Healthy foods that will help you sleep throughout the night

Getting enough sleep is the foundation of a healthy and successful life, yet, over a third of Americans don’t get the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.

If your sleep’s been out of whack recently, try adjusting your diet. Foods like nuts, cherries, and oats have been proven to contain sleep-promoting compounds that can help you fall asleep faster. Minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium also stimulate melatonin production, a vital sleep hormone.

By opting for the right sleep-inducing snacks, you’ll be sure to enjoy a night-long, peaceful slumber, as well as boost your mood and immune system.  

 Understanding the importance of sleep

The importance of a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be underestimated. When you sleep, your body recovers from all the stresses it went through that day: your cells start repairing muscles, fixing damaged cells, and bolstering brain neurons.

None of this can be done optimally unless you’re in a deep sleep. And, if you wake too early, your body won’t be fully repaired, which, in turn, hampers your health. In particular, a lack of good sleep can increase stress, and cause memory, immune problems, and obesity.

Moreover, these health issues can further disrupt sleep, resulting in a negative feedback loop that can be challenging to break. For example, stress, anxiety, depression, and poor sleep can cause nightmare disorder, or parasomnia: disturbing dreams that disrupt your sleep and wellbeing.

Treatment for parasomnia depends on the cause. Medical treatment may be needed if it’s caused by an underlying medical problem, while therapy may be effective if stress or anxiety are to blame.

Snack on fruit

Dried prunes are a great bedtime snack; they’re packed with calcium, vitamin, B6, and magnesium, which are essential for making melatonin. Prunes can be eaten alone as a snack, or mixed with nuts. Brimming with iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, dried figs are another great choice. These minerals facilitate blood flow and muscle contraction, which help you sink into a deep sleep.

Dried figs taste delicious by themselves, or you can chop them up and add to yogurt or oatmeal. Additionally, dehydration is never good news for sleep, and staying hydrated is generally associated with a better slumber. So, snack on hydrating fruits like watermelon – one cup contains over half a cup of water, as well as fiber and magnesium. Pears, oranges, and apples are also beneficial choices.  

Savory treats

Sweet potatoes are bursting with magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which can help put you in a sleepy state before bed. They go great with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and spoon of nut butter or a sprinkle of salt.

Alternatively, hummus is another sleep-inducing, savory option; it’s a wonderful source of tryptophan and folate, which can help regulate sleep, along with vitamin B6, which helps make melatonin. Eat a couple of tablespoons with some whole grain crackers or fresh-cut vegetables.

The food you eat can play a pivotal role in the quality of your sleep. By opting for slumber-promoting snacks, you’ll get enough sleep, and improve your energy levels and overall health.