03 Mar 2016

Top 3 Foods That Help You Sleep

Health and Wellbeing Advice

A diet combined with all the wrong things won’t just affect you physically - eat badly and you sleep badly.

Changing your diet will reward you in more ways than one. Check out our three tips for eating right and sleeping tight.

Fishing for sleep

Salmon meal

If you’re looking to catch some z’s, feast on fish. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish like salmon, halibut and anchovies can assist the brain’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm and promoting restful sleep.

We suggest: an 85g serving of salmon, halibut or tuna, a serving of turkey, or a handful of nuts.

Eat carbs for dinner

eating pasta

Carb-fearing is often triggered in the evening hours, with many avoiding rice and potatoes on their plate to escape unwanted weight gain. Contrary to the popular myth, eating carbs at night is not bad for you. As long as you’re staying within your daily macronutrient needs (i.e. taking into account the amount of carbs you’ve eaten during the day and not overloading at night), and maintaining an active lifestyle, carbohydrates in the evening remain delicious, healthy – and will even help send you off to the land of nod.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, complex carbs are the ticket to a good night’s sleep. Consumption of high GI carbs (jasmine rice), as opposed to lower GI carbs (long-grain rice) made participants fall asleep quicker, leading researchers to speculate that insulin triggered by a high GI meal lead to the release of more tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan (aka, the sleep-inducing amino acid) will have you yawning in no time.

In addition to staying away from filling your coffee mug, try to avoid reaching for the deli meats. Processed foods that contain a lot of sodium can interrupt your sleep by raising your blood pressure and dehydrating you.

We suggest: a dinner of chicken, jasmine rice and vegetables, peanut butter on toast, or a bedtime snack of wholegrain cereal and milk.

Eat cherries in bed


Wait, what?

In addition to helping to reduce inflammation and protecting our body’s blood vessels and brain cells against oxidative stress, cherries are the sleeping superfruit. One of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the nutrients found in cherries (tart cherries, in particular) assist in the regulation of the body’s internal clock and its sleep/wake cycle.

Keep a bottle of tart cherry juice in the fridge, and get sipping about an hour before you hit the hay.

We suggest: a glass of tart cherry juice in the morning and evening, or a serving of cherries an hour before you’re ready to go to bed.

When you change your diet to fuel it with the right stuff, your body will react to food and nutrients in incredible ways. Find out more with the 10967NAT Diploma of Nutrition. Call 1300 616 180 today.

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