Sleeping well is incredibly important for your overall health. But not everyone manages to sleep like a baby at night. And that comes with health risks.
A lack of sleep can increase the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. In addition, insomnia can lead to problems with your digestion and immune system.
Tackling restless sleep with nutrition
Today there are many options for dealing with restless sleep, such as using certain sleep-promoting supplements. But did you know that you can also improve the quality of your sleep by watching what you eat?
The right foods can ensure that you increase the chance that you will sleep like a rose. In this article, we, therefore, describe 5 foods that you can add to your diet to sleep better.
Almonds can be classed as tree nuts and their consumption can result in many health benefits.
Almonds are an excellent source of many nutrients, as a handful contains about 14% of your daily requirement for phosphorus, 32% for manganese, and 17% for riboflavin.
Also, eating almonds regularly is associated with a lower risk of several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is because almonds contain healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants.
It is also claimed that almonds can help you sleep like a baby as they can improve sleep quality. This is because almonds, along with several other types of nuts, are a source of the sleep-regulating hormone called “melatonin”.
Almonds are also a good source of magnesium and provide about 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) when you consume only 100 grams. Eating adequate amounts of magnesium can help improve sleep quality – especially for those with insomnia.
Magnesium's role in promoting sleep is thought to be due to its ability to reduce inflammation. In addition, it can help lower levels of the stress hormone “cortisol,” which is known to interfere with sleep.
Despite this, research on the relationship between tonsils and sleep is scarce. The potential sleep-promoting effects of almonds are promising, but more extensive studies in humans are needed.
If you're looking to eat almonds at bedtime to determine if they'll help you sleep like a baby, an ounce (28 grams) serving should be enough (i.e. a handful).
Turkey is food that allows you to sleep like a rose
In addition, turkey is a good source of several vitamins and minerals. One serving contains about 5% of your daily requirement for riboflavin, 5% for phosphorus, and 9% for selenium. Read on to find out how turkey can help you sleep like a baby.
Many people claim that turkey is an effective bedtime food for its ability to promote drowsiness, although no studies have specifically examined the effect of turkey before bedtime.
Nevertheless, Turkey has some properties that explain why some people get tired after eating turkey. It contains the amino acid called “tryptophan”, which increases the production of the sleep-regulating hormone “melatonin”.
The protein in turkey can also help you get a good night's sleep. There is some evidence that consuming a little protein before bed is associated with better sleep quality, including waking up less during the night.
In short, it could very well be that sleeping like a rose and consuming turkey go hand in hand. Nevertheless, more research is needed to confirm turkey's potential role in improving sleep.
However, it may be worth eating some turkey before going to bed — especially if you're having trouble falling asleep.
Eating kiwi for a better night's sleep
Kiwis are a low-calorie and highly nutritious fruit. A medium kiwi contains only 50 calories and a significant amount of nutrients, including 117% of your daily requirement for vitamin C and 38% for vitamin K.
In addition, it contains a fair amount of folic acid and potassium, as well as various trace elements.
In addition, eating kiwis can benefit your digestion, reduce inflammation and lower your cholesterol. These health benefits are due to the high amount of fiber and antioxidants they contain.
According to studies on their potential to improve sleep quality, kiwifruit can also be considered one of the best foods to consume before bed to help you sleep like a baby at night.
In a four-week study, 24 adults consumed two kiwis an hour before going to bed. At the end of the study, participants fell asleep 42% faster than if they didn't eat kiwifruit before bed.
In addition, their ability to sleep through the night without waking up improved by 5%, while their total sleep time increased by 13%. In other words, eating kiwifruit before bed can be linked to better sleep.
The sleep-promoting effects of kiwis are thought to be due to their high levels of serotonin. This is a brain chemical that helps your body regulate the sleep cycle and will help you sleep like a baby.
Consuming oily fish to sleep better
Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel, are incredibly healthy. What makes oily fish unique is its exceptionally high vitamin D content. For example, a 100 gram serving of salmon contains 525-990 IU of vitamin D, which is more than 50% of your daily requirement.
In addition, oily fish is high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA. Both fatty acids are known for their ability to reduce inflammation. Also, omega-3 fatty acids can protect your body from heart disease and improve brain health.
Another nice side effect of eating oily fish is its ability to make you sleep like a baby. The combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in oily fish can improve sleep quality, as both nutrients have been shown to increase the production of serotonin (a sleep-promoting substance).
In one study, men who ate 300 grams of salmon three times a week for six months fell asleep about 10 minutes faster than men who ate chicken, beef, or pork.
So eating a few grams of fatty fish before bed can help you sleep like a baby throughout the night, but more studies are needed to draw a definitive conclusion on the ability of fatty fish to improve sleep.
Sleep like a baby thanks to white rice
The main difference between white and brown rice is that white rice has had the bran and germ removed, which means that it contains less fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. White rice can therefore be regarded as an easily digestible food.
Nevertheless, white rice still contains a fair amount of vitamins and minerals. A serving of white rice provides about 14% of your daily requirement for folic acid, 11% for thiamine (vitamin B1), and 24% for manganese.
White rice also contains a lot of carbohydrates – about 28 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of white rice. Its carbohydrate content and lack of fiber contribute to its high “glycemic index,” which is a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar.
It is suggested that eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as white rice, a few hours before bedtime may help improve sleep quality. Research has confirmed that eating white rice can help you sleep like a baby at night.
One study compared the sleep process of 1,848 people based on their intake of white rice, bread, or noodles. Higher rice intake was associated with better sleep, including longer sleep duration.
It has also been shown that white rice is most effective at improving sleep when consumed at least one hour before bedtime.
Despite the potential role eating white rice can play in promoting sleep, white rice is best eaten in moderation due to its lack of fiber and nutrients.
Foods to sleep like a rose
Getting enough sleep is very important for your health. Fortunately, several foods can help you sleep like a baby, thanks in part to their content of sleep-regulating hormones and brain chemicals, including melatonin and serotonin.
In addition, some foods contain high amounts of antioxidants and nutrients, such as magnesium, which are known to improve sleep and fight possible chronic sleep deprivation. For example, they ensure that you fall asleep faster, or that the duration of your sleep is extended.
To maximize the benefits of sleep-enhancing foods, it's a good idea to consume these foods 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. This is because eating right before bed can cause digestive problems such as heartburn.
Overall, more research is needed to understand the specific role of foods in promoting sleep, but the known effects – as described in this article – are promising.
Do you want to change your diet so that you are more likely to sleep like a baby during the night? Then it is advisable to first consult a medical specialist before drastically changing your diet. Discuss the possibilities and options with a dietician, for example.
You can discuss with them which foods to add to your diet and which foods to avoid. In this way, you can strive to sleep like a rose effectively and responsibly with the help of a healthy and varied diet.