When feeling peckish or thirsty late in the evening, it’s best to stick to certain foods and drinks. Not everything you eat and drink will keep you up at night. In fact, certain foods and drinks could actually help you to get to sleep. Below are some of the best foods and drinks to consume before bed if you want a good night’s sleep.
Many nuts contain chemicals that can help us to sleep. Almonds are one of the best options – they contain high doses of the sleep hormone melatonin, while also containing a lot of magnesium and calcium (which are also good for sleep quality). Other nuts like walnuts, pistachios and cashews also contain high amounts of sleep-inducing minerals.
If you fancy something sweet in the evening, there are many fruits that could be a good choice. Cherries are a good option as they contain high levels of melatonin, tryptophan and potassium. Kiwis also contain a myriad of sleep-inducing compounds including melatonin, anthocyanins, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Other fruits that may help you relax and feel ready for bed include bananas, pineapple and berries.
Eating certain meats before bed may leave you with a heavy stomach and acid reflux. However there is one meat that may actually help you to get to sleep more easily. Turkey is packed full of a chemical called tryptophan which can act a bit like a mild tranquiliser. If you typically find yourself getting sleepy after a roast turkey dinner, this could be why.
Oily fish are high in omega-3 and vitamin D. Both chemicals may help improve sleep quality by reducing stress and helping you to fall asleep more quickly. A few examples of oily fish include salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines.
While regular tea contains caffeine, many herbal teas do not. In fact, many herbal teas contain ingredients that are powerful sleep supplements. Examples include lavender tea, chamomile tea, valerian root tea and lemon balm tea. Consider making these your drink of choice at night for a good night’s sleep.
A glass of milk could also help you to sleep at night. Like turkey meat, milk is high in tryptophan. It also contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, which can also help improve sleep quality.
A sure way to help you get a good night’s sleep is to consume sleep supplements before going to bed. These are available in various forms including pills, capsules, powders and oils. Some of the best examples include melatonin pills, magnesium tablets, lavender oil and CBD oil. You can buy these online or at a herbal pharmacy.
What not to consume…
There are some foods and drinks that you should try to avoid before going to bed. An obvious example is anything containing caffeine, which will make you more alert – this includes coffee, regular tea and chocolate. It’s also worth avoiding fatty processed snacks. These foods are hard to digest and may encourage acid reflux and discomfort. Very sugary processed foods are also best avoided because they will energise you without containing any nutrients to counter this. Finally, you should try to avoid high amounts of alcohol – while alcohol can knock you out, you may not get into a deep sleep and are more likely to need to get up to go to the toilet.