Getting enough sleep is crucial for our health, but many struggle to achieve it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our dietary choices can impact our sleep, from its duration to its quality. Certain foods can help us sleep better, while others can be disruptive. Discover the best sleep-promoting foods and easy ways to incorporate them into your diet!
These 5 Foods Will Help You Sleep Better And Longer
The food we eat provides our bodies with the energy and nutrients it needs to function optimally. Some foods, particularly those that contain high levels of sugar and caffeine, can disrupt our sleep and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. On the other hand, there are also foods that are known to have a calming effect on our bodies and promote better sleep. Here are our top 5 ingredients for improving your sleep:
Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. A study conducted by the University of Michigan found that drinking cherry juice twice a day for two weeks helped improve sleep quality in people with insomnia.
Almonds are a great source of magnesium, which helps to relax muscles and reduce stress, promoting a better night's sleep. They also contain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent midnight snacking.
Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which help to relax muscles and calm the nervous system, promoting a better night's sleep. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted into serotonin and melatonin in the body, promoting relaxation and sleepiness.
Turkey is another great source of tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It's also a good source of protein, which can help you feel fuller for longer and prevent late-night snacking.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve sleep quality. They also contain vitamin B6, which helps the body produce melatonin and serotonin, promoting relaxation and sleepiness.
Incorporate These Sleep-Friendly Foods Into Your Diet, Here’s How!
1. Create a yummy evening ritual
Swap traditional desserts for an after-dinner snack that’s equally tasty as it is healthy. Our favourite is a nutty banana chia pudding, recipe below!
- Chia seeds
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt and cinnamon
- Almonds and walnuts chopped into small pieces
- In a medium/large bowl, add the chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
- Mash half of your banana and add to the mixture. Reserve the remaining banana for the topping (sliced).
- Mix everything together until combined.
- Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then give another whisk or stir.
- Cover your bowl and put it in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight).
- Spoon the pudding into a glass or small bowl, layering first the pudding, then some sliced bananas and chopped nuts, and then another layer of chia pudding. Top it with your banana slices and remaining walnuts and almonds. Feel free to top with any other fruit.
2. Drink up the benefits
Incorporate cherries into your diet by drinking cherry juice or if you prefer, eating fresh or dried cherries as a snack.
To make 1 serving of cherry juice, blend 2 cups of fresh cherries and around ¼ cup of water. Use a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth for a smooth sip!
If cherries aren’t in season, try making an almond cherry smoothie using frozen cherries.
In a blender, combine 1 (sliced) banana, 2 cups of frozen pitted cherries, 1 cup of almond milk, ½ cup of yogurt and 1 tablespoon honey. Blend until smooth. Adjust the sweetness to your liking with extra honey.
3. Swap meat for fish
To enjoy the health benefits of fish and explore exciting recipe ideas, try replacing one meat-based meal with a fish dish, like salmon, once a week. This can help lower your saturated fat and calorie intake, while also adding variety to your meal plan and inspiring you to get creative in the kitchen.
Our favourite beginner-friendly recipes include:
- Grilled salmon with roasted vegetables: Coat a salmon fillet in olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices, then grill until cooked through. Serve with roasted vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
- Fish tacos: Grill or pan-fry white fish, such as tilapia or cod, then serve in a corn tortilla with shredded cabbage, salsa, and avocado.
- Baked trout with lemon and herbs: Season a trout fillet with lemon juice, garlic, and your favorite herbs, then bake in the oven until cooked through. Serve with a side of roasted asparagus or steamed green beans.
Eating Certain Foods Before Bedtime? Keep The Following In Mind!
While these foods can help improve your sleep, it's important to be aware of the potential drawbacks or side effects of consuming certain foods before bedtime. For example, eating a large, heavy meal before bedtime can cause indigestion, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Additionally, drinking alcohol before bedtime can also disrupt your sleep.
Our motto here at QE Home is that we sleep better when you do - and we'll be continuing to bring you our tips and inspiration to help you get a better sleep. Stay tuned by subscribing to our email newsletter and by following us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. You can also sign up to our SMS alerts to receive exclusive deals!