Sleep is right there up with oxygen, water and food in terms of being essential to life. We need quality sleep so our body and mind can rest, recover and repair from the day’s physical and mental challenges. Unfortunately it’s one of the first things to suffer when stress rears its ugly head.
You are either tossing and turning for what seems like hours before you finally manage to drop off, or you find yourself waking up during the night, not being able to get back to sleep again. Either way, it’s no fun at all and is like a double whammy on top of the stress you are already feeling.
So how can you get the quality sleep you need if you are struggling to get the right amount of shut eye necessary for good health? The answer could be in what you are eating, or not eating in the evening. Here are five foods you should try to incorporate in your diet before bedtime.
These soft and crunchy brain shaped nutritional gifts from Mother Nature contain melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep patterns. Not only that, they are also a source of tryptophan, which helps in the manufacture of melatonin by your body. Walnuts have a lot more nutritional benefits on top, but in terms of stress and sleep, that’s what I call a double blessing!
- Jasmine Rice
All types of white rice can help you fall asleep quickly, but Jasmine Rice in particular has been found to bring on the shut eye quicker than other types according to a study by researchers in Australia. Apparently it’s all thanks to white rice being high on the glycemic index.
Kale is one of those green leafy vegetables that is hailed as a superfood thanks to its many nutritional benefits. Like most green leafy veggies Kale is chock full of calcium, a mineral that helps your grey matter use the tryptophan you have in your body to make the sleep hormone melatonin.
Eating hummus is just one way you can get a healthy dose of the tryptophan found in chickpeas. As mentioned above, tryptophan helps in the manufacture of melatonin by your body. It’s a great reason to indulge in a few whole grain crackers and a good dollop of hummus in the evening so you can look forward to better sleep.
You might not necessarily like the thought of eating the meat from an animal like a deer, but venison and other game meats are very good sources of tryptophan. If you really can’t stand the thought of eating it, have a serving of turkey breast in the evening instead. Although it contains half the tryptophan that venison does, you will still get a dose effective enough to make you feel sleepy – just like you do when you’re full of turkey dinner at Thanksgiving!
So now, instead of tossing and turning, not being able to sleep at night because of stress, you can enjoy nutritious food AND know that you are doing your best to help your body sleep so you can repair and recover as well as possible. Go ahead and try each food one day at a time. Don’t forget to make a note of how you slept so you can incorporate what works best into your regular diet.