There are many factors that can affect a person’s sleep including stress levels, medical conditions, chronic pain, and environmental factors like lighting and temperature, for example. Diet also plays a large role in our ability to fall asleep. Eating the right food can lead to a good night’s rest, while eating the wrong food may keep you up all night.
Furthermore, getting a poor night’s sleep can cause you to make poor food choices. For example, when you don’t sleep well, you feel tired and sluggish and require high energy foods. The problem is foods that provide quick energy tend to be unhealthier and packed with sugar. When these foods are burned off, you are stuck feeling sluggish once again.
Certain foods have been found to be better at helping you sleep than others. Milk, chamomile, and kiwi are just some of these sleep-inducing foods.
The key to finding foods to help you sleep is by picking the right foods containing the right nutrients. Certain nutrients have been found to aid in sleep better than others. These include B vitamins, tryptophan, and magnesium. These are essential nutrients because they affect melatonin, which is a key sleep hormone. By eating foods with these nutrients, you will have more readily available melatonin and likely sleep better.
Good food to eat that contain these nutrients include dairy, nuts, fish, tofu or paneer, and some meat. But don’t eat meat too close to bed, because it takes longer to digest, and the digesting process will keep you awake.
The perfect pre-sleep snack to satisfy your hunger and help you sleep is semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, a banana, and a few nuts.
It takes about an hour for these sleep-inducing nutrients to reach the brain, so don’t expect to eat and then fall asleep right away. Consume these foods about an hour prior to you falling asleep for best results.
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