According to the CDC, one in three American adults are not getting enough sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society state that getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night can put you at an increased risk of developing conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
With so many Americans struggling to get a good night sleep, it’s important to look at things that can be done to help support better sleep habits, and diet happens to be one of them.
Since nutrition plays a role in every single aspect of health, it’s no surprise that there are foods that can be added or eliminated from the diet to help you sleep better each night.
Diet For Better Sleep
#1 Don’t go to Bed Hungry: While this may sound like a no brainer, you may be going to bed hungry without even thinking about it. If you live a super busy life and eat dinner early and go to bed late, you may not even realize you’re hungry until you wake up with your stomach growling scrounging through your pantry in the middle of the night. If you are going many hours between dinner and bed, you may need an evening snack to hold you over. Some good options include gluten-free crackers with almond butter and a sliced banana, or a cup of unsweetened coconut milk yogurt with some fresh berries. However, if you suffer from acid reflux, you will want to make sure that you are eating at least two hours before you go to bed at night to prevent reflux from keeping you awake.
#2 Eat the Right Foods to Support Sleep: If you do add a snack in between dinner and when you go to bed, the foods you choose matters. You will want to choose foods that can help support better sleep like foods rich in magnesium and tryptophan. Things like almonds, bananas, and turkey are all great choices to add to dinner or an evening snack.
#3 Sip on Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea makes a relaxing evening beverage to help wind down your day and get yourself ready for bed. Studies have found that chamomile tea can help improve sleep quality and even help you fall asleep faster. (2) Try sipping on chamomile tea before bed to improve your sleep quality.
#4 Kiwis: Believe it or not, this delicious tropical fruit may be able to help improve the quality of your sleep. Studies have found that kiwis may be able to help you fall asleep faster, and help you sleep through the night. Try snacking on a kiwi with some full-fat unsweetened coconut milk yogurt for a healthy and yummy evening snack.
If you have a hard time getting to sleep each night or wake up frequently, it may be time to change something in your diet. Try to eliminate as much sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods from your diet as possible, and avoid caffeine later in the day. Instead, try adding these foods to your diet and see how they can improve your sleep.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Jacobs N.C is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, specializing in digestive and women's health. She doesn't believe in dieting but rather making lifestyle changes, and believes that healthy eating must be delicious. Rebecca is also a recipe developer and creates healthier alternatives to traditionally unhealthy foods.