Is the elusive zzzz on your daily to-do list? Do you tell yourself every morning that only if you slept uninterrupted for 7 hours, you would be better at problem solving and wouldn’t look or feel as drained out as a vampire on a vegan diet? But we all know it’s better said than done. The moment you hit the bed, you toss and turn and scroll Instagram like there’s no tomorrow and sleep still continues to be the proverbial eel in your grip. However, research confirms that what we eat can affect our shuteye. Some foods can regulate sleep hormones, calm and soothe our nerves and keep the gut happy…all that you need to sleep like a baby. So stock up on these sleep inducing snacks and get munching before bed time.
Prunes. You would be amazed to know how the humble prunes that you snubbed at the grocery store can help you sleep better. They are a rich source of vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium that make melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone. For best results, eat a few prunes 30 minutes before bed time.
The yellow fruit is rich in vitamin B6 that converts the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter controlling the levels of sleep hormone melatonin in the body. “The magnesium and potassium found in bananas act as muscle and nerve relaxants,” says Lovneet Batra, clinical psychologist and founder of Nutrition by Lovneet.
It’s a common home remedy for sleeplessness. However, there’s scientific evidence that milk can help you sleep well. “It contains sleep-promoting compounds like calcium, tryptophan and vitamin D. We usually recommend, a cup of warm milk before bedtime. But if you are lactose intolerant then avoid milk,” says Lovneet.
These nuts can lull you into deep slumber. Pistachios pack in protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all that are needed for some good zzzz. However, do not eat more than a hand full as they might energise you and have the reverse effect.
This tea has many health benefits and snooze-promoting qualities is just one among them. Chamomile tea calms down the nerves, keeps you hydrated and soothes your stomach…the perfect recipe for good sleep.
Here’s a valid reason to indulge in some dark chocolate. It contains serotonin, which relaxes your body as well as your mind. Chocolate is also an aphrodisiac, need we say more!
Well, oats aren’t only good for breakfast. You can eat them at night too says Lovneet. “Oats trigger insulin production that makes you sleepy. They are also rich in melatonin, which helps you fall asleep,” she adds.
If you love cheese, this is your perfect excuse. Cottage cheese is a powerhouse of tryptophan, the amino acid known to increase serotonin levels in the body. Lower levels of serotonin, which is a brain chemical can lead to insomnia.
The best way to get some shuteye is to eat foods that increase the concentration of melatonin in the body. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, eat them regularly for a better sleep cycle.
These are not only apt for your nightly sugar cravings but can also make you fall asleep. Figs are a rich source of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron—minerals that help regulate blood flow and ease muscle contraction, the key things essential for deep slumber.