The quality of sleep you’ll get at night is impacted by your daily life routines including everything you eat and drink to the activities running your day. Yes! the food and drinks that you take during the day or just before you go to sleep have a significant impact on the way you sleep.
While sleep deprivation or lack of enough sleep is commonly associated with factors such as stress, insomnia, medications, and sleep disorders, a poor dietary regime has also been found to affect quality sleep. Certain foods are known to promote good sleep while some only cause sleeplessness. Here’s a good list of some of the best foods to include in your diet plan for quality sleep. Eating better, sleeping better.
Best Foods for Good Sleep Hygiene
Eating right foods not only improves your sleeping patterns but also allows you to rejuvenated in the mornings and help better utilize energy.
Carbohydrates and Proteins
Foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins increase blood sugar levels which promotes sleep. They help tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin absorption in the brain and are the agents that induce sleep. However, too much production of this sleep aid hormones can lead to psychological problems such as irritability, impulsive behavior, mood swings, stress, and depression.
For a goodnight’s sleep, try to introduce protein and carbohydrate-rich foods into your meal plan. Examples of such foods include but not limited to:
- Dairy foods e.g. milk and yogurt
- Seafood, poultry and meat
- Beans, nuts and whole grains
You might as well try these options in combinations for the best midnight snack.
Sleep disorder is also associated with insufficient calcium in the body, which is the mineral that helps the brain to utilize the hormone, tryptophan to produce melatonin, the sleep-aiding hormone. Though calcium also supports the development of strong and healthy bones in the body, it’s known to treat sleeping problems such as insomnia by promoting quality sleep.
Examples of Calcium-rich Foods for Better Sleep Include
Magnesium is another essential mineral for aiding quality sleep and managing sleeping disorders. Also known as sleep mineral, magnesium is very effective in managing stress levels, anxiety and inducing relaxation by countering the effects of adrenaline in the body, which is to stimulate energy and alertness rather than promoting sleep.
Healthy eating involves taking in a balanced diet rich with numerous minerals that support growth.Ensure you’re eating foods packed with calcium to enjoy healthy sleep habits. Examples of magnesium-rich foods to have in your diet plan include:
- Seafood e.g. sardine and tuna
- Leafy greens e.g. collard, kale and spinach
- Whole grains, nuts and seeds
- Dairy foods e.g. low-fat yogurt and skimmed milk
Serotonin, asleep triggering a hormone in the brain, deficiency can cause sleeping problems mainly associated with psychological issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, irritability, mood swings, impulsive behavior, and insomnia. Lack of Vitamin B6 hinders the production of neurotransmitters, serotonin and tryptophan which are responsible for triggering and inducing quality sleep.
Some of the best foods packed with Vitamin B6 include:
Some foods like eggs and dairy products can cause allergic reactions and therefore you might want to consider Vitamin B6 supplements.
In addition to eating the right foods, some drinks are well known to offer sleeping aid and can help improve quality sleep. Avoid caffeinated drinks before bedtime.
- Warm milk
- Coconut water
- Decaffeinated Green Tea
- Chamomile, lemon, peppermint tea
In conclusion, introducing some of these diet options can help solve many sleeping problems and makes you feel refreshed every morning. In case you’ve tried all these foods but still can’t seem to get quality sleep, or waking up feeling tired, then there must be an underlying problem that must be checked by a specialist. Further diagnosis may be necessary to ascertain the root cause of your sleep problem and as a precaution, you might be subjected to a sleep center where your condition will be monitored closely.