The National Institute of Health has reported that only 30% of Americans are getting sufficient sleep, which is 8 hours per night for adults and 10 hours per night for school-going children. Insufficient sleep can lead to increased levels of stress, fatigue and obesity which poses multiple risks to health.
Our night time rituals have been proven to have a significant effect on the quality of our sleep and indulgences like coffee, dark chocolate and wine have been linked to poor rest and frequent sleep disturbances. But there’s good news!
There are plenty of delicious and healthy alternates that we can turn to for a significant improvement in the depth and length of our sleep: all we need to do is learn what to eat and when.
Here are 9 Top Choices for a Healthy, Sleepy Bedtime Ritual:
A study involving 20 participants was carried out over 7 days at the Institute of Life Sciences in order to observe whether cherry juice could improve the quality of sleep.
Just two glasses of cherry juice per day resulted in a significant increase in melatonin in each participant and extended sleeping time by an average of 1 hour.
Yogurt is naturally high in calcium, a mineral which stimulates the production of melatonin in the brain. It also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to induce a deep and natural sleep.
3. Jasmine Rice
Dr. Chin Moi Choi from the University of Sydney conducted a study to prove that jasmine rice can encourage better sleep. 12 healthy adult males were given a bowl of jasmine rice 4 hours before bedtime and the results showed a 40% increase in the rate at which they fell asleep. The results were then published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, encouraging jasmine rice as a healthy, sleep-inducing meal.
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and peanuts are rich in protein and contain plenty of magnesium, a mineral that is known to calm nerves and relieve muscle tension. The high level of protein stimulates the production of tryptophan, which helps to increase the quality of sleep.
Tuna fish contains plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin B6, as well as being high in protein. The University of Oxford conducted research and proved that a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids resulted in better sleep. A deficiency in Vitamin B6 has been linked to sleep disturbances and insomnia, which makes tuna a great way to boost serotonin for dreamier nights.
30 healthy adults participated in a study at the Khon Kaen University in Thailand to observe whether pineapple and other tropical fruit had any effect on sleep.
The results proved that tropical fruit eaten before bedtime can significantly increase the level of melatonin in the brain, and pineapple increased it by as much as 266%.
Bananas are a rich source of potassium, a mineral that the University of Wisconsin has linked to improving slow-wave sleep. This is the deepest phase of the sleep cycle and helps us to feel truly rested in the morning. Potassium also helps to reduce muscle cramps and reduces blood pressure, leading to a more peaceful night of shuteye.
8. Warm Milk
It turns out that warm milk really does help to promote better sleep due to its rich content of calcium and tryptophan, which induces a feeling of sleepiness.
Hummus is made from chickpeas, sesame seeds and olive oil, which loads your body with essential fatty acids, B-Vitamins and folate, which stimulates melatonin and serotonin for better sleep.
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