Five foods to help you sleep better

Sleep is a vital part of our daily routine. When you are asleep, your body gets the opportunity to relax, reset, and prepare for the following day. However, although getting a good night’s rest is necessary for good health, for many people sleeping through the night can be quite a struggle. Fortunately, research has shown that there are a certain food that can help you to sleep better at night. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, every adult should sleep for at least 7-9 hours every night. However, research has revealed that globally there are a large number of people who are unable to achieve these recommended hours of sleep for various reasons. According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems. If you are one of the people that struggle to fall asleep and sleep through the night, the good news is that improving your sleeping patterns could be as simple as adding a few food items to your nightly routine.

Here are five food items that can help you get your recommended hours of sleep in.

  1. Dairy

One of the most common home remedies to insomnia is to drink a warm cup of milk. According to studies it is not just warm milk but most dairy products that can help you to sleep better. Eating cheese, drinking a glass of milk or even having some yoghurt before bed could assist you in getting in your recommended hours of sleep. 

According to research, dairy products contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is a substance that promotes sleep by acting as a precursor for the chemical serotonin, which in turn is used to synthesise melatonin. Both serotonin and melatonin act as sleep regulators and help to promote sleep. Therefore, by having a serving or two of any dairy product before going to bed, you can significantly increase your chances of getting a better sleep.

  1. Cherry juice

While orange juice has become a common morning beverage, cherry juice is becoming a popular juice to drink just before bedtime because of its sleep-promoting characteristics. According to a study in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that the amount of melatonin increased in groups of individuals who consumed a specific kind of cherry juice, known as tart cherry juice. The increase in melatonin greatly improved the insomnia symptoms of the individuals in the study.

  1. Fish

Fish is good for the heart and the body, and research shows that it may also play some role in improving sleep. A study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that fish consumption had a positive impact on the sleeping patterns of both men and women. This study made use of salmon, however other studies have suggested that tuna and halibut can also improve sleep. While the exact reason for this improvement in sleep is unknown, the researchers suggest that it might be the high vitamin D content in the fish that improves sleep. However, more research needs to be done to confirm this. 

  1. Chamomile tea

Although drinking tea or coffee is generally discouraged just before going to bed, having a cup of chamomile tea can greatly increase your chances of falling asleep. For thousands of years people have used this natural herb to help them to relax and stay calm. Research in Sleep Medicine Reviews has found that the chamomile herb can help insomnia sufferers sleep better. 

  1. Nuts

According to a study in Nutrition walnuts contain high quantities of melatonin, which promotes sleep. Therefore, adding a handful of walnuts to your evening meal can greatly improve your sleep at night.

So the next time you are having trouble sleeping, try snacking on one of these sleep-promoting foods because, as writer Thomas Dekker once said, “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”