Foods For Better Sleep… How Today’s Menu Affects Tonight’s Slumber
We know that what you do in the day can affect your sleep at night. You know, if you exercised, if you had to deal with stressful clients, or you got a sassy email that you just can’t get out of your head. We’ve all been there.
But did you know your diet has a significant impact on the quality of your sleep?
According to a scientific review, “overall, foods impacting the availability of tryptophan, as well as the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, may be the most helpful in promoting sleep.”
And since sleep is basically the Bella Hadid of the wellness world, here are six tips from nutritionist Liv Kaplan on how to hack your diet today for a better sleep tonight.
Get some L-Theanine into your life by swapping your arvo coffee for a green tea.
We know that, at the time, a 3pm coffee seems like a great idea to give you that extra boost of productivity for the afternoon.
But unfortunately for most people that caffeine is still hanging around in your system 8 hours later when you are actually trying to do the opposite and wind down.
Green tea has a small amount of caffeine (less than coffee) to give you that little boost, but it has the added benefit of L-theanine which actually promotes relaxation.
Break the “no carbs at night” rule and eat potato.
Now there’s a tip we can get around.
Eating good quality carbohydrates at night may support the production of the necessary hormone serotonin, to send us into a peaceful slumber.
Before you run for the hot chips, quality is important here. Choose home-cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes so you can enjoy spuds without the deep-fryer and rancid vegetable oils.
However this is a fine balance because excess carbohydrates in the form of sugar and refined grains are shown to negatively affect sleep quality.
So stick to unrefined from-the-earth carbs. They taste better anyway.
Swap your pinot for… Anything else.
Unfortunately, even though it seems a nice glass of red calms you down, it actually can affect the quality of your sleep.
According to sleep expert Matthew Walker, instead of helping us fall into a good sleep naturally, alcohol merely “sedates you out of wakefulness”. Earth shattered.
While we love to enjoy ourselves, of course, there is a time and a place. And incorporating more alcohol-free nights into your week is only going to do you good.
One of our fave swaps is to enjoy a glass of sparkling water with a squeeze of lime and a splash of tart cherry juice which actually contains melatonin - a hormone required for sleep!
Turn on night mode…
Yeh duh. We’re going to sleep so we’re already in night mode. Not so fast.
We’re talking about your iPhone. It has a setting on it called night mode which acts to mimic the natural progressions of the sun as it rises and sets.
It takes a few seconds to turn this setting on and your inner body clock will love you for it.
Think of it as communicating the time of day to your body. With blue light and screens in our faces all throughout the day, we’re actually confusing our bodies as to when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up!
Load up on magnesium.
The wonder mineral. It’s used for so many enzymatic processes in the body that there’s almost too many to list.
Magnesium promotes relaxation which is obviously great news for tonight’s sleep. So enjoy cacao, kale, salmon, and nuts and seeds for a dose of dietary magnesium. And consider a supplement to boost your intake.
Make a dessert of pistachios and cherries.
Because of the melatonin...
We mentioned it before but this hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Our bodies naturally produce it but it can also be taken in supplement form, and it’s even naturally present in some foods, notably Tart Cherry and pistachios!
Bonus that these foods taste great too. There’s a reason why our SleepyBare contains Tart Cherry extract and magnesium. So say hello to your new nighttime ritual! Zzzzz….