Your body is like a machine that is working constantly to get you through life. As with any machine, however, this non-stop operation can reduce its efficiency. Your body needs proper rest to function at its best, and sleep is the best way to do that. Proper sleep keeps your mind sharp and agile and recharges your body so that it can work more smoothly. It is also necessary to reduce stress and improve your quality of life.
Conditions like insomnia or an overall inability to get sufficient, quality sleep can cause irritability and a host of other, often more severe, problems. These can become serious issues and should not be ignored. Chronic fatigue can keep you from enjoying an active, energetic life.
Here are a few tips to improve your sleep, the best foods for better sleep, and how to get the most of out of your body, your day, and your life.
5 Best Foods for Better Sleep
From feeling drowsy after the holiday season to feeling blown after the morning dose of caffeine, we all experience how food and things we consume affect our wellbeing.
With 50 to 70 million Americans having a known sleep disorder, it is about time we start taking steps towards better sleep. As food and sleep are interlinked, and then why not consume the best foods that promote better sleep.
There is no single food that can work miracles overnight. Rather you will have to make lifestyle changes and your food habits to produce the desirable results.
Here, we have brought you the top 5 best foods for better sleep! Let’s explore them and try to incorporate them into our diet to start sleeping better.
Kale is a superfood that is popular among people, as they seem to love it. Well, it is also great for promoting sleep. Advertised as a food that is rich in nutrients, Kale is truly loaded with minerals and vitamins that support your well-being and promote better sleep.
A cup of kale contains:
- A great amount of Potassium
- 10% RDI of Vitamin B6
- Vitamins A, C, and K
- Small amount of Omega 3s and Iron
These nutrients are extremely helpful in promoting sleep!
Add some kale into a daily smoothie for added benefit!
Tart Cheery Juice and Tart Cherries
Tart cherries have a different flavor compared to sweet cherries. These are sour in taste. You can get them in the form of tart cherry juice or as a whole, depending on your preference.
Several studies have concluded that drinking tart cherry juice brings sleep benefits.
- One research shows that people who consume two cups of tart cherry juice daily have better sleep efficiency and more sleep time.
- The sleep benefits of the tart cherries are associated with the fact that they contain an above-average amount of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm while promoting good sleep.
- These cherries are also rich in antioxidants that are favorable for better sleep patterns.
Do you know how gut health is very crucial not just for a sound body but a sound mind as well? Since our gut has millions of bugs that are connected to make your sleep pattern better.
Many studies suggest that the diversity of the gut flora in our microbiome is associated with the regulation of our mood and stress levels and, of course, sleep patterns. So, what keeps the microbiome healthy and balance the good and bad bacteria?
The answer is simple- foods that are rich in probiotics. Greek Yogurt tops the list of probiotic-rich foods that promote gut health by increasing the good bacteria and the diversity of bacterial strains. Yogurt makes a great breakfast! Just sprinkle your favorite fruits over it and have a delicious breakfast daily. You can also snack on a container of yogurt without any guilt or look up some delicious recipes and make yourself smoothies!
Research on fatty fish concluded that it has incredible sleep promotion benefits. This study was done on a group of people that consumed Salmon three times a week for several months. As a result, these people not only had a better sleep but also increased productivity during the daytime. The researchers concluded that the sleep-benefits of fatty fish are associated with the amazing amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D found in them, which are linked with the serotonin regulation in the human body. Since the vitamin D levels fall during winters, this study also suggested increasing fatty fish intake during these months for better sleep.
Did you know that an ounce of almonds is enough to supply 25% of magnesium needed by women daily? Isn’t that amazing? However, we truly lack the amount of this amazing nut in our diets. About 80% of adults do not take sufficient magnesium, and hence the poor levels of magnesium result in insomnia and sleep-related issues.
Our brain needs to relax for falling asleep, and magnesium helps it in the process. Almonds are among the top superfoods that help promote sleep due to the amazingly high level of magnesium in them. Plus, they are super easy to consume; just grab a handful and snack on them. You could add them to your salad or mix them in your morning yogurt. You can indulge in some DIY recipe to make granola using almonds to avoid using the store-bought processed granola bars.
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Supercharge Your Life with These 5 Tips to Help You Sleep Better
Aim for 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep a Night
Recurring sleep deprivation can eventually lead to negative effects on your overall health. Not only will you be exhausted and lethargic but your cognitive and physiological abilities can be severely impacted as well. These problems can be exacerbated in women because they need more sleep than men. To stay active and energetic all day, your body requires seven to nine hours of deep, restful sleep every night. This is when your body recharges and your mind process your thoughts and emotions. A consistent routine—both for sleeping and preparing for sleep—can help your body maximize the number of hours it gets at rest to wake energized and rejuvenated.
Abhyanga is a version of Ayurvedic Medicine that involves body massage with warm oil. Among its benefits are detoxification, anti-aging, improved blood circulation, and overall better health. These benefits are amplified when Abhyanga is practiced first thing in the morning when your body is most rested, relaxed, and receptive.
Here are some simple steps to perform Abhyanga.
- Prepare a massage oil. Coconut oil is good for winter dryness, but a light sesame oil is best in the summer.
- Warm the oil for two to three minutes.
- Using your fingers and hands, begin massaging your body with the warm oil, making sure to apply equal pressure.
- Massage for about 10 minutes, slightly lightening the pressure around your abdominal region and breasts, as these are sensitive areas. Don’t forget about the soles of your feet.
Mentally Prepare Yourself for Sleep
Your mind should not be a storehouse for tension and stress, especially at the end of the day. The hour before bed is crucial for establishing the quality of sleep you will have that night.
- Use this hour to consciously “de-stress”
- Try to let go of any negative thoughts and calm your mind
- Focus on deep breathing and muscle relaxation
- Relaxing your muscles relaxes your mind, and this allows your brain to begin producing melatonin.
- The longer your brain has to produce this sleep hormone, and the longer your body has to process it, the sounder and more restful your sleep will be.
Try a guided meditation before bed!
Build a Bedroom Cave
A “bedroom cave” refers to the conditions your room should be in for the best sleep. Before bedtime, turn off those overhead lights and use a soft lamp. When it’s time for bed, opt for complete darkness, as light hinders the production of melatonin. If streetlamps and other artificial light invade your room in the evening, try hanging light-reducing or blackout curtains over your windows. Additionally, put your phone on silent or switch it off for completely undisturbed sleep.
Keep your room cool and comfortable. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that the optimum temperature for deep, restful sleep should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eat Better to Sleep Better
It is not just the quantity of time you are sleeping that matters; the quality is also important. Food can have a major impact on your quality of sleep; the better you eat, the better you will sleep. Foods that promote better sleep include cherries, unrefined carbs, bananas, sweet potatoes, and hemp milk. They can soothe sore muscles, lower anxiety, promote the production of melatonin, and keep you feeling fuller longer, all of which can help get you sleeping more soundly.
These simple changes in your daily routine and diet can produce big results. No matter how busy your schedule is, take the time to improve your sleep; your body and your life will be better for it!
Here’s a bonus for you to sleep better: WATER! Water isn’t food, but it is very crucial for a good sleep rhythm. We do not consume enough water needed by our body to function properly on a daily basis and hence fall victim to so many health issues, including poor sleep patterns and insomnia. It is recommended to start your day with a glass of water and keep drinking it throughout the day. Make sure you intake at least 8 glasses of water daily. However, avoid drinking too much of it in the evening so that you don’t have to keep waking up to make the rounds to the bathroom.
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