep we get.
4. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is high in tryptophan, as well as having a high protein content.
Dates are an excellent source of melatonin, which helps to lull your body into a sleepy state.
Bananas are a great pre-bedtime snack, containing magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan.
7. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea calms the mind and eases anxiety, eliciting drowsiness.
8. Fatty fish
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are high in vitamin B6 which encourages the production of melatonin.
Not only is milk packed with tryptophan, it contains high levels of calcium which also helps us to drift off.
As well as including these foods in your diet for better sleep, it is also best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and processed carbs such as white bread and pasta, particularly after 6pm.