Do you lie awake in bed, tossing and turning through the night? Does sleep continue to elude you? Do not fret further! Adding certain easily available food items to your diet can help you beat insomnia. Slumber snacks are foods that help you sleep through the night.
17 Foods That Help You Sleep Through The Night
The natural sugar found in honey is an age-old remedy for sound sleep. A tablespoon before bed or mixed with chamomile tea can induce restful sleep.
A sprinkling of almonds can do wonders for insomnia. They are rich in magnesium and tryptophan, a sleep-boosting amino acid, which keeps nerve and muscle functions in check and regulates heartbeat.
3. Herbal teas
Sipping your favorite herbal tea can make you snooze off more easily. They have calming sleep inducing properties that relax the brain.
Chamomile tea is known to spike glycine levels and act as a mild sedative.
And steeping a cup of passion flower tea an hour before bed can promote sleep.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale have large amounts of calcium that help the brain convert tryptophan into melatonin, a natural sedative. Take large pieces of kale, sprinkle with olive oil and watch them crunch up under the grill. Baked kale chips is one of the easiest foods that help you sleep through the night. Here is a recipe for kale chips with parmesan cheese.
Spinach for dinner is also a good option to bring on an easier sleep. Do what I do and stir fry some spinach with almonds and wash it down with a brew of chamomile tea.
Apart from being a healthy breakfast option, oats are also perfect bedtime. They have a high melatonin content which relaxes the body and helps you doze off quickly. Hot oatmeal with milk is a warming combination of foods that help you sleep in the colder months of the year.
Another way to relax so you can get off to sleep is to listen to some music. Read my post Does Music Help You Sleep?
A handful of walnuts before tucking in are a great way to fall asleep faster. They are a rich in tryptophan and help regularize sleep-wake cycles.
Yummy walnuts! Image Source
7. Warm milk
Popular traditions suggest that drinking a glass of warm milk at night can stimulate deep sleep. It’s not an old wives tale! It’s certainly one of the most well-known foods that help you sleep through the night. Milk or any other dairy product can make you sleepy as they slow muscle movement. Their calcium content helps produce sleep-triggering melatonin and enhance slumber.
Most fish – especially halibut, salmon, and tuna – are spiked with vitamin B6, which produces melatonin. Having them at bedtime can make you fall asleep faster. You may think that fish is hardly one of those foods to eat to help you sleep through the night. Grab something convenient like a small tin of savory tuna to snack on – you don’t have to cook a whole fish just before bed!
Increasing your melatonin intake can help you fall asleep. Cherries are a natural storehouse of melatonin, and can positively regulate sleep if eaten regularly. A study shows that tart cherry juice is a good alternative to other beverages to help you fall asleep.
Dark cherries. Image Source
Cereals are another breakfast item that can improve your slumber. They are great for some night-time munching, and their carbohydrate content helps you sleep. Try and eat cereals with very low sugar content in order to fall asleep.
A light meal of hummus and crackers is a great way to helping you snatch forty winks. This Middle Eastern spread is a good source of tryptophan and lulls you into a peaceful nap. This is one of my favorite snacks. I was overjoyed to read it’s one of the foods to eat to help you sleep through the night! And again, its so simple. Tin of chickpeas, olive oil, and salt. I don’t add garlic if it’s a slumber snack.
12. Dark chocolate
Rich in serotonin, dark chocolate is a mouth-watering slumber snack that unwinds the body and mind to help you sleep soundly. Nibbling a bar of dark chocolate occasionally has a lot of other health benefits as well.
The vitamins found in bananas break down tryptophan to serotonin which acts as a muscle relaxant. Bananas are loaded with magnesium and potassium which help regularize the sleep-wake.
14. Lobster and shrimp
Besides fish, seafood fares like shrimp and lobster for dinner make way for a sound and peaceful sleep.
The effect of turkey on slumber is a widely debated issue. While some experts believe that it does not have any effect on sleep, others argue that it produces chemicals that make you drowsy. Turkey breast contains tryptophan which gets metabolized to serotonin and melatonin that helps you nod off.
OK, this was the strangest food that came up in my research on foods that help to sleep through the night. Elk is a game meat. Granted it’s not the type of meant you find in your regular supermarket. But it is a better alternative to turkey as far as sleep is concerned. It contains twice the amount of tryptophan that pulls you into a deep sleep.
