Sleep 7 –9 hours a night is the recommendation to not just function, but to thrive in your life. You probably already know those nights that you barely get any sleep because:
#1: you couldn’t shut your mind
#2: had the list of to-dos running through it
#3: had to get work done
#4: your kids kept you up
So, you could hardly focus on anything. Because SLEEP – just didn’t happen!
A Harvard study claimed, “lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury.” The report also mentioned that sleep deprivation could lead to health problems and even early mortality. Wow! We need some sleep, like NOW!
If you've been wishing for just ONE night of sleep? What if you could have plenty of those nights? Wouldn’t that just be AMAZING?
Your wish may be answered right here! Try adding the following foods to your diet, especially if you find yourself tossing and turning at night, counting sheep to get a little shut eye.
Chamomile is commonly known as a mild tranquilizer or sleep inducer. It has calming effects that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. Some chamomile tea can be a great idea before heading to bed to unwind, relax and de-stress.
Pistachios are not only tasty, but they are a jackpot for sleep. They are jampacked with magnesium, protein, and vitamin B6, which have a major role in inducing sleep. Consuming a healthy amount of pistachios before going to bed will knock you out like nothing else. You can eat them raw or add them to a glass of warm milk. However, more than one ounce of pistachios will have a reverse effect on your body; eat in moderation to avoid exacerbating your sleep issues.
Kiwis contain serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Many people actually take serotonin supplements to help with sleep, but wouldn’t you rather eat something that tastes delicious to get the same effect? Not only do kiwis contain serotonin, but they also may boost your sleep abilities due to their levels of vitamin C and carotenoids which reduce inflammation. When I feel that I may not be able to sleep at night, I eat 2 kiwi and they usually do the job.
Tart cherry juice
Tart cherry juice contains high levels of melatonin that regulate your internal clock and send signals for your body to get ready to sleep. A study conducted by Louisiana State University found that insomniacs who drank tart cherry juice increased their sleep time by 90 minutes!
This fruit is a powerhouse of magnesium and potassium, which serve as natural sleep aids for your body. If you are feeling wide awake late into the night, try a banana to get yourself to sleep. You can even whip yourself up a thick sugar-free banana shake before you go to bed. Bananas are high-glycemic fruits, so try adding in some protein or good fat with that shake so sugar levels don’t skyrocket into the night. Some of my favorites are coconut oil or almond butter, but you get to pick!
Walnuts contain tryptophan, which helps produce melatonin and serotonin in the body and improve the quality of our sleep by regulating the sleep cycles. University of Texas even found that walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.
A cup of roasted pumpkin seeds contains around 649 mg of magnesium, which is nearly double the daily recommendation of the National Health Institute. Magnesium supports deep, restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep). Magnesium deficiencies are associated with heightened stress and anxiety, which of course lead to less sleep, so these pumpkin seeds have many benefits.
If you’ve been searching for the magical solution to get more sleep, no need to keep searching. Try to avoid the over-the-counter sleep aid and add these foods to your bedtime routine to get your body on the right path to sound sleep!
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Love and Gratitude,
Amanda Surratt, BS, CECP, CBCP, CHLC, CPBNC