The Top Foods & Drinks That Help You Sleep Through The Night

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A good night's sleep does not happen by chance but is highly dependent on the foods that you eat and the drinks you consume. If you have sleeping difficulties and often wake up feeling fatigued, there is a new dietary regime you can follow to help and some foods and beverages to avoid before bedtime as well.

We've compiled a list of the best foods and drinks that help you sleep peacefully through the night, giving you refreshed mornings and days full of energy!

Foods That Promote Healthy Sleeping Patterns

Sleep deprivation has long been associated with numerous health problems such as heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and also mental exhaustion that impacts negatively on your ability to make the right judgment calls. Eating the right foods before you go to bed can help you deal with sleep loss and disorders. Such food includes:

Carbohydrates & Proteins

Food high in carbohydrates and proteins are comprised of amino acids, hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and other food chemicals such as histamine, acetylcholine, tryptophan, and melatonin that improve energy production in the body while encouraging quality and adequate sleep. 

Tryptophan, for example, is an essential amino acid found in protein and carb-rich foods which is highly effective in triggering the brain to produce serotonin sleep-induction chemicals, which is just one of the ​ways your brain is involed in helping you sleep. However, tryptophan imbalances are also associated with other psychological disorders, including mood swings, and impulsive and aggressive behaviors. So if you're struggling to sleep, try incorporating healthy carbohydrates foods that help you sleep through the night such as nuts, pasta, fish, potatoes, banana, cheese, and whole-grain crackers.

These are some late-night snack combinations you can try for better sleep:

  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Banana with almond butter
  • Almonds or pistachios
  • Tart cherries
  • Lean chicken meat
  • Yogurt with chia seeds
  • Hot cereal
  • Cracker and cheese
  • Whole grains with skim milk

Calcium-rich Food

Calcium deficiency in the body can cause you to have abnormal sleep patterns and make it difficult to sleep. Eating foods rich in calcium helps your brain produce melatonin, which is

an essential hormone that induces natural sleep and treats sleep disorders. In addition to building strong and healthy bones, calcium-rich foods are known to help patients with both acute and chronic insomnia get quality sleep.

Dairy Products Rich in Calcium

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Butter

Non-dairy Products Loaded with Calcium

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as collard, kale. spinach, watercress, and mustard greens
  • Calcium-rich dried fruits, especially blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Seafood; anchovies, sardines, and salmon
  • Soy, Beans, and lentils

Magnesium-rich foods

Magnesium is an essential mineral in improving sleep and has been shown to help patients with chronic sleep disorders. Often referred to as sleep mineral, magnesium reduces stress, anxiety, and promotes relaxation by suppressing the effects of adrenaline, which is known to increase alertness rather than encouraging sleep. As a result, you get to have a restful sleep and wake up refreshed.

Keeping magnesium levels optimum can help you enjoy quality, full-cycle sleep. These are some of the magnesium-rich foods to incorporate into your diet before bedtime include:

  • Almonds
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Cherry juice
  • Seafood
  • Dairy foods like butter or cheese
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

Vitamin B6

A lack of vitamin B6 has been associated with reduced serotonin, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, and daytime sleepiness. Vitamin B6 is a vital chemical that helps synthesize melatonin from tryptophan, which is a natural sleep-inducer chemical.

Foods that can help boost your Vitamin B6 levels for improved sleep include:

  • Bananas
  • Leafy greens, especially kale and spinach
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Salmon
  • Watermelon
  • Chickpeas
  • Pork
  • Eggs
  • Whole Grains
  • Dairy foods

However, if you are vulnerable to an allergic reaction caused by Vitamin B6 rich foods like dairy, consider taking Vitamin B6 supplements and improve your levels to optimum.

Best Beverages for Quality Sleep at Night

After a good bedtime dinner follows a bedtime drink that effectively induces sleep and helps you enjoy a good night's rest. Here are some beverages options for sleeping better at night. 

1. Warm Milk - Tryptophan

Drinking a glass of warm milk can help you sleep better and it's basically what happens when a mother is breastfeeding a baby. Milk is naturally loaded with significant levels of the amino acid tryptophan that promotes healthy sleep.

2. Coconut Water - Magnesium and Potassium

Coconut water is an excellent source of magnesium and potassium which promotes muscle relaxation and good sleep. This beverage has a natural refreshing sweet taste and it's packed with vitamin B to induce calmness and reduce anxiety and stress. 

3. Decaffeinated Green Tea- Theanine

Caffeine is known to affect the quality of sleep as it has components that boost alertness rather than promoting sleep. But decaffeinated green tea is rich in the amino acid theanine that fights off anxiety, reduces stress and helps you sleep easy.

4. Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is a common and effective herb that help induce natural sleep and is ideally suited for patients with insomnia and other chronic sleep disorders. When mixed with herbal teal or other relaxing ingredients such as chamomile and hops, it can promote calmness and serve as a natural sleeping aid.

5. Banana Smoothie

This is a simple treat that is packed with a significant amount of magnesium and potassium which help your muscles relax and boost healthy sleep habits. A banana smoothie is also easy to prepare and you can choose to add some sleep-promoting ingredients like milk, chamomile tea, spinach, almond butter, and honey for a delightful smoothie. Besides, a banana smoothie will keep you full at night, eliminating the need for midnight snacking, which can interrupt a night of good sleep. 

Including these foods and drinks in your diet plan before bedtime can help deal with a range of sleep disorders. However, it's also possible not to experience any improvement in your sleep pattern even with these good bedtime foods and drinks, especially for chronic sleep disorders like sleep apnea, which may require sleep aids or special pillows for sleep apnea. As such, you're advised to consult a specialist to conduct further diagnosis and establish the root cause of your sleep problem. The doctor might also suggest you visit a sleep center where your sleep pattern will be monitored and checked for any underlying issues. 

We hope our list of the best drinks and foods for peacefully sleeping through the night and awakening feeling rested has been helpful to you & we wish you the best in a good night's rest!

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