Carbohydrate-rich white rice has a high-glycemic-index that significantly reduces the time needed to doze off. Jasmine rice is especially beneficial as a slumber snack as it increases the supply of tryptophan to the brain and makes you fall asleep faster.
Food That Keeps Sleep At Bay
There are also certain foods and beverages that inhibit sleep. They are to be avoided if you want to ward off insomnia.
- Caffeine and energy drinks—They may help you pull off an all-nighter, but caffeine and energy drinks are a strict no-no if you want to catch up on your sleep. Coffee acts as a stimulant that raises your alertness and prevents you from nodding off. Energy drinks elevate blood pressure and heart beat and get you wired up. Do you know people who can drink coffee at night with no effect on their sleep? These people have the genes that process caffeine really quickly. If this is you, then coffee could be one of those foods that help you sleep through the night.
- Alcohol—It makes you tired but prevents you from reaching deep stages of sleep. Yes, a few glasses of wine are relaxing and you think it’s one of those foods that help you sleep but it’s not great quality sleep.
- Spicy meals—They may taste great. But these hot foods are responsible for many sleepless nights as they may give you heartburn cramps.
- Milk chocolate—Although dark chocolate is a relaxant, milk chocolate releases dopamine which increases alertness and restlessness. So when you are drinking a hot chocolate, make sure it’s a brand with a high percent of real cocoa (closer to dark chocolate) and not sugary milk chocolate.
- Processed meat—Containing high levels of tyramine, processed meat messes with your sleep patterns and should be given a wide berth by insomnia patients. I find processed meats and red wine together are not foods to eat before bed to help you sleep.
- Tomato and soy sauces—You should steer clear of tomato-based sauces and even teriyaki sauce as they cause acid reflux and prevent slumber.
Ditch Those Bad Habits Before Bedtime
Eating foods that help you sleep through the night is one way to help you doze off to sleep. But it’s a remedy. It’s not addressing the real problem as to why you are not getting off to sleep as easily as you could.
Maybe you have some bad bedtime habits that are keeping you awake? Have a read of my blog post on the 9 Things Not To Do Before Bedtime. Ditch those bad habits and eat foods that help you sleep to reach slumber heaven!!
One of those bad habits maybe eating and drinking the wrong foods at the wrong times.
Eating Habits To Sleep Better
- Avoid big meals before bedtime—Rich, heavy food should be avoided within two hours of sleep. Acidic and spicy foods should be avoided before sleep. Supper time should be shifted to earlier in the evening. Snack on the recommended foods to eat to help you sleep through the night.
- Limit caffeine intake—Coffee affects sleep patterns for 10-12 hours. It should be consumed in moderation during daytime alone.
- Avoid alcohol before turning in for the night.
- Avoid drinking lots of fluids in the evening—Downing excess liquids can result in frequent visits to the bathroom and should be avoided at night.
Slumber Snacks Are A Natural Remedy to Induce Sleep
There are countless health benefits of a good night’s sleep. Being tired and stressed out can lead to serious health problems. Hence you should seriously consider optimizing your diet with nutritious sleepy snacks to relax and doze off soundly.
Revamping your diet with sleep-inducing snacks is a healthier option than reaching for prescription drugs. These snacks have a positive long-term benefit compared to over-the-counter medicine. They work like a charm in regulating the sleep cycle.
Other Things To Help You Sleep Through The Night
One of the most common questions I receive from readers of my blog is “How much sleep do I need?” Have a read of my article to ensure you are maximizing the number of hours you need to be asleep to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Before I forget, there is one other element that will help you improve the quality of your sleep once you doze off. The second most popular question I receive on this blog is “When Should I Replace My Old Mattress?” You would be surprised at how much sleep you lose because of a lumpy, bumpy or smelly old mattress. Take a look at this article to find out if it’s time to upgrade your sleep with a new mattress.
Wrapping It All Up
Now you are fully armed with some foods that help you sleep through the night. I hope you have also considered some bad before bed habits that may be preventing you from dozing off. Are you getting enough hours of sleep? And what about the state of your existing mattress, do you find it comfortable? Does it lull you into a deep sleep at night?
So dig into these slumber snacks and bid insomnia goodbye!