Insomnia. Wakeful sleep. It happens to all of us. Many people take medications to fall and stay asleep. But some items in your kitchen may be just as helpful in your quest for rest.
Food is vital in providing the nutrients needed for our survival.

Luckily, there are foods that go beyond meeting our basic needs and are beneficial to getting proper rest.

We give you tips on certain foods and drinks to consume for sweet slumber.

According the National Sleep Foundation, foods that are a good source of melatonin and serotonin help you fall asleep, while foods rich in magnesium and antioxidants help you stay asleep.
Many chemicals, amino acids, enzymes, nutrients, and hormones work in tandem to ease you into sleep and regulate your sleep cycle. These include:

  • tryptophan
  • melatonin
  • gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
  • calcium
  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • pyridoxine
  • L-ornithine
  • serotonin
  • histamine
  • acetylcholine
  • folate
  • antioxidants
  • vitamin D
  • B vitamins
  • zinc
  • copper

Here’s what you can eat for restful sleep:

Fatty fish, such as wild-caught salmon, tuna and anchovies, that are full of Omega-3 fats has been shown to help you fall asleep quickly.

Barley grass powder is full of several sleep-inducing compounds, including GABA, calcium, tryptophan, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Mix barley grass powder in water, nut milk or a smoothie. Find it in powder or pill form at your local health food store.

Oats are rich in melatonin; which studies have shown to be extremely helpful in treating sleep disorders. The grains in oats also trigger insulin production, which raises your blood sugar naturally and induces sleepiness.

Nuts such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts are a good source of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Eating these nuts can increase your levels of the hormone, helping you sleep more soundly.

A Cup of Bedtime Tea
A nightly cup of caffeine-free tea can be a pleasant bedtime ritual. Chamomile, lavender, and peppermint are calming choices.

Warm Milk
Research has shown that the tryptophan and melatonin content of milk can result in improved sleep. Just like hot tea, a warm mug of milk can be a beneficial addition to your relaxing bedtime routine.

Melatonin-rich fruits like cherries, bananas, pineapple, oranges and kiwi may help you fall asleep more quickly and wake up less often during the night. Other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like berries, prunes, raisins, and plums, may have a similar effect by helping eliminate the cause of interrupted sleep.

What NOT to eat for restful sleep:

Skip the white bread, refined pasta, and sugary, baked goods. These foods may reduce serotonin levels and ruin sleep. Instead, try whole grains for your bedtime snack: Popcorn, oatmeal, or whole-wheat crackers.

*Information in this post is solely for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice.

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