It’s time for bed and you lay your head down and all of a sudden you have all the events of the day as well as your plans for Great Aunt Gertrude’s birthday party next week. We have all experienced this at some point. Can what we eat and drink before bed help us get to sleep?
Studies have shown that eating certain things before bed can help you fall asleep faster and possibly have a better night’s rest. Having a diet that is balanced and rich in vitamins and minerals may help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
So which vitamins and minerals are best for sleep?
Foods rich in magnesium help promote healthy circulation as well as relax muscles and nerves. There are several types of food that contain magnesium including fruits, dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, beans, fish, whole grains and even dark chocolate.
Another mineral that helps relax muscles and nerves is Potassium. A Study at the University of Wisconsin has shown a link between slow-wave sleep cycles, where we get our deepest sleep, and potassium. Potassium rich foods include beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, fish, and bananas.
Calcium also plays a major role in your sleep health. Calcium helps produces melatonin the body’s natural hormone that promotes sleep. Dairy is an obvious choice for calcium. Dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and tofu are also good sources of calcium.
Melatonin is an important hormone for the body’s sleep cycle. It is not readily found in many foods though. Cherries are one of the few foods that contain natural melatonin. It has been shown that drinking tart cherry juice can elevate melatonin levels and promote better sleep.
Vitamins B and D can also help you sleep better. Vitamin B3, Niacin, promotes REM sleep and Vitamin B6 helps the body produce serotonin or the calming hormone. Vitamin D has recently been linked to your sleep health. A study at Louisiana State University has shown that a Vitamin D deficiency can cause daytime sleepiness.
Though there is no exact recipe to get better sleep maintaining a good sleep schedule and maintaining a healthy diet can surely help!