Tired or scared of the cost and side effects of sleep medicine? In the mood for a snack? We have a few suggestions just for you! These 10 food items are said to be effective in your battle with sleep deprivation and insomnia and convenient to grab at your local grocery store.
1. Nutmeg can act as a sedative. Steep half of a crushed nutmeg (no more than that) in hot water for 10 minutes, and drink it a half-hour before bedtime. If you don’t like the taste of it, you can use nutmeg oil externally by rubbing it on your forehead.
2. A glass of elderberry juice, at room temperature, is thought of as a sleep inducer. You can get pure elderberry concentrate at health food store. Just dilute it, drink it and hit the hay.
3. Choose protein foods that are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. This helps boost the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Chicken and turkey, milk and dairy, nuts and seeds are all good choices. Combine these with rice, pasta or potatoes to help the body get the most benefits from tryptophan.
4. Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock. One study found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in small improvements in rest duration throughout your sleep cycle and quality in adults who suffered from chronic insomnia.
5. Carbs in general are good for insomnia but it’s not a great idea to binge on a box of cookies before bedtime (or anytime). Instead, try a bowl of Kashi or shredded wheat which contain “good” or complex carbs. Even better, cereal goes well with milk which has its own sleep-promoting qualities.
6. Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. They’re also carbs which will help make you sleepy as well. In fact, bananas are a win-win situation in general.
7. Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium include regular potatoes (baked and keep the skin on), lima beans, and papaya.
8. The root of the valerian plant has been shown in some studies to speed the onset of sleep and improve quality of rest. Some people hold that valerian tea along with motherwort, chamomile, and catnip brews, none of which contain caffeine, will help make you drowsy. It may not be any property of the actual tea however, but the power of the relaxing ritual as you get ready for bed.
9. This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour, found research from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
10. Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep cycle. Adults who ate two or more soy servings a day slept longer and reported the best-quality sleep, according to a 2015 Nutrition Journal study.
Our last tip is to aim to eat your main meal earlier in the evening – the act of eating pushes up the body’s core temperature and this can disrupt sleep so eat your evening meal at least 4 hours before retiring for the day. We hope that you have success with these ‘best sleep aid’ foods. Have a good night’s rest!