Living a healthy lifestyle requires discipline across all walks of your life. Once you begin the pursuit of health, you realize how interconnected everything is. Better food and exercise lead to better sleep, which creates more alertness that results in a higher quality life. It is a cycle that doesn’t end, and health becomes a choice we must make each and every day.
As sleep is such an integral part of the health equation, it makes sense that better food choices will result in higher-quality sleep. We break down the top foods for sleep and why.
Natural Sources of Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that helps you fall asleep. Your body begins to produce more in the mid-to-late evening hours as the sun fades from the sky and darkness descends. If you suffer from sleep issues or insomnia, here are some foods that contain melatonin for a natural kick to your sleepiness.
- Cherries: one study showed that adults who drank two full glasses of tart cherry juice slept on average for forty minutes longer.
- Walnuts: also great for cognitive and heart health.
Some minerals naturally occurring in foods can have powerful effects on the body. Some of these include:
- Bananas. They contain an abundance of magnesium and potassium, both of which are powerful relaxation minerals.
- Legumes (beans, peas, and peanuts). These foods also have a nice amount of magnesium.
- A glass of warm milk. The age-old advice is not just a myth. Warm milk works because of relaxing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Lean proteins. There’s truth to the Thanksgiving sleepy stories. The tryptophan in turkey and chicken is an amino acid that can increase your serotonin levels to make you sleepy if eaten in large amounts.