Having a proper bedtime routine is essential. It can help you fall asleep faster, improve your overall sleep quality, and avoid potentially dangerous sleep disorders like insomnia or hypersomnia, for example. Furthermore, it is also a good idea to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night the exact number will vary from person to person, but no more nor less. One of the things that have the most impact on our quality of sleep is precisely our nightly eating habits.
Everyone knows that going to bed completely stuffed can ruin the entire night and the following day. If this happens a couple of times a week, it may even have a medium- to long-term negative impact on both your physical and mental health. On the other hand, several foods are known to contribute to enhancing the quality of sleep. With that being said, here’s what you should be eating and drinking at night to have a good night’s sleep. Foods You Should Have Before Bed
1. White rice
White rice is consumed as a side dish very frequently in many countries. A Japanese study published in 2014 found that white rice consumption was positively associated with sleep quality. This was an observational study that compared the sleep habits of nearly two thousand people based on the food they ate before bed. The high glycemic index of white rice might be the reason behind this fact. This index measures how quickly the blood sugar increases when a certain food is ingested. According to health experts, there are strong reasons to believe that foods with a high glycemic index can improve several sleep parameters, including its uninterrupted duration.
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is a term used to describe fish with a high percentage of oil in their tissues and the cavity around the gut – that’s why they are also known as oily fish. Tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and swordfish are some examples. These fish are considered extremely healthy due to their high levels of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Since both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids increase serotonin production, a chemical produced by nerve cells that helps with eating, digesting, and sleeping, fatty fish can improve sleep quality. More precisely, fatty fish can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply, so it might be a good option for people who have trouble falling asleep or those who wake up several times during the night.
Almonds are one of the best foods to eat as a late-night snack. They provide amazing nutritional value, are very low in calories, and offer a series of health benefits. They prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, and decrease blood pressure levels. Almonds consist of high amounts of magnesium and melatonin, which is also called the sleep hormone because it helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. The production of melatonin increases at night to send a signal to the body that bedtime is coming soon. Due to its ability to reduce inflammation and stress levels, magnesium is also known to improve sleep quality, especially among people dealing with insomnia. That said, it’s easy to understand how almonds can help you sleep better.
Bananas are a very popular pre-workout snack: they’re practical, easy to digest, highly nutritious, and rich in carbohydrates. Though it may seem contradictory, they are also a food that promotes sleep. Magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6 are the three compounds found in bananas that work together to improve sleep quality by relaxing your muscles, reducing stress and anxiety, and helping your body maintain healthy Gamma-Aminobytric acid (GABA) levels, which is vital to fight sleep problems like insomnia.
Kiwis are low in calories and very nutritious, two essential properties of any healthy food. Just so you have an idea of their nutritional value, one kiwi provides about 70% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, and 25% for vitamin K. Kiwis are also packed with antioxidants and serotonin. These compounds are renowned for their numerous sleep benefits. Drinks You Should Have Before Bed
6. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is a super drink known for its relaxing effect. It contains many terpenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that are the main reason why this drink has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. These antioxidants fight health issues that can disrupt sleep, like anxiety and inflammation. Furthermore, chamomile tea contains another type of antioxidant called apigenin, which is believed to promote sleep and reduce insomnia. If you want to go to sleep fast, drink chamomile tea before bedtime.
Milk, like most dairy products, is a great source of tryptophan, an amino acid that plays an important role in growth and development, as well as the production of serotonin. As we have previously mentioned, serotonin production in the body should be kept within the ideal levels so that the sleep-wake cycle is not disturbed. Unless you are lactose intolerant, drinking a glass of hot milk right before bed is a great way to improve your overall sleep quality – and it tastes incredibly good, especially during the winter.
8. Tart cherry juice
Tart cherry juice is rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavanols. For this alone, it is easy to understand how this juice can improve your sleep quality. But that’s not all. It also contains high amounts of melatonin, the sleep hormone that is also present in almonds, and whose impact on sleep we have already discussed.
9. Ashwagandha tea
The name of this tea might be tricky to pronounce, so you should start practicing it right now in case you can’t find it the next time you go to the supermarket and you have to ask for help. One of the most interesting things about this tea is the fact that it contains triethylene glycol, a compound that is responsible for sleep induction.