Eat These 5 Foods for a Better Night’s Sleep
Changing your habits or environment to improve your sleep quality, such as creating a consistent sleep schedule or playing relaxing music before bed, contribute to an important practice known as ‘sleep hygiene’. Improving your sleep hygiene can help you get better, more restorative sleep each night.
Diet and nutrition can have a major influence over your quality of sleep and are often a forgotten or ignored factor when it comes to sleep hygiene. Certain foods and drinks and improve or obstruct your ability to get the necessary amount of sleep you need for optimal performance. Read on to find out which 5 foods to include with dinner to encourage sleep and improve your rest.
Wholegrains, such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole breads, encourage the production of hormones that help the body process sleep-boosting proteins. At dinnertime, try swapping out your white rice or bread for wholegrains.
Poultry meats, such as chicken and turkey, are high in tryptophan, a protein that improves sleep quality. Try eating chicken or turkey as the main protein with your dinner for a sleep boost. We have a library of chicken-based recipes available in our recipe catalogue for you to try at home!
Chickpeas are high in vitamin B6, which plays a major role in the production of serotonin (the feel-good hormone). Serotonin effects your quality and length of sleep – so the more your body produces, the better you’ll sleep (and feel!). You can try eating some hummus, or incorporating chickpeas into your curries, salads, pastas, and soups.
Leafy greens are rich in calcium, which has been shown to play a role in our sleep cycle – particularly the most important stage for quality sleep, the REM (rapid-eye movement) stage. Calcium also helps the body process tryptophan, which results in a sedative effect which lulls the body to sleep. Try including a salad with dinner, or blend some greens into a dessert smoothie.
Craving something sweet after dinner? Try having some yoghurt topped with berry and oats (a wholegrain!), or add it to a smoothie. Yoghurt is also rich in calcium, helping you process melotonin (the sleep-inducing hormone) before bed.
Remember, the type of yoghurt you choose is also important. It’s best to opt for plain, unsweetened, and Greek yoghurts with fruits and honey as sweeteners, as they contain the least unrefined sugars and the most nutritional value.
Check out our Chicken and Vegetable Soup recipe that includes FOUR of these rest-inducing foods to help improve your sleep hygiene. Now that the weather’s getting colder, it’s time to enjoy something cozy and simple to encourage a warm, happy sleep!