Healthy sleep is the foundation of healthy living. If you aren't getting enough sleep, your physical and mental health will decline. One of the ways to improve your sleep is by snacking before bed. Depending on what they are, your late-night snacks could help you sleep deeper and fall asleep faster. The following snack ideas are proven to help you fall asleep and stay asleep each night.
A Handful of Tree Nuts
One of the best nighttime snacks to improve sleep is a handful of nuts. Most nuts, but especially tree nuts such as walnuts, cashews, and pistachios, are high in tryptophan. This molecule boosts melatonin and serotonin production in the body, helping you fall asleep and stay asleep better. Because of the high tryptophan content, nuts are one of the best healthy late night snacks available.
In addition to their assistance with melatonin production, certain nuts contain high levels of magnesium and zinc. These nutrients play an essential part in the health of your sleep, with both helping you fight off insomnia. Studies have shown that people who take magnesium or zinc supplements before bed fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Snacking on nuts can help you avoid tossing and turning and get deep, restful sleep.
Cheese and Crackers
Another good bedtime snack is cheese and crackers. It's no secret that dairy products are high in calcium. While calcium helps build strong bones and absorb iron into the blood, it also helps the body use tryptophan molecules. Without a means of absorbing the tryptophan, the molecule is useless to the body and can't improve your sleep. By eating calcium-rich foods like full-fat cheese, you can ensure your body's tryptophan is effective.
The crackers can also help to improve your chances of falling asleep. Because of the high carb levels in crackers or chips, your body will produce a rush of blood sugar and insulin. This flood of extra substance in your blood will make you feel sleepy, leading to a streamlined nighttime routine. If you usually struggle to fall asleep, look for carb-rich snacks like crackers or pretzels. By incorporating these late-night bites into your bedtime schedule, you can help reduce symptoms of insomnia and restlessness.
Certain Teas and Juices
Finally, certain teas and juices can improve the quality of your sleep. If you ever had a grandparent who swore by chamomile tea, you know that having a cup before bedtime can help you fall asleep quickly. In the chamomile plant lies a compound that acts as a natural sedative and muscle relaxer. When you drink hot tea, your body easily absorbs this compound and begins to wind down. Within a few minutes, you may begin to feel tired and ready for bed. Because of its relaxing and stress-relieving properties, chamomile tea has been an insomnia remedy for centuries.
Another, more unexpected drink that can help you sleep is cherry juice. Not only is cherry juice delicious, but it also increases melatonin production in your brain. Your body's circadian rhythm is dependent on melatonin, so an increase in this hormone will automatically help you fall and stay asleep. If you struggle with tossing and turning when you're trying to sleep, it may be as a result of low melatonin levels in your body. Drinking a glass of tart cherry juice can increase your melatonin and give you deep, restorative rest.
The bottom line is that what you eat before bed matters. Depending on your choice of snack, you could either be laying restless in bed or catching some sweet winks every night. By choosing one of the snacks on this list, you can improve your rest and wake up feeling refreshed.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Lewis Robinson.