Food for Sleep

We all know there’s nothing better than getting a great night’s sleep. There’s also nothing that can make your day worse than hearing the alarm go off before you’ve caught enough Zs. Getting a good night’s rest can actually have a much bigger effect on you than how great of a day you have. In fact, not getting enough sleep can lead to serious health problems over time, but making sure your body is getting the rest it deserves really pays off. Getting enough sleep every night leads to improved brain functions, creativity, low blood pressure, and even reduces the risk of depression.

For Sleep Awareness Week, I wanted to share a few diet tips that can help you wake up ready to take on the day! There are many things can affect how you feel in the morning, but the first thing you should consider when it comes to your body is what you put into it. Getting a few essential vitamins and nutrients that your body needs before laying down for bed can make a world of difference when it’s time to wake up and start the new day. Instead of reaching for a sleeping pill, try grabbing one of these quick and healthy snacks:

Bananas – High in the natural muscle relaxers potassium and magnesium, bananas can help get your body ready for a great night’s rest! This delicious fruit also contains tryptophan, which stimulates the production of serotonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. The next time you’re feeling a little restless, try slicing up a banana. If you’re also looking to satisfy that midnight sweet tooth, check out this yogurt banana sundae recipe!

Cherry juice – Tart cherries are one of the richest natural sources of melatonin, which controls your natural sleeping and waking cycles. If you struggle getting to sleep at night or keeping your sleeping routine in check, try pouring a glass of tart cherry juice!

Whole grains – Fiber naturally leaves the body feeling full for longer. Simply having a slice of whole grain bread before you lay down may be the solution you need to sleeping through the night without waking up to hunger pains. Whole wheat bread is always a great place to start, and you could also try avocados, apples, or chia seed for a great source of quick fiber!

Seeds, beans, and nuts – Whether you know it or not, a magnesium deficiency in your diet may be the reason you aren’t sleeping.  Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, and almonds are all great sources of magnesium you can snack on to keep your magnesium levels in check. Get creative with these salt & vinegar pumpkin seeds or these curried cashews!

Dark, leafy greens – You can never go wrong with veggies. High in folate, leafy greens like kale, spinach, or chard help to improve your regular sleep patterns. Adding more of these to your diet will also sneak in another great source of calcium. Having a calcium deficiency could be another thing keeping you awake. Try snacking on these baked kale chips or tossing together a strawberry-spinach salad.

Getting enough rest is essential to living your life to the fullest, and eating with a purpose can help take the stress of a sleepless night off your shoulders! For more information on how these foods can help you get the rest you need, check out these helpful pages from Livestrong, Natural News, and Eating Well.

If you’d like to catch up on more tips and advice for healthy eating and cooking like a chef, be sure to follow me on Instagram at OfficialChef  and check out SimpleEatsTV on YouTube.

Always remember Eat with a Purpose!

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