For some of us, getting eight hours of sleep regularly is next to impossible. So, the next best thing is to maximize the quality of the sleep we can get. This means falling asleep quicker and staying asleep longer, minimizing the tossing and turning throughout the night. You’ve probably heard the basics: Don’t use devices with blue light before bedtime, drink some relaxing tea or try a melatonin supplement. But here are three food-related tips to get a better night’s sleep that are as simple as swapping out your nightly bowl of ice cream. Here’s to strategic snacking before bed!
Weird, but it works. You know that intense sleepiness that tends to hit you like a bus after the big Thanksgiving meal? Aside from the sheer amount of food, much that is actually because of the turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid known to increase tiredness and melatonin production.
Getting a source of protein without a lot of carbs before bed is satiating and is associated with better quality sleep throughout the night. The combination of this with the tryptophan to make you sleepy is worth a shot to better your sleep.
A handful of almonds is a great nighttime snack. They are filling but not too heavy, and they are rich in components that promote sleep. One serving offers 19% the daily value of magnesium, making it one of the most magnesium-rich foods. Magnesium is necessary for the overall relaxation that puts us in a state ready for sleep. Adding some extra magnesium can reduce nighttime stress and promote relaxation. Additionally, almonds have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the stress hormone cortisol, getting your body and mind ready to sleep through the night.
This is less common as a sleep remedy, but is a powerful player in the game. Kiwi boosts levels of serotonin, which is essential in regulating our sleep cycle. In a 4-week study, 24 adults consumed two kiwis one hour before going to bed. As a result, participants fell asleep 42% faster than when they didn’t eat anything before bed.
Not only that, their ability to sleep through the night without waking improved by 5%. Their total sleep time increased by 13%. With those stats, it can’t hurt to try snacking on one before bed if you’re prone to tossing and turning at night.