Who doesn’t want to get more sleep? We are a world of insomniacs now, barely getting through the day without crashing. While there are a variety of things you can do to help your sleep patterns like setting bedtime rituals, turning off electronics 30 minutes before bedtime or avoiding caffeine and alcohol, there are also certain foods you can eat to help you sleep.
Almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that greatly improves sleep quality. When your body’s magnesium levels are too low, it can make it harder to stay asleep.
Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps to make serotonin and melatonin. Walnuts also contain their own source of melatonin which can help you fall asleep faster.
Cherries are naturally high in melatonin, which is the primary hormone in charge of your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is associated with higher total sleep time and more efficient sleep.
A diet that’s low in selenium can make you more likely to have sleep problems since it can often be a contributor to thyroid imbalances. Brazil nuts are one of the best known sources of selenium, with one serving of the nuts containing 500 micrograms of the nutrient.
Pretzels have a high glycemic index, meaning that they cause a natural spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels, quickening the time it takes you to fall asleep. While this might be avoided for certain people, it can be helpful to promote sleep. This is because the insulin boost that comes with high blood sugar in healthy individuals helps to transfer more tryptophan into your brain.
Pistachios hit the sleep jackpot, packing in protein, vitamin B6 and magnesium, all of which contribute to better sleep. Be careful not to eat more than a one ounce portion though since anything too high in calories can actually keep you awake.
Chocolate for the win! Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which relaxes your body and mind.
Pumpkin seeds shouldn’t just be enjoyed in the Fall since one cup has over 150mg of magnesium, an important mineral for sleep. Don’t have pumpkin seeds on hand? Try sunflower seeds or flax seed.