Getting a good night sleep is a difficult task for many adults. Some people have a hard time falling asleep, some have a hard time staying asleep and some people have a hard time finding the time to sleep. Regardless of which category you fall into, getting a good amount of quality shut-eye each night is critical in maintaining your overall health.
A good night sleep will not only provide you with more energy the next day but it will keep your immune system strong, your skin radiant and your blood pressure low – all key components to great health.
If you’re looking for ways to get a good night sleep, you might want to start with your diet. Eating the following foods will help you sleep like a baby – and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day.
Here are 10 foods to help you sleep through the night:
1. Fish Most types of fish are jam-packed with Vitamin B6. This vitamin is needed to make melatonin – a sleep-promoting hormone which is triggered by darkness. If you’re going to add fish to your diet, salmon, tuna and halibut boast the highest levels of Vitamin B6.
2. Chick peas Much like fish, chickpeas are packed full of Vitamin B6 which is needed to make melatonin. Chickpeas can be eaten on their own or crushed and mixed with other ingredients to make a healthy hummus dip. A few spoonfuls of this tasty snack will have you sleeping better in no time.
3. Bananas Bananas are rich in both potassium and Vitamin B6. Combined these nutrients are very effective in promoting a good night sleep and keeping you healthy overall. Eating a banana before bed will help you achieve a better night sleep.
4. Yogurt Research has linked difficulty falling asleep to a lack of calcium. Eating foods rich in calcium can reverse these effects and help you fall asleep faster. A bowl of yogurt in the evening will give you a boost of calcium which will help you get better quality shut-eye.
5. Tart Cherry Juice A recent study showed that individuals with chronic insomnia who drank two glasses of tart cherry juice a day immediately experienced some relief in their symptoms. This well-known sleep aid will put you to sleep in no time.
6. Whole Grains If you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping it may be because your magnesium levels are too low. Whole grains, like barley, couscous and buckwheat, offer high levels of magnesium which will not only help you fall asleep but will help you stay asleep longer.
7. Fortified Cereals Much like fish and chickpeas, fortified cereals are a great source of Vitamin B6. As noted earlier, Vitamin B6 is essential in producing melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone). If you’re looking for a good night sleep, down a bowl of fortified cereal (like Wheaties, Frosted Flakes or multi-grain Cheerios) before bed and start sleeping like a baby every night.
8. Almonds Almonds, like whole grains, have high levels of magnesium, which is essential for good sleep. “Almonds are a winner,” Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, and author of the bestselling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! “They contain magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation.” A handful of these before bed will put you right to sleep.
9. Decaf Tea Everyone knows that caffeine will keep you awake, but there are countless decaf teas that are proven to help you sleep. “Chamomile tea is a very helpful and safe sleep aid,” Dr. Teitelbaum says, adding that green tea is another good choice. “Green tea contains theanine, which helps promote sleep. Just be sure you get a decaf green tea if drinking it at bedtime.”A cup of tea at night will help you get the quality shut-eye you’ve been looking for.
10. Hard Boiled Eggs Eating a snack with high levels of protein before bed will help you stay asleep through the night. If you wake up several times throughout the night, it could be because your body isn’t getting enough protein. Eating a hard boiled egg before bed will not only help you fall asleep but will help you stay asleep right through the night and into the morning.