One of the worst and most common occurrences for many is having trouble falling asleep (and staying asleep). The latest ideal quota is 7-8 hours per night. Aside from the usual suggestions of a dark room, comfy bedding, avoiding caffeine, here are some snack ideas that aren’t just healthy, but actually encourage a restful night’s sleep!
Your body and brain will thank you in the morning for choosing one of these:
- Unbuttered Popcorn – The carbs help to create serotonin, a key relaxing neurochemical. Try this recipe I previously posted: A Tasty & Nutritious Snack
- Oatmeal with Sliced Banana – Sleep is inspired by the hormone melatonin, but stress or excitement can disrupt melatonin’s release. Both oatmeal and bananas contain sleep-inspiring melatonin. Bananas also contain serotonin and magnesium (a muscle relaxant).
- Sesame Seeds – These little guys are one of the best natural sources of tryptophan aka that sleep-inducing amino acid we always associate with Thanksgiving’s main course (turkey). Try sprinkling them on salads, sandwiches, etc. I also love buying whole grain bread that has an outer coating of sesame seeds.
- A 4-ounce Glass of Unsweetened Cherry Juice or Fresh Cherries – Cherries naturally have serotonin-inducing carbohydrates as well as melatonin. Try having some cherry juice/fresh cherries an hour before bedtime (in case you feel a small jolt of energy from the sugar) for some high quality zzz’s. Trader Joe’s “Just Cherry Juice” is a great option.
- Red Bell Peppers – Researchers have found that vitamin C is excellent at reducing the secretion of cortisol, a hormone released in your body when you’re stressed. Calorie for calorie, red bell peppers give you more vitamin C than any other vegetable or fruit! If you can reduce your overall stress levels you are much more likely to have a restful night’s sleep.
Did you sleep well last night? If not, I really hope that these recommendations will help you!