In my second blog article for mindbodygreen.com, I share my favorite foods/fluids to help you sleep without packing on extra pounds, my favorite bedtime snacks, and 6 food practices to avoid before sleep. Check it out here -
Fish such as salmon, tuna, and halibut with garlic and pistachio nuts are rich sources of vitamin B6.
Salads with lettuce are high in lactucarium, which has sedative properties.
Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and mustard greens are great sources of calcium.
Tart cherries naturally boost melatonin levels and can be added to salads. Alternatively, enjoy a glass of cherry juice with dinner.
Walnuts are an excellent source of tryptophan and a natural source of melatonin. Walnuts are a great addition to the fish, salads, and vegetables listed above. Plus, if you're a night shift worker, some walnuts and a glass of tart cherry juice make a perfect, light breakfast before day-sleep.
Almonds are another valuable nut for sleep because of their high magnesium content. Low magnesium levels are associated with symptoms of restless legs and sleep difficulty. Eating almonds daily or taking a daily magnesium supplement may be helpful for decreasing any restlessness in your legs so you fall asleep faster. I can attest to this personally with a 35-year history of moderate, restless legs syndrome. I now use honey roasted almonds in salads, make smoothies with almond flour, and take 500 mg of oral magnesium nightly, a few hours ahead of bedtime.
Chickpeas found in hummus are an excellent source of tryptophan. So, if you need a small snack to stave off hunger before bedtime, consider hummus on whole-grain crackers.
Honey, with natural sugar, aids in transporting tryptophan to the brain without spiking your insulin level, making it a better carbohydrate choice. Avoid carbohydrates with a high glycemic index at night.
Chamomile tea contains the chemical glycine, which relaxes nerves and muscles and induces a mild sedative effect. Add a little honey to your chamomile tea at dinner, or at least 90 minutes ahead of bedtime for a more restful sleep.
Passionfruit tea contains chemical alkaloids that have a sedative effect. Drinking a cup of passionfruit tea an hour before bedtime may help you sleep more deeply.
I hope you find this sleep information helpful. Please feel free to share it with friends on Social Media.