Remember how the violins play in the background when you wake up from a better sleep than you have had in the past week? Without a good zzz, your energy, mood, work, performance, and quality of life suffers. Did you know there is also a relation between how you sleep and your immunity?
If you find sticking to a healthy sleeping pattern elusive, whether it is falling or staying asleep, you may be happy to know that it can be cured. Good sleeping tips to cure any sleep disorders include food for good sleep. It is because the kind of food you eat determines your level of anxiety during the latter part of the day.
It is, in fact, quite surprising to know that the journey to a good night’s sleep begins right in the morning. What food we choose to incorporate into our breakfast, lunch, and dinner plays a major role in our sleeping patterns.
Healthiest Way To Start The Day For Better Sleep
Protein plays a major role in making sure that our sleep has taken an oblivious turn. Breaking it down chemically, Tryptophan, a kind of amino acid present in protein gets converted to serotonin that is responsible to induce sleep.
The serotonin, during the night, converts into melatonin, which is the hormone regulating our sleep and waking up cycles. Starting off the day with enough protein can actually help you have you reach your daily protein goal quite easily. On the other hand, skipping breakfast has its own vices.
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Best Way to Eat For A Better Sleep Throughout The Day
The glycemic index is the way in which carbs affect our blood. Foods lower in GI like veggies, meat, fish, eggs, avocados, and nuts help to regulate the blood sugar and reduces sugar spikes, therefore, helping you to sleep well.
Foods high in GI, like fruit juices, bakery products, and other forms of sugar lead to an eventual drop in glucose level leading to anxiety, mood swings, and sugar crash. This is because of the adrenal gland releases adrenaline and cortisol in a crisis situation like being stuck in a traffic jam, unnecessary workload, etc.
Having high GI foods throughout the day or for dinner leads these crashes to happen in the middle of the night and interrupts the sleep. Therefore, make sure that your meals are balanced with enough protein, fat, and fiber to help maintain the blood sugar. Eat low GI foods later for dinner to help them sync with your natural sleep patterns.
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11 Kinds Of Food For Good Sleep
Not only chickpeas are low GI food but are also high in fiber and protein. They are also a form of resistance carbs or RC, which means that they are not easily digested by the body and takes time. Therefore, it helps to keep the blood sugar level constant.
Eating foodS like this would help with better sleeping patterns by not letting sugar crashes happen suddenly right in the middle of the night. Other sources of low GI foods with high RC are bananas and Cannellini.
Boiled and Cooled Potatoes
Although potatoes have a higher GI and especially they are cooked at high temperature, but believe it or not, when you boil then, it preserves some of that resistance carbs that those chickpeas had too. You can put a step forward and let them cool the boiled potatoes overnight to gain back some of the RC. How? It’s a magical process called starch retrogradation.
Some other foods that benefit from the same method are sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas. Eating foods with a higher amount of RC allows for a night of better sleep by balancing blood sugar throughout the night.
Another food for good sleep is seeds. They are full of tryptophan which is often consumed in lesser quantities by people in general leading to many sleep disorders like sleep paralysis, etc. Many have compared the pumpkin seeds “a glass of warm milk” before bed.
So make sure you snack on seeds throughout the day for better sleep at night.
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Tart Cherry Juice
Tart Cherry is one of its kind food that is great for a batter sleep and that is because of the melatonin that is found in the cheery naturally. It also increases the availability of tryptophan which helps to produce serotonin.
The cherry tart juice contains certain enzymes that degrade tryptophan which is responsible for many sleep disorders, especially insomnia. it is wiser to consume an ounce or two of this juice in the morning with a balanced breakfast.
Dark Leafy Greens
Green leafy vegetables are known for having ample amounts of magnesium besides being full of antioxidants. It is necessary for proper nerve conditioning and also regulating blood sugar which is important for a good sleep at night.
Magnesium is almost an antidote to your sleeping troubles and any sleep disorders like sleep paralysis or insomnia. It is a great relaxant and when added to the diet, it can promote the quality of sleep by decreasing the sympathetic nervous system activity.
Nutritional yeast is one of the most underrated foods for good sleep. However, it is rich in B Vitamins which helps support the nervous system. It also helps tryptophan to convert to serotonin and then melatonin. More specifically, B12 helps to improve sleep quality by stimulating the pineal gland to release more melatonin.
Mushrooms have been considered a superfood by many. The B5 Vitamin which is found in ample amounts in mushrooms helps to regulate tryptophan and support adrenal glands.
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Eggs too are high in B Vitamins and specifically, inositol. Interestingly, this inositol is what are brain cells are lined with so when we eat foods high in inositol levels, the cells become more resistant to cortisol. This helps to improve the quality of sleep.
Want to have a better sleep? include red peppers in your diet because they are a high source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to lower the cortisol levels so that more melatonin can be produced, thus inducing better sleep. Higher stress levels can deplete Vitamin C storage in the body.
Salmon is a great antidote to sleep disorders because it is known to have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation and thus helps to reduce anxiety. Need I say that when we are more relaxed, we sleep better?
Bone broth is the ultimate comfort food. Many call it the “liquid gold” because it contains glycine, a kind of amino acid that helps to improve the quality of sleep. Not only is a bone broth easy to make, but it is also low in glycemic index and full of essential fats.
Eager to fall asleep better? One of the best sleeping tips can be to invest your time in practicing proper sleep hygiene (besides just adding a list of food for good sleep.)
4 Foods To Avoid For A Better Sleep
Processed fruit juice is mainly sugar and contains very little fruit itself with low to zero amounts of fiber to slow down the sugar release after its consumption. This leads to sugar crashes in the body and thus, increased levels of anxiety and an inability to sleep.
However, if you do opt for fresh-pressed juices once in a while, make sure you are balancing it out with an ample amount of fats, proteins, and fiber so that there are no bizarre impacts of glucose on the body that will disrupt the sleeping patterns later in the day.
Freshly pressed “green” juice, prepared using ingredients like kale, celery, cucumbers, lemon, and parsley, for example, will not only let for maximum absorption of vitamins and minerals but also regulate blood sugar.
Although you might feel that alcohol is a great sedating agent and helps you sleep, it leads toa disruptive sleep cycle. The sugar present in alcohol is quickly absorbed causing a heightened blood sugar spike. Besides, alcohol suppresses melatonin and increases the cortisol levels which restricts better sleep.
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Coffee + Chocolate
While chocolate is high in sugar, coffee can be stimulating to the adrenal glands and can result in sleep disorders like insomnia and anxiety
Although, both these products may give you a short span of an energy boost, only to lead into irritability and sleep problems later on. You can pick a decaf version or have herbal tea instead that will promote better sleep quality instead!
Dairy + Gluten
There is a strong connection between food allergies and anxiety. Dairy and gluten are the most allergy-prone food products that could be the reason for your sleep problems. Try eliminating dairy and dairy products as well as gluten and observe your sleeping pattern. If it induces better sleep, kudos to you!
Will it cause you insomnia? Can and can not! Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders that can either be short term or acute. Watch the video below to know what can cause this sleep disorder and how to maintain proper sleep hygiene!
Summary: Nutrition For Better Sleep
- Have a balanced breakfast with a lot of protein for essential amino acids to provide a base for better sleep.
- Keep your meals balanced. This means, including proteins, carbs, and fats with each meal to help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent any sugar spikes that can cause irritability, anxiety, or inflammation.
- Save foods with higher resistance carbs for the latter part of the day so that they sync with your sleeping patterns.
- The most overrated tip for a night of better sleep (but which actually works!) is to diffuse your room with essential oils. Sleep in a pitch-black environment.
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