Nine foods to help your baby fall asleep
Good sleep is extremely important for overall health. It strengthens the immune system, stabilizes brain function, and may reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. What foods to eat before bed to ensure a healthy and quality sleep?
Doctors recommend 7 to 9 hours of sound sleep daily. How to fall asleep and not wake up during the night? For many, this is a challenging task. There are many ways to help the body get into a healthy, sound sleep; one is to change the diet. Did you know that certain foods and drinks help you fall asleep quickly? We present to your attention the TOP 9 foods and drinks for sleep, the use of which in the evening will significantly increase your chances of falling asleep as a baby.
Almonds are a very healthy fruit of a woody plant. It is a source of many nutrients. 100 grams of walnut contains:
- 64% of the adult daily value of phosphorus,
- 82% of the daily value of riboflavin (vitamin B2),
- 110% of the female daily requirement of manganese,
- 89% of the male daily value of manganese,
- 67% of the daily value of magnesium.
Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells from possible inflammation and prevent the development of diseases. Regular consumption of almonds reduces the risk of developing several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Scientists believe that eating almonds improves the quality of sleep, as they contain melatonin. Melatonin is often referred to as the sleep hormone: it regulates the body’s circadian rhythms, adjusts your internal clock, and signals your body to get ready for sleep.
Almonds contain magnesium, which in moderation, positively affects sleep. There is a hypothesis that magnesium improves sleep due to its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, the use of magnesium reduces the level of the stress hormone – cortisol, which negatively affects sleep.
However, studies proving the effect of almonds on human sleep have yet to be conducted. In one experiment, scientists investigated the effect of almonds on mice’s sleep. Individuals who received 400 mg of almond extract daily slept longer and calmer than those who did not receive the drug.
Turkey meat contains a lot of protein (28 grams of protein per 100 grams of product). Protein regulates appetite and strengthens muscles. Turkey’s meat is rich in riboflavin (vitamin B2), phosphorus, and other vitamins and minerals. For example, 100 grams of turkey is 75% of the daily selenium intake.
There are various reasons why people sleep better after eating turkey. One of them is tryptophan. This alpha amino acid increases the production of melatonin, which causes drowsiness. The protein present in the product also contributes to increased fatigue. It has been proven that after eating a moderate amount of protein in the evening, a person sleeps better and wakes up less often.
Chamomile tea is loaded with flavonoids. Flavonoids are the largest class of plant polyphenols. These plant pigments have antioxidant and healing properties. They relieve inflammation, often leading to oncological, cardiological, and other chronic diseases.
Chamomile has unique properties that improve the quality of sleep. It’s all about the apigenin it contains. This flavonoid acts on the right receptors in the brain that cause drowsiness and relieve insomnia. In a 2011 study, 34 adults received 270 mg of chamomile extract twice daily for 28 days. They fell asleep 15% faster and woke up less frequently than participants who did not receive the drug.
In another study, scientists showed that after drinking chamomile tea regularly for two weeks, women’s sleep quality improved significantly.
People who drink chamomile tea are less likely to fall into depression, which is often associated with insomnia. Drinking chamomile tea boosts immunity, reduces anxiety, and improves skin conditions.
Kiwi is a very nutritious and low-calorie fruit. One fruit contains only 42 calories and simultaneously contains 71% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. One kiwi is enough to get 23% of the male and 31% of the female daily dose of vitamin K. Kiwi contains many folic acids, potassium, and other useful trace elements.
Eating kiwi relieves inflammation, lowers cholesterol, and positively affects the digestive system. All this is due to the large volumes of fiber and carotenoids in the fruit.
Studies have shown that eating kiwi also has a beneficial effect on the quality of sleep. In one experiment, the first group of 24 adults took two kiwifruits before bed for four weeks. At the end of the experiment, participants in the first group fell asleep 42% faster than members of the second group who did not receive kiwi. In addition, participants in the first group were 5% less likely to wake up at night, and their total sleep duration increased by 13%.
One of the sleep-promoting factors is serotonin in kiwi, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that also affects sleep cycles.
Also, some researchers suggest that vitamin C and carotenoids, which are part of kiwi in large quantities, also have a sleepy effect.
