“Achieving a quality night’s sleep can be affected by what you eat in the hours before bedtime.”
Certain foods are known to calm the brain and help promote sleep so eating the right things in the evening is definitely part of the recipe for a good night’s sleep. However, I do not recommend eating a big meal just before bedtime as it can lead to discomfort and indigestion, but some people find a small snack a helpful aid to sleep some will even help you get a longer, deeper night’s rest.
Walnuts contain melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that controls your body’s internal clock. Normally, the amount of melatonin in your body increases later in the evening, but if your levels are low, eating a handful of walnuts can restore your melatonin supply. About 14 walnut halves (185 calories) eaten before bedtime should be enough to enhance your cycle of sleep.
Cherries or Tart cherry juice
Tart, natural cherries also boost melatonin; they are also a carbohydrate-rich snack. Doctors have discovered that carbohydrates help to reset your normal circadian rhythm, which is the 24-hour clock in your body, helping you sleep more soundly. One study found that drinking tart cherry juice before bed helped older adults fall asleep easier.
Bowl of cereal
Breakfast cereal that contains complex carbohydrates resets your sleep patterns and fills your stomach. Low sugar, whole-grain cereals are also a good source of vitamin B, which may prevent insomnia. Use warm milk for a double dose of sleep-inducing foods.
Almonds, which contain lots of protein and taste delicious, are a great snack at any time of the day (and they make a particularly great addition to any trail mix). But they’re especially effective right before bed, as they contain the sleep-enhancing amino acid known as tryptophan. Almonds are also a good source of the nutrient magnesium, which has been shown to naturally relax our muscles and encourage a solid night’s rest.
Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea that may offer a variety of health benefits. It’s well known for its flavones. There’s also some evidence that drinking chamomile tea may boost your immune system, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve skin health. In addition, chamomile tea has some unique properties that may improve sleep quality. Specifically, chamomile tea contains apigenin. This antioxidant binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia.
One 2011 study in 34 adults found those who consumed 270 mg of chamomile extract twice daily for 28 days fell asleep 15 minutes faster and experienced less nighttime wakening compared to those who didn’t consume the extract.
Foods to Avoid At Night
Simple carbs and saturated fats represent the danger zones for pre-sleep snacks. Both can reduce serotonin and can be difficult to digest. Avoiding sweets and sugar, fast food and caffeine – no dark chocolate, burgers, coffee or soda. Alcohol can make you sleepy in the short term, but it can also cause disorganized sleep. Certain spicy foods are also hard to digest and can cause you to wake up throughout the night as well.