Sleeping soundly has never come as an issue to me, yet I too had to face occasional insomnia sometimes. It happened occasionally because of stress and anxiety. If you face chronic insomnia, then it is an issue. You should stop playing the blame game of saying; it so happened because of work stress, family issues, overthinking, blue lights of electronic devices, or troubling bedmate. The rational cause for this might be some crappy eating habits and routines before you snooze off. But don’t worry, help is on the way. I have compiled a list of proven drinks and best foods for sound sleep to help you get rid of chronic insomnia. Because;
The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to.
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, American Author
But, first, understand what hormone can better induce our sleep?
What Stimulates A Good Night’s Sleep?
Three meals plus bedtime make four sure blessings each day.
― Mason Cooley, American Aphorist
You might have heard of ‘Circadian Rhythm’ or ‘Melatonin’? Our body works on patterns and routines; the rhythmic cycles of days or months in our body are regulated by hormones. Such patterns are called ‘Circadian Rhythms’. One such cycle is the Sleep-Wake Cycle, a 24-hour rhythmic cycle, which comes under the control of the hormone ‘Melatonin’. It is also referred to as “Sleep Hormone” and there are many foods for a sound sleep that can induce melatonin production. An example is ‘Tryptophan’, the natural hypnotic present as the component of a major protein source.
10 Best Foods to Have Before Going to Bed
There is a famous Irish proverb that goes by:
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.
This is true because sleep can affect your health. To help you with it, below is a list of sleep-inducing foods and drinks that will at least improve your sleep, if not completely cure your insomnia.
5 Delicious Drinks for Sound Sleep
Here are some of my favourite drinks to help you have sweet dreams, by which I mean good night’s sleep.
1. Warm Milk
Nothing is better than a glass of warm milk before going to bed. This might bring flashbacks of your childhood when your mother brought you that glass of milk at night. And back in the days, you forcibly had to have it. Well, thank your mother because, without her and her persistence in setting your routine to drink milk, you wouldn’t have had good night’s sleep and grown healthily. Milk contains tryptophan which stimulates our brain to release melatonin.
2. Chamomile Tea
Herbal teas are always one of the best remedies for any health-related issue. Besides being helpful for treating cold, chamomile tea can boost immunity, relaxes nerves, relieves pain, and lessen diabetic complications. Above all, it promotes a restful night. You can sleep tight after taking a cup after dinner. Its popularity stands true to its function as a mild tranquillizer or sleep inducer. Although I haven’t tried it yet, but I love herbal teas as they have a relaxing effect.
3. Banana Smoothie
My childhood all-time favorite fruit was banana, and most of you had too. Incorporating bananas into your routine as a smoothie is the easiest way. It is good for relaxing your mind, as bananas comprise a large percentage of potassium, which helps you to sleep well. Add chopped bananas into a blender along with yoghurt or milk, after giving it a nice swirl, you can have it the classic way or use it as a base for other ingredients.
4. Green Tea
As I have mentioned earlier, herbal teas are goldmines for your health. The tea has a high percentage of antioxidants that soothe your nervous system and increase metabolism as well. After you had a nice filling dinner, it is better if you also have green tea. This makes a perfect combo.
5. Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice comes as an effective, natural, and safe way to treat your insomnia. It is the fastest to let you sleep some extra hours peacefully. This effect is so because tart cherry juice is naturally enriched with tryptophan and anthocyanins that induce the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. Just a glass of it can let you sleep tight through the whole night.
5 Filling Foods as Dinner for Sound Sleep
Dinner is important for your health. And among the best foods for sound sleep I have listed below, almost anyone can find their pick.
1. Poultry and Dairy
Be it eggs, milk, yoghurt, cream, or cheese! Every single one of these is a good source of tryptophan and antioxidants. This category of food is by far among the most healthy and nutritious sleep-inducing foods for every age group. One must not consume them too often as they provide enough amount of fat as well. But a little of every component is healthy now and then.
There is no other say to the fact that oatmeal is the best of all superfoods. Oatmeal has high antioxidant levels, high in omega-3 fatty acids, has a good amount of carbs, and some percentage of fiber. Oatmeal can directly influence the release of melatonin from our pineal gland (a part of the brain) and induces drowsiness. This superfood will relax your body, and you’ll be asleep in no time.
3. White Meat
If a person is non-veg like me, fond of eating roasted chicken, karahi, and achar gosht, then white meat is good for you. One can consume fish, turkey, and chicken in many types of dishes. Moreover, the dinner will be filling and is a jackpot of all the tryptophan that can boost your melatonin production. Roast some chicken with rosemary or herbs and have it with amazingly delicious hollandaise sauce made from egg yolks.
Nuts include walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and other seeds like flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds, they are healthy as well as tasty. Also, the fragrant smell of freshly roasted peanuts in winter has the power to pull anyone. Nuts contain magnesium and tryptophan, which boost the levels of serotonin and melatonin and relax your brain thus helping for a sound sleep.
5. White Rice
White rice is the type of grain that is primarily consumed as a staple food in many countries. And for desi people, nothing makes a good meal than a serving of dal chawal (cooked lentils with rice). Yum! It is astounding that even one serving of this dish can fulfil your need for proteins, carbs and is jampacked with sleep-inducing abilities. Tryptophan in lentil and the high glycemic index of rice make them a perfect food for sound sleep.
Health Benefits of Sound Sleep
Sleep is the golden chain that ties HEALTH and our bodies together.
― Thomas Dekker
Sleep is as important as eating healthy and exercising. But people are now doing more work and tend to deprive their bodies of good hours of sleep, not realizing the adversity of the situation. When you push yourself too hard to work more, remind yourself of these health benefits you will get because of a good night’s sleep.
1. Improve Concentration
Ever had a sleepy day at school or work? Guess what! We all have been through it due to poor sleep. Sound sleep can not only make us fresh and energetic; it can improve our concentration and cognitive abilities as well. We perform better after a good night’s sleep because our brains cannot work 24/7.
2. Balance Weight
Take stress, have multiple sleepless nights, and you’ll ruin your brain and perfect figure within a wink of time. As good sleep improves metabolism, it helps active transport and digestion. Also, most foods for sound sleep are low on sugars and rich in healthy fat, proteins, and antioxidants making you lose weight.
3. Enhance Glucose Metabolism
The amount of glucose from the food we consume is metabolized during our sleep. People sleeping less than six hours can develop the symptoms of prediabetes, which may become the precursor of Type 2 Diabetes. Proper sleep help improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
4. Lower Risks of Heart Disease
Come to think of it! Poor metabolism can lead to high blood sugar levels, more fat, and a rise in cholesterol levels. Plus, poor sleep can cause deterioration of your body functions. These chronic symptoms and diseases can be prevented by a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep.
5. Boost Immune System
Sleep induces the production of proteins called cytokines. These proteins are closely related to the betterment of the immune system. Plus, the food we eat has much to do with developing our immunity as well as mental health and well-being. And only during sleep our body cells can perform their house-keeping job well. So, sleep tight!
Well, every meal of the day has significant importance in keeping our bodies healthy and our minds active. Choosing the right food for the right time will provide you an extra edge to a better lifestyle. While not having sound sleep may be a problem for some people, you can improve it easily with sleep-inducing drinks and foods for sound sleep. Drive all the stress away, have sweet dreams, and enjoy life to the fullest. Always think of this quote;
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.
― Virginia Woolf, English Novelist