Does eating a banana before bed really help you to sleep better?
As society changes our diets have altered and we tend to sleep less. But there are foods to help you sleep better. The best foods to eat before bed can help you not only fall asleep but also sleep well through the night.
Here we look at the fruits to eat at night, consider whether eating peanuts before bed will help you sleep, check out the benefits of drinking milk before bed, and more.
How Bananas Can Promote Good Sleep
Do bananas help you sleep? Indeed, they do!
Bananas contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid essential for the production of serotonin in your brain that helps you to sleep. (Turkey is another great source of tryptophan.) But bananas also contain magnesium and potassium – these help your muscles relax and magnesium shortage has been linked to poor sleep. A banana before bed is a great sleep aid.
An age-old recipe for sleep. It’s not just the chamomile flowers that help you sleep, but the whole ritual of warming the pot, adding the water. Waiting for it to steep and then sipping the tea in a calm atmosphere. It is the perfect way to relax after a hectic day.
Protein for breakfast to get your system moving – and carbohydrate at night to help you sleep. Cereal before bed helps you relax. And carbohydrates are one of the best foods to help you sleep through the night.
The benefits of drinking milk before bed
The old wives' tale of a glass of warm milk seems to work. (Maybe “breakfast cereal” should be “supper cereal”?) Milk contains tryptophan, that helps your body produce serotonin the hormone that helps you sleep. If you have a sugar-free cereal with it then the tryptophan is more readily absorbed, so you are less likely to wake up hungry for a midnight feast. Oatmeal also contains melatonin, and that will help you sleep.
Cherry Juice Before Sleep
Fresh cherries are one of the very best fruits to eat at night. Cherry juice is special; it contains melatonin, the sleep hormone. Cherries also contain tryptophan. Together these two ingredients mean that cherry juice is the perfect pre-bed drink and will help you not only get to sleep, but also enjoy a restful sleep all night long.
Choosing the best fruit to eat at night is very much down to the individual. Some people would say blueberries before bed, others would say eat an apple before bed, grapes before bed, orange juice before bed and so on…but bananas and cherries are foods that will help you sleep through the night.
Lettuce has long been known to induce sleep and was used medically in late medieval times in Europe. Lettuce contains lactucarium, which can make you drowsy.
Both walnuts and almonds contain tryptophan which helps you make serotonin, almonds will help your muscles relax since they contain magnesium. Walnuts will give you melatonin, essential for good night’s rest. So, nuts are late-night snacks that aren’t bad for you. You could even add them to a smoothie thus combining the benefits of milk and fruits.
You don’t have to cook just before you go to bed to enjoy sweet potato chips as a snack. Sweet potatoes are rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, to relax your muscles and help you sleep.
Eating Peanut Butter Before Bed
Is eating peanut butter before bed a good idea? Yes! And eating peanuts before bed will help you sleep. They make a great snack and peanut butter is full of tryptophan. It also boosts your metabolism, so you might even burn more calories while you sleep. Peanut butter on a half bagel will give you tryptophan, carbohydrate – and why not add a banana before bed for extra tryptophan plus some muscle-relaxing effects?
Oranges or Grapefruits
Vitamin C deficiency causes many health problems – including sleep deprivation. People lacking in vitamin C tend to make up more often during the night. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is needed to help protect your body from cardiovascular disease and cancer. And for those who suffer from restless leg syndrome, it is worth adding some citrus fruit to your diet before going to bed. So, the best time for eating oranges may be bedtime.
Hummus is made from chickpeas – another delicious way to eat your way to sleep! Rich in tryptophan and vitamin B6. The B6 helps you to convert the tryptophan to serotonin. The chickpeas also contain fiber, which will make you feel full and aid your digestion overnight.
Some foods and drinks to avoid
Research on dietary nutrients intake and sleep duration have found that a shorter sleep period is associated with less healthy eating habits. This includes skipping breakfast, a lot of fatty foods, and snacking.
Certain foods make going to sleep difficult, most of us know about caffeine – and if you are sensitive to caffeine it might be advisable to refrain from caffeinated coffee for several hours before bed. (You can always have decaffeinated coffee after lunch.) Spicy foods can keep you awake, so can fatty foods and heavy meals last thing at night may keep you awake.
Many people think that alcohol will help you sleep – indeed you might fall asleep but you tend to wake up in the early hours and have a disturbed night. A weighted blanket is a much more reliable friend. And even though falling asleep after a good meal may be an easy task, it is not recommended to eat or drink tea at least one hour before resting in bed.
Cheese is an odd one. For some people, it can make a super small snack for those who wake up at 1AM feeling hungry, but for others, it can keep you awake – and induce a migraine. If you're experiencing frequent headaches or migraine episodes, you might be interested in reading on How to Sleep Better With Migraine in our next blog post.
Your Good Sleep Diet
Eating bananas before bed will help you sleep. Peanuts before bed or perhaps an apple before bed? Both have sleep-inducing properties. And cherries are one of the best fruits to eat at night. There are many foods to help you get to sleep. Combine one of these with the best weighted blanket and you have the perfect combination to help you fall asleep naturally and comfortably.