Cherry juice concentrate
Concentrated cherry juice stores magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and other biologically significant elements. One glass of juice contains 17% of daily female and 13% of male potassium. Cherry juice is rich in antioxidants, anthocyanins, and flavonoids.
To improve the quality of sleep, drink cherry juice every day. This product is believed to improve sleep and has long been used to treat insomnia. The positive properties of the juice are associated with a high melatonin content.
Participants in a small experiment drank a glass of concentrated cherry juice twice a day for two weeks. At the end of the study, they reported improved sleep quality and slept an average of 84 minutes more per day.
Fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, and other species – are characterized by a high content of vitamin D. For example, an 85-gram serving of sockeye salmon contains 570 IU of vitamin D. And this is 71% of your daily value. The same serving of farmed rainbow trout contains 81% of the daily value.
Fish is high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 PUFAs increase brain activity and help with diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Combining omega-3 PUFAs and vitamin D in oily fish may improve sleep quality, as both components increase serotonin production.
In one experiment, male subjects from one group consumed 300 grams of Atlantic salmon thrice a week. After six months of observation, these participants fell asleep 10 minutes faster than the second group, who ate beef, pork, or chicken meat. The effect was achieved thanks to vitamin D. Measurements showed an increased level of vitamin D in members of the fish group, which is directly related to the quality of sleep.
For its richness in nutrients, walnut is often called the royal nut. After all, it contains more than 20 vitamins and useful minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper, in 100 grams of nuts – almost 7 grams of fiber. In addition, walnuts are rich in healthy fats. It contains an abundance of omega-3 PUFAs and linoleic acid. One hundred grams of nuts contain 15 grams of protein, which helps reduce appetite.
Eating nuts helps with heart disease. It has been proven that walnut can lower cholesterol levels. Walnut is one of the most generous melatonin sources, improving sleep.
The fatty acids found in nuts also prevent insomnia. Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 PUFA, is converted in the body to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which increases the production of serotonin.
The effect of walnuts on improving sleep quality has yet to be sufficiently studied. No scientific research has been done on this topic.
Passionflower herbal tea is a source of flavonoids that reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Tea calms and relieves feelings of anxiety, which is most likely the result of exposure to apigenin.
There is evidence that passionflower stimulates the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, which suppresses the action of glutamate and other chemical compounds that cause stress.
A study was conducted which 41 adults drank a cup of passionflower tea before bed. After just one week, their sleep quality improved significantly.
White rice is widely distributed throughout the world. The main difference between white and brown rice is that the former does not contain bran or germ. For this reason, white rice contains fewer nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. At the same time, white rice is saturated with certain vitamins and minerals.
100 grams of white rice will fill the daily requirement:
- folic acid by 24%,
- thiamine (vitamin B1) at 26%,
- manganese by 16%.
White rice is rich in carbohydrates. There are almost 30 grams per 100-gram serving. The high amount of carbohydrates and low amount of fiber increase white rice’s glycemic index (GI). The glycemic index is a relative measure of the effect of carbohydrates in foods on changes in blood glucose levels.
There is an assumption that eating high-GI foods an hour before going to bed positively affects their quality. In 1848, people were divided into three groups in one of the experiments. The first is most often consumed rice, the second – is pasta, and the third – is bread. Better sleep quality, including sleep duration, was observed in people who preferred rice. Thus, eating white rice in the evening will positively affect your nightly tranquility.
Other products that can help
Other products can improve the quality of sleep. True, their possible influence has yet to be studied by science.
- Milk products. Milk, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt are sources of tryptophan. A glass of milk helps older people fall asleep. Especially if you accompany the drink with simple physical exercises.
- Bananas. Banana peel contains tryptophan, and the banana itself is high in magnesium. Both components are the key to good sleep.
- Oatmeal. Similar to rice, oatmeal is rich in carbohydrates but contains more fiber. Oatmeal is high in melatonin, which is why it often makes you sleepy.
So what is the recipe for healthy sleep?
Some many foods and drinks can help you sleep well. Some contain hormones and neurotransmitters such as melatonin and serotonin. Some foods are sources of certain antioxidants and nutrients that help you fall asleep faster. To get the most benefit from these foods for your sleep, consuming them no later than 2-3 hours before going to bed is best. Eating before bed is harmful and can cause acid reflux and other digestive upsets.