15 foods to super charge your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep!
Often we hear from parents who can’t sleep after we have taught their children to sleep through the night!
Here is a comprehensive list of 15 foods you want to have in your diet to turbo charge your ability to sleep!
- Eating Jasmine rice just 4 hours before heading off to bed can reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep (Sleep onset) in half! The high GI foods have been shown to increase the blood concentration of tryptophan in just 4 hours.
- Salmon, and tuna are a great dinner meal if you need help with sleep. They are high in B6, which aids the pineal glands to produce melatonin (which we all know, you NEED this for sleep!).
- Cherries or tart cherry juice also reduce sleep onset, so you fall asleep faster, they can also help with sleep consolidation if you wake frequently and struggle to go back to sleep.
- Banana’s are natural high in magnesium and potassium, these elements help your muscles relax. They have been linked to a reduction in insomnia symptoms, and can help with early morning wake ups, (Quick give some to your toddler today!). They are also high in B6 which helps the body produce melatonin a nd tryptophan, both of which we need for good sleep quality!
- Humble hummus, as it turns out is the superfood of sleep! Chick peas are very high in B6, and tryptophan. Eat some hummus for better quality sleep.
- Milk before bed, (these babies are onto something!) is a good source of calcium which helps regulate melatonin. If you are low in calcium studies have shown that you might have problems falling asleep. Calcium can have a sedative effect, and levels are highest when we are in our deepest sleep phase.
- Grapefruit, watermelon and tomatos are rich in Lycopene which is associated with good quality sleep. A study in 2013 showed that people who sleep less than 6-7 hours had consumed less Lycopene than those who naturally sleep 8 hours a night.
- Fortified cereal (crack open the farex!), contain lots of B6, which we know is needed for melatonin production. They are also high in fiber (like chick peas!), and are complex, unprocessed. These complex carbohydrates help prevent blood sugar spikes, and keep serotonin levels consistent over night.
- Kumara is another great complex carbohydrate, and fabulous first food for your little munchkin. They are rich in potassium which is a muscle relaxant and the gene responsible for the regulation of potassium is also the same gene which is required for slow wave sleep, (deep sleep).
- Turkey is the one food group most people know about. Rich in Tryptophan, you would need to over eat on Turkey to actually feel sleepy, but as part of a healthy diet, it can help with melatonin and serotonin production.
- Leafy greens, strawberries and pineapples are all important for good sleep quality. Leafy greens are high in calcium and magnesium, they help with tryptophan production in the brain. The strawberries are high in B6, and pineapple belongs in its own class of super of sleep hormone production. 266 % higher levels compared to those who didn’t eat any pineapple! Not only can it bring on labour, but it makes you fall asleep. Crack open the pineapple!
- Lentils are also rich in magnesium, that good old muscle relaxant! They are also high in potassium, and fiber which helps the digestive system relax.
- Nuts: Walnuts and almonds, high in tryptophan and magnesium. When people are low in magnesium they have delayed onset of sleep.
- Lettuce is considered a milk sedative due to the lactucarium it contains, the milky fluid found in lettuce is like opium to the brain.Add some honey to your herbal tea, it slightly increases insulin levels which results in tryptophan freely passing through to the brain.
- Add some honey to your herbal tea, it slightly increases insulin levels which results in tryptophan freely passing through to the brain.