Did you know that 237 million people globally struggle with insomnia? In fact, so many people find it hard catching zzz’s, it’s actually the most common sleep disorder! Since sleep is so complex, there’s no silver bullet or food that is 100% guaranteed to make sure you hit those recommended 8 hours. However, we’ve rounded up 10 different foods which you may want to start incorporating into your diet to help get rid of those bags under your eyes and get a better sleep tonight.
Kiwi contains tons of great vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, and folate. Research from the American Society for Nutrition (2016) actually found that people who ate two kiwis one hour before bedtime found they fell asleep faster, sleep more, and had a better quality sleep!
2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish may help sleep by providing a healthy dose of Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to be involved in the body’s regulation of serotonin. A study done by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (2014) found that over a period of a few months, people who ate salmon three times per week had a better overall sleep as well as better daytime functioning.
Now the research is still a little sparse on this one, but some reports indicate that almonds can help boost sleep quality as well. They’re an excellent source of melatonin and the sleep-enhancing mineral, magnesium – two properties that may make them a great go-to food to eat before bed.
4. Chamomile Tea
This one shouldn’t be shocking! Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea that offers tons of health benefits – like natural anti-inflammatories. There’s even some evidence that this type of tea can boost your immune system, reduce anxiety, and improve overall skin health. But what does it have to do with sleep? Well, a study done in 2011 found that adults who consumed 270mg of chamomile extract twice a day for 28 days fell asleep 15 minutes faster and experienced less nighttime wakening compared to those who didn’t consume the extract. Drinking the tea is certainly worth trying if you’re looking to improve the quality of your sleep or just calm yourself down after a stressful day.
Cherries are an excellent snack to consider before hitting the hay! They’re rich in four different sleep-regulating compounds including melatonin, tryptophan, potassium, and serotonin. In a 2018 Review, researchers found a positive correlation between improved sleep and cherry consumption. Even if you don’t want to turn to cherries as a snack pre-bedtime, incorporating them into your everyday diet wouldn’t hurt. They’ve got lots of anti-inflammatory properties and can even help reduce pain after strenuous exercise!
Bananas are rich in sleep-promoting nutrients like magnesium, tryptophan, Vitamin B6, carbs, and potassium – all of which are linked to improved sleep quality! Some studies actually indicate that bananas can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
7. White Rice
While white rice has a high glycemic index (GI), it still contains lots of vitamins and minerals. It’s been thought that eating foods with a higher GI at least one hour before bed may help improve your quality of sleep. Although it can be beneficial to your sleep, it’s best to remember to consume rice in moderation.
8. Passionflower Tea
Another herbal tea that’s been traditionally shown to reduce anxiety and induce sleep is passionflower tea. A in a seven-day study, 41 adults drank a cup of passionflower tea before bed, ranking their sleep quality as significantly better when they drank the tea in comparison to when they didn’t. In addition to helping you get some shut-eye, passionflower tea has been shown to the production of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which works to inhibit other brain chemicals that induce stress, like glutamate!
Looking for some more nutrition ideas to help level up your game? Try these best foods for muscle recovery today!