What you eat affects how you sleep!
A plethora of chemicals, amino acids, enzymes, nutrients, and hormones work together to promote good sleep and regulate the sleep cycle. There are four main vitamins and minerals that can be found in food that aid in promoting sleep: tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, and B6. Many of these compounds can be found in foods at low levels, but some have high enough concentrations to potentially affect your sleep cycle.
They do this by helping the body produce melatonin, the hormone that is responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm. When you’re close to bedtime, melatonin production naturally increases to help you sleep. Most of these vitamins and minerals are available over-the-counter, but as with all supplements, it’s proven better to get them from food sources.
Here are the best foods that can help set you up for a better night’s sleep.
An amino acid that when ingested gets turned into the neurotransmitter serotonin and then converted into the hormone melatonin. Foods high in tryptophan include:
- Dairy products – milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese
- Poultry – chicken, turkey
- Seafood – tuna, salmon, shrimp, halibut, sardines, cod
- Seeds/Nuts – almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, sunflower, sesame, flax
- Legumes – kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, split peas, chickpeas
- Fruits – apples, bananas, peaches, avocado
- Veggies – asparagus, onions, turnip greens, broccoli, spinach, seaweed
- Grains – oats, corn, rice, barley, wheat
A mineral that helps the brain create melatonin. Low levels of calcium in your diet can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty returning to sleep. Dairy products containing both tryptophan and calcium are some of the best sleep inducers. Foods high in calcium include:
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified orange juice
- Enriched breads and grains
- Green snap peas
- Low-fat milk
- Dark leafy greens
Often referred to as the sleep mineral, is instrumental in sleep and is a natural sedative that helps deactivate adrenaline. A lack of magnesium can be directly linked to sleep difficulties. Some good sources of magnesium are:
- Nuts and seeds – almonds, sunflower, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseed, pecans
- Low-fat yogurt
- Dark leafy greens – baby spinach, kale, collard greens
- Fish – salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel
Helps convert tryptophan into melatonin. Having low levels of B6 is linked to low levels of serotonin which can have a large impact on quality of sleep. Foods rich in B6 include:
- Lean chicken breast
- Lean pork chops
- Sunflower seeds
- Pistachio nuts
- Dried Prunes
If you follow these eating suggestions and practice a regular sleep hygiene routine, but still find yourself having sleep difficulties, there’s a chance you may need to replace your mattress. Factory Mattress offers a wide selection of top brand mattresses at great prices – find your next bed with us today!
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