Foods That Can Help You Get Better and More Sleep

Posted in Uncategorized on July 3, 2019

You’ve probably heard it your entire life – “you need eight hours of sleep per night.” While eight hours is a great number to strive for, so many more factors go into your sleep quality. If you’re out late one night and have a few drinks too many, that sleep quality is likely poor.  However, an active, well-hydrated day can result in excellent sleep quality that includes optimal times in all sleep modes. As an infant into a young child, humans require a vast amount of sleep. Somewhere between 11 and 15 hours of sleep, depending on age. As an adult, most of us try to get seven to eight, but sleep requirements vary for different individuals. Some grown adults might require up to ten hours of sleep, while others only need about six or seven.

A few particular studies have shown that middle-aged adults are at risk of heart disease if they get fewer than seven hours of sleep per night. While that could be true, keeping active, drinking plenty of water, and eating the right foods can keep your ticker ticking for years to come.

Foods That Can Help You Get Better Sleep

Almonds

Almonds are a natural source of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. In a one-ounce serving, these tree nuts also contain almost 20% of your daily intake of magnesium. Some patients have shown considerable improvements in sleep quality when their magnesium levels are adequate.

Kiwi

Yes, the furry little fruit has a few qualities, that in tests, have shown significant improvements in sleep. From falling asleep faster to fewer awake minutes through the night, kiwifruits have proven to be an optimal before-bedtime snack.

Turkey

Turkey is delicious, and is high in protein, providing 4 grams per ounce eaten. Protein is important for keeping muscles strong and helping to regulate your appetite.

Additionally, turkey is a good source of a few vitamins and minerals. Many people say that turkey is an ideal food to eat before bedtime due to its ability to promote sleepiness. Though, no published studies have explored its role in sleep, per se.

However, turkey does have a few properties that explain why some people may become tired after eating it. It contains the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.

The proteins in turkey might contribute to your tiredness. Evidence shows that consuming moderate amounts of protein before bed is associated with better sleep quality, including less waking up throughout the night.

Although more research is necessary to ascertain turkey’s potential role in improving sleep. But it won’t hurt anything by eating some turkey before trying to go to sleep.

Walnuts

Walnuts are abundant in quite a few nutrients, which provide almost 20 vitamins and minerals, along with fiber, in a 1-ounce serving. Walnuts are particularly rich in phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and copper.

Furthermore, walnuts are a great source of good fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. They also supply 4 grams of protein per ounce, which may be beneficial for reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass.

Walnuts are also said to help support heart health. They are said to reduce high cholesterol levels, which can become a major risk factor for heart disease. What’s more, eating walnuts has been claimed to improve sleep quality, as they are one of the best food sources of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.

The fatty acid makeup of walnuts may also contribute to better sleep. They provide ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that’s converted to DHA in the body. DHA may increase the production of serotonin, a sleep-enhancing brain chemical.

Regardless, if you struggle with sleep, eating some walnuts before bed may help. About a handful of walnuts is an adequate portion.

Sleep Debt

The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,” which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid.

We usually won’t adapt to getting fewer hours of sleep than our bodies require. Though we might adjust to a sleep-deprived schedule, judgment, reflexes, and other fine motor functions will still be impaired.

Get the Sleep You Deserve

Great exercise, going to bed at a decent hour, and eating a diet high in protein and low in saturated fats can definitely contribute to better and more improved sleep. Talk to your doctor today if you have concerns about the quality and amount of sleep you’re getting.

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