5 Foods You Need for Better Sleep

According to a survey carried out by Aviva last year, there are as many as 16 million UK adults that are suffering from some form of insomnia. The effects of a restless night’s sleep are far wider ranging than feeling sleepy whilst at work. Insomnia can affect your physical health, causing a higher risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as your mental health.

Whilst there are many ways you can tackle insomnia; one approach is to look at the food you eat. There are certain foods that, if eaten just prior to your bedtime, can not only help you get to sleep but will also help you have a longer, less interrupted night.

Almonds

Almonds are a fabulous source of nutrients, including manganese (considered an essential nutrient) and phosphorous (which helps to repair tissues and cells). But did you know that almonds have long been touted as a way to boost sleep quality? This is due to tryptophan; an amino acid that helps produce melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your body clock, keeping you awake in the day and tired at night.

Chamomile Tea

A classic bedtime drink, but do you know why? Well, apparently, it’s to do with the apigenin contained in the chamomile. Apigenin is an antioxidant that binds certain receptors in the brain to promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia.

Kiwi

Not only is kiwi a low-calorie snack, but it contains a huge amount of wonderful nutrients, including vitamin C and K. The fruit is also known for its digestive qualities, helping to significantly reduce any inflammation in your stomach as well as lower your cholesterol. There have been numerous studies that have looked into the benefits of kiwis to help improve sleep, which is thought to be down to its high serotonin and antioxidant levels. In fact, one study undertaken by Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University found that volunteers who ate 2 kiwis 1 hour before bed, fell asleep quicker and slept more soundly – definitely worth trying!

White Rice

Whilst white rice may be high in carbohydrates it also has an incredibly high glycemic index (a measurement of how quickly a food increases one’s blood sugar). This high glycemic index is thought to help trigger sleepiness if consumed an hour before sleep, as it speeds up the release of tryptophan and serotonin.

Fish

Well, more specifically fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel. These types of fish contain a huge amount of vitamin D, a fantastic nutrient to help absorb calcium and promote bone growth. They also contain Omega-3 fatty acids which protects against heart disease and boosts brain health. It is believed that the combination of both Vitamin D and Omega-3 increases the production of serotonin which will help enhance sleep quality hugely.

So, there we go – add these 5 foods into your diet and you’re bound to be off to a better night’s sleep before you know it!

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