A good night’s sleep is important for having enough energy and staying healthy. About 70 million Americans suffer from some sort of chronic sleep disorder. While it might sound trivial to those that can sleep well, sleeplessness is connected to injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, lower quality of life and general wellbeing, increased health care costs, and lost work productivity.
Two important factors contributing to whether you get a good night’s sleep are what you eat and drink. In this article, we’ll explore the connection between sleep and diet, and talk about foods and drinks that will help you sleep better.
Diet and Sleep: What’s the Connection?
We know that our diets impact our health and overall physical functions. Since sleep is a bodily function it is influenced by, both positively and negatively, our nutrition. Some foods help you sleep, and some foods will make you sleep poorly. The same goes for what we drink. Some drinks hurt the sleep you get, other drinks help you sleep. A healthy body can sleep well, so eating a healthy diet in general, one that provides you with plenty of nutrition supports good sleep. Research has also shown the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet both improve sleep quality.
Before we go onto foods and drinks that help you sleep, let’s touch on foods and drinks that have the opposite effect. There won’t be much on this list that surprises you. Caffeinated beverages, sugary beverages, and alcohol can all contribute to a poor night’s sleep. While they can make you drowsy, high-carbohydrate meals before bed have been shown to increase how often you wake up in the night and decreases the time you spend in deep sleep.
Foods that Help You Sleep Better
Use your diet to improve your sleep.
Kiwi fruit contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, potassium, and the B vitamin, folate. Research has shown that people who eat a kiwi before bed not only had a better quality of sleep but fell asleep faster and slept longer. It’s suspected that the kiwi’s ability to promote healthy sleep is connected to its high levels of antioxidants, folate levels, and/or to its serotonin content.
Research has shown that fatty fish may support healthy sleep. The study showed that people who eat salmon three times a week had better overall sleep, and improved functionality during the day.
Nuts are an excellent food for health in general, and additionally, they are a food that helps you sleep better. Since they are high in fats, they will help you feel full before bed. They’re also high in minerals like magnesium and melatonin.
Drinks to Help You Sleep Better
Raise a toast to a good night’s sleep with these drinks.
Tart cherry juice
Drinking two cups of tart cherry juice a day helped study participants to sleep better overall. Researchers think that these benefits come from the moderate levels of melatonin found in tart cherries. Melatonin is a hormone the body produces naturally in response to darkness. It is also found in many foods.
A glass of warm milk is a bedtime classic for a reason. Milk contains melatonin, which helps the body fall asleep. Another way to use milk to help you sleep is to drink malted milk. Malt powder is supplemented with vitamins and tastes pleasantly sweet. Studies have shown that drinking malted milk before bed decreases the number of sleep interruptions.
There are a wide variety of herbs that are used for sleep. They are often made into teas, which are drinks that help you sleep. These are often blended to make teas for sleep. Classic sleep herbs include chamomile, valerian root, lavender, skullcap, hops, passionflower, and tulsi (holy basil).
Try Melatonin Gummies for Great Sleep
After you eat your nightly kiwi fruit, chase down a Seattle Gummy Company (SGC) Slumber Shot sleep gummy with a glass of tart cherry juice. The Slumber Shot is designed to help people calm their minds, relax their bodies and quickly fall into a deep sleep. Valerian root is a powerful herb that’s been used for sleep for centuries. The Slumber Shot contains the highest amount of valerian root than any other sleep gummy on the market. SGC uses patented gummy technology to add higher amounts of ingredients to their gummies, which is something other gummy makers can’t do. You’re assured a good night’s sleep with the Slumber Shot, which also contains a 3 mg dose of melatonin. And, these delicious gummies are sugar-free, so you can take them right before bed. The next time you have trouble sleeping, reach for a Slumber Shot and wake up refreshed the next day.