Guide to Eating Better for a Good Night’s Rest
While many of us are aware a healthy diet and sleep are two crucial pillars for ensuring well-being, fewer know how dietary habits and sleep affect each other. Both these factors have the power to influence one another and share a cyclical relationship.
While consuming too much caffeine can keep you energised and awake for the next few hours, going a few nights without proper rest can lead to insatiable hunger. Although sleep and nutrition have a complex relationship, we know a few food habits that can make a good night’s sleep possible.
Here are a few nutritional tips for you to follow if you are struggling with good-quality rest.
Which foods promote a good night's rest?
Almonds boost sleep quality and ensure a peaceful night’s rest. They are a rich source of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and help signal your body to go to sleep.
Besides, these nuts are also an excellent source of magnesium, which helps improve sleep, especially in people dealing with insomnia. Experts believe magnesium affects sleep because of its property to control inflammation. Additionally, it helps regulate the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which interrupts sleep.
2. Malted milk
Malted milk refers to a specifically formulated powder containing wheat flour, malted barley, malted wheat, sugar, and an assortment of vitamins.
Experts suggest consuming malted milk before bed to reduce sleep interruptions. While they are unsure of the reasons why this is effective, they suspect the presence of Vitamin B and D in malted milk for the results.
Moreover, milk itself contains melatonin, and many milk-made products are melatonin-enriched. If a cow is milked at night, the product has more melatonin. Drinking this milk may provide you with a natural source of sleep-producing hormones.
3. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is consumed by many as it offers a variety of health benefits. It has some unique properties that improve sleep quality. Chamomile tea contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds with certain receptors in the brain to promote sleep and reduce insomnia.
Experts also suggest that people who drink chamomile tea have fewer signs of depression, a mental well-being problem commonly linked with sleep issues.
4. Fatty fish
Having fish three times a week improves overall sleep quality and daytime functioning. It might be because a fatty fish contains a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. It enhances sleep quality by improving the production of serotonin in the body.
Experts suggest that people who consume fish three times a week for a duration of six months also fall asleep faster. It might be because of vitamin D, which significantly improves sleep quality.
5. White rice
Consumed as a staple food in many countries, white rice is high in carbs. This increased value of carbs and lack of fibres contributes to a high glycaemic index (GI).
Experts suggest that consuming foods with high GI, like white rice, at least an hour before bed improves sleep quality. Besides better sleep, consuming foods with high GI also increases rest duration.
Another sleep-promoting agent is walnut, which contributes to better sleep quality. It is one of the best sources of melatonin and contains fatty acids, which contribute to a good night’s rest.
The alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, is also present in walnuts, which gets converted into DHA in the body. The production of DHA increases the amount of serotonin, which is both responsible for inducing sleep and keeping you up.
7. Tart Cherry
Tart cherries have a distinct flavour from sweet cherries and are also referred to as sour cherries. Experts have found tart cherry juice to be beneficial for sleep. People who drink one cup of tart cherry juice every day have more sleep time and better sleep efficiency.
Experts believe this happens because of a more-than-average concentration of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, in tart cherries. Moreover, they have an antioxidant effect that is sleep-conducive.
If you struggle with a good night’s sleep, making a few changes in your diet may help. Consuming food items rich in melatonin, serotonin, specific antioxidants, and magnesium at least 2-3 hours before going to bed can prove promising and promote rest.