If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, it may be time to consider whether your diet is playing a role and adjust accordingly. There are a few common-sense rules — for example, lay off the caffeine at night and if you suffer from gastric reflux, try to avoid spicy or oily foods that might keep you up out of discomfort.
If you want to go one step further, some research suggests that certain foods might help you feel sleepy, fall asleep more quickly, and sleep more deeply. But give your body some time to digest any pre-bedtime snacks before turning in for the night — around 30 minutes should do the trick.
In a 2012 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers asked participants to consume either a placebo or some tart cherry juice concentrate every day for a week. The group who drank the cherry juice had “significantly elevated” melatonin levels, plus “significant increases in time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency total.”
Herbal teas like chamomile are a popular pre-bed drink, and studies suggest that chamomile has mild sedative properties. However, as one literature review found, there’s little hard data on chamomile’s effectiveness, and how it works isn’t fully understood either.
Can binge-watching TV be hurting your ability to fall asleep? Find out here.
“Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax overstressed muscles,” Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D. told Woman’s Day in 2016. “They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin, the brain’s key calming hormones.”
Orange juice or pineapple juice.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Pineal Research found that tropical fruit juices helped participants raise their “serum melatonin concentrations.”
Magnesium supplements, or foods containing a lot of magnesium.
Magnesium is thought to help “relax” your nervous system, making it easier to fall asleep. Lentils, bananas, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are all rich in magnesium.
Jasmine rice, or other high-glycemic foods.
A very small 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who ate Jasmine rice (a high-glycemic index food) fell asleep twice as fast as those who ate Mahatma rice (a low-glycemic index food) with their evening mail.
[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any medical information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate health expert if you have concerns.]
Featured image: volobotti/Shutterstock
Latest posts by Joe Auer (see all)
- Best Mattresses That Won’t Sag - March 15, 2019
- Avocado Vs Zenhaven Vs Brentwood Home Cedar Mattress Comparison – Which Latex Mattress Should You Get? - March 14, 2019
- Best Mattresses For Lightweight Sleepers – Which Should You Choose? - February 15, 2019