You probably already know firsthand how difficult it can be to fall asleep sometimes. Whether it’s the stress of life, the amount of caffeine you consume during the day, or just a general difficulty drifting off, sometimes getting enough rest can be a real challenge.
The food you eat during the day, especially in the evening in the hours leading up to bed, can also have a major impact on how easily you’re able to fall asleep.
Cherries are a great snack to have before you go to bed. Not only are they delicious, but cherries also contain melatonin, which helps your body regulate its sleep cycle. Eating some cherries around 30 minutes before you go to bed can help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for longer.
Similarly, a tart cherry juice concentrate can also be a great way to get some melatonin into your system.
Bananas are another snack that can help you drift off at night. They’re high in potassium and magnesium, both of which are essential for healthy muscle and nerve function. This means they can potentially relax the body and help it prepare for sleep.
Eating a banana before bedtime may help your body transition into sleep mode more easily, allowing you to rest deeply.
Pistachios, Almonds, and Cashews
Nuts like pistachios, almonds, and cashews are high in magnesium, melatonin, and tryptophan, all of which can help your body prepare for sleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle, while magnesium relaxes muscles and helps with melatonin production.
Eating a handful of these nuts 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime may help you fall asleep more quickly. They make for a satisfying snack that will give you just enough energy to last until morning without keeping you up all night.
Oatmeal is a great snack to have before bed because it contains filling fiber and complex carbohydrates. These take longer for the body to digest, so they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar like other carbohydrate snacks might.
Add in some nuts and berries for extra flavor and sleep-promoting nutrition.
Avocado toast is a great snack to have before bed because the combination of bread and avocado provides a healthy dose of carbohydrates and healthy fats that will fill you up without leaving you feeling too full.
Avocados are also rich in potassium and magnesium, both of which can help your body relax for the night.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid
If you tend to have a hard time getting to sleep, consider avoiding certain foods and drinks in the hours before bed. Caffeine, of course, is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to difficulty sleeping. Drinking coffee or soda within 6 hours of bedtime can make falling asleep much more difficult.
Alcohol should also be avoided before going to sleep. While drinking a glass of wine may seem like a good way to help you relax, alcohol actually disrupts our natural sleep cycles and can leave us feeling exhausted the next day.
Certain foods, such as those high in sugar and fat, should also be avoided before bedtime as they can cause digestive issues, which will interrupt your sleep cycle. Greasy snacks like chips or french fries can cause indigestion and heartburn that make it hard for you to get comfortable enough to fall asleep.
Spicy foods should also be avoided as they can cause heartburn and gastrointestinal discomfort that make it difficult to sleep.
By making a few changes to your pre-bedtime routine, you can ensure that you get the restful sleep you need.