Earlier this week we learned that sleep deprivation could be shaving years off our lives. That’s not good news for anyone, but it’s especially troublesome for people who want to get more sleep but are having trouble physically doing so.
While there are plenty of medical and herbal aids to help combat sleeplessness, altering your diet can also help you drift off more efficiently. Below, five healthy foods that have been linked to a better night’s sleep.
“Sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, magnesium, and calcium to help you relax,” nutrition director Jaclyn London told Good Housekeeping. She suggests swapping a baked sweet potato for whatever you eat right before going to bed.
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The fruit contains a good amount of magnesium and potassium, both of which can help your muscles relax and help you catch some Zs, reports NDTV.
If you’re not a banana fan, NDTV also suggests almonds as a good before-bed snack, thanks to their magnesium content. Good Housekeeping recommends Pistachios for the same reason (they also have vitamin B6), but warns against consuming more than an ounce before bed.
If you’re an insomniac, you’re also probably familiar with the idea that drinking a warm glass of milk will solve the problem. Turns out, any milk product will do the trick. Reader’s Digest suggests breaking out the cheese and crackers before bed, or even a cup of yogurt. Calcium found in dairy products will help the brain use the tryptophan found in dairy to help make sleep-inducing melatonin.
Another interesting suggestion from Reader’s Digest: Lettuce. Having a salad with dinner can help you snooze thanks to lactucarium. Found in lettuce, it has sedative properties and can affect the brain similar to opium.