What we indulge in right before we lay our head on the pillow at night can have a large impact on our sleep quality. While it’s true we should try to avoid eating a large meal less than two hours before we try to doze off, going to bed on an empty stomach drops our blood sugar and interferes with our body’s ability to sleep well. It’s important that we’re eating the right foods that soothe our bodies and induce sleep. Since Wholesale Mattress Center wants to ensure you have the best sleep experience, we have compiled a list of seven of the best foods to eat in the evening before bed.
In part one, we went over the foods to avoid eating before bed and a few reasons why you should reconsider eating in your bed. If you missed that post, go back and check it out! The list of “7 of the Worst Foods to Eat Before Bed”, unfortunately, may have included some of your guilty favorites, but don’t fret! In this post, we’ve compiled seven delicious and nutritious foods to help you enjoy quality sleep.
That sleep feeling you get after a Thanksgiving meal is backed by science! Turkey is high in tryptophan, which your body uses to produce serotonin and melatonin. This amino acid travels from our digestive system through our blood to the brain and can help us feel calm and drowsy. What makes this superfood even better before we sleep is pairing it with a carbohydrate such as whole grain pasta or potatoes to reduce insomnia.
2. Certain Fruits
“Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread,” was the original “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” phrase dating back to 1866. In fact, apples are a fantastic source of potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C that can help you sleep better and improve your breathing. Apples are far from the only fruit to aid in sleep, though!
Bananas are high in potassium, magnesium, and tryptophan which relax the muscles and calm the body. Kiwi is a high source of serotonin and melatonin that regulates sleep cycles, with a 2017 study linking the fruit to improved sleep quality among insomniacs. Grapes, pineapple, and tart cherries also naturally contain melatonin which promotes longer, deeper sleep. Berries contain high levels of antioxidants that can protect you from sleep disorders. Be aware that while these fruits can be helpful in keeping you asleep all night, citrus is not an ideal choice because it’s a natural diuretic. To stay on the safe side before laying your head on the pillow, stick to bananas, cherries, berries, apples, pineapples, grapes, or kiwis.
3. Almonds & Walnuts
Several nuts are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and good fats that improve the health of our heart and brain, but almonds and walnuts are the best choices for sleep health. Almonds contain a high amount of muscle-relaxing magnesium and protein that can reduce insomnia and walnuts have a high melatonin content that can lead to a longer night of uninterrupted sleep. Try to look for nuts with low or no added sodium as salt can disrupt the sleeping cycle.
4. Fatty Fish
Fish like tuna, salmon, and halibut are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are wonderful for your mind and sleep cycle. Some fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain vitamin D which aids with sleep patterns, along with several other health benefits. Fish is also a great source of tryptophan which encourages sleep by calming the body, balancing hormones, and fighting anxiety. A study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that eating fish improved the sleep efficiency and daily function of participants.
5. Sweet Potatoes
This superfood perfectly pairs with a fish dinner. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, low in saturated fat, and are filled with potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamins A, B, and B6. They work like a natural sleep supplement with the right balance of sleep-supporting nutrients that stabilize your blood sugar and help your body prepare to wind down. Sweet potatoes are also just so versatile, so make them to your liking and then enjoy a night of optimal sleep!
Since we reported in part one that chocolate and ice cream aren’t the best choices right before you try to catch some Zzz’s, you’ll be happy to know it’s still safe to have popcorn movie nights! Popcorn is a whole grain high in complex carbohydrates that improves digestion, provides energy for metabolic tasks, and regulates your body and blood sugar to allow you to get a great night of rest. The carbs also make the amino acid tryptophan which acts as a natural mood regulator. Try to keep it simple with no butter or extra toppings for the best results!
7. Herbal Tea
For centuries herbal tea has been used to encourage relaxation and sleep. Tea can also calm nerves and soothe upset stomachs. While this is a great effect at any time of the day, it is particularly important to reduce stress before you sleep. Chamomile tea, ginger tea, passionfruit tea, magnolia bark tea, lavender tea, valerian root tea, or even a warm glass of milk will do the trick. Stay away from naturally-caffeinated herbal tea yerba mate and double-check that the tea you’re interested in contains no caffeine at all. Add raw honey to your tea to stimulate melatonin and shut off the neuropeptide in your body that makes us feel alert and awake. By following this list, you’ll feel as cozy in your bed at night as the Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea Bear!
Better Sleep With Wholesale Mattress Center
If you’re looking for other ways to improve your quality of sleep, a new mattress might be just what you need. Wholesale Mattress Center can pair you with the perfect mattress for your rest, your lifestyle, and your budget. Stop by our store to see our large, stylish collection of furniture suitable for every living space. To prevent tossing and turning on your mattress at night, contact us today!