Whether from work worries, other stressors or just a too-busy to-do list, everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time. But nutritionists tell us that making the right food choices can help us get a better night’s snooze. Try upping your intake of these common vittles and see if your sleep quality improves.
- Bananas – Besides its big helping of potassium, the humble banana offers a good amount of vitamin B6. Eating one before bedtime can boost brain-calming levels of serotonin.
- Salmon – The vitamin D and omega-3s found in salmon is another way to increase the production of soothing serotonin. It’s best eaten no more than twice a week, however, because of concerns about the mercury it may contain.
- Almonds and Brazil Nuts – Both are packed with magnesium, which can enhance levels of sleep-regulating melatonin. A study reported by the National Library of Medicine reported a 10% drop in the number of students reporting insomnia after eating 10 almonds a day for 14 days.
- Crab – Low dietary intake of the mineral selenium has been linked with difficulty nodding off. Eating more crab meat is one way of getting your selenium fix, plus crucial sleep nutrients like calcium and vitamin B6.
- Soy Foods – Greater intake of isoflavones, found in soy products such as tofu, are linked with higher chances of getting optimal sleep. Just one daily portion of soy, which could be tofu, a glass of soy milk or a serving of edamame, made it more likely people got enough snooze time.
- Butter Beans – Also known as lima beans, and delicious in soups or salads, these humble beans contain phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B6, making them a powerhouse when it comes to inducing better sleep.
- Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese on crackers or crispbread is an ideal bedtime snack, providing a balance of tryptophan for initiating serotonin and melatonin formation and carbohydrate, needed to transport this amino acid into the brain.