Neil Robinson, Sealy UK’s resident sleep expert, shares his top tips on which foods you could introduce into your diet to encourage a more restful night’s sleep.
Calcium is a natural sleep aid, which is why a deficiency in your diet may make it difficult to fall asleep. Calcium contains tryptophan, the amino acid that your body uses to create melatonin – a hormone that helps induce sleep.
Bananas are useful when battling insomnia due to their naturally high levels of amino acid, tryptophan. In addition to the sedative effects that this produces, bananas also contain high levels of magnesium and potassium which work to relax the muscles, promoting a good night’s sleep.
If you find yourself reaching for a pre bedtime snack, grab a handful of almonds. Like bananas, almonds contain both tryptophan and muscle-relaxant, magnesium. Almonds always have a high protein content which will keep you feeling full all night.
Oats are great for keeping your heart healthy and also contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals that collectively work to encourage relaxation. As a natural source of melatonin – the hormone that regulates our sleeping and waking cycles, oats are guaranteed to help you drift off into a peaceful sleep. So why not try a bowl of milky porridge for supper?
Like oats, cherries are extremely high in melatonin. In addition to promoting weight loss and being a delicious snack, cherries contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which work alongside melatonin to help maintain a deeper sleep for longer.
6) Peanuts or peanut butter
Peanuts and peanut butter are high in niacin, a form of vitamin B3 which aids the production of serotonin – the hormone responsible for our moods. Rich in good fats, peanuts and peanut butter will keep you fuller for longer, meaning you won’t wake up hungry in the night.
7) Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea increases the levels of amino acid glycine in the body which causes our muscles to relax. Additionally, the anti-anxiety effects of glycine mean that chamomile tea is excellent for de-stressing. We’d recommend trying chamomile tea with a teaspoon of honey for that sweet kick.
Due to its high magnesium content, avocado could be exactly what you need to drift off into a deep sleep. Research shows that magnesium decreases levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” which can increase irritability and therefore impede your quality of sleep.
For more helpful sleep advice and tips, visit www.sealy.co.uk.