Insomnia is the worst. Can you imagine getting a solid seven or eight hours of restful sleep every single night? Many folks can’t.
But that’s how much sleep adults are generally supposed to get in order to be their healthiest.
Millions of Americans struggle to get enough rest. Some are unable to fall asleep in the first place. Others get to sleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night. And then there are the folks who may technically get seven to nine hours of sleep, but it’s restless and doesn’t help their health.
Insomnia busting foods help you sleep soundly starting tonight
No matter where you fall on the insomnia spectrum, we’ve got a list of sleep-friendly foods that can help you get the rest you need.
1. Butternut squash:
A study out of the University of Pennsylvania identified linked several nutrient they say may have the ability to help us easily fall asleep at night, including alpha carotene. All it takes is one cup of roasted butternut squash to get more than 5600 mcg of alpha carotene.
Too hot to think about roasting anything right now? A cup of raw carrots has nearly 17,000 mcg of this sleep-inducing nutrient.
2. Brazil nuts:
That same UPenn study that found alpha carotene can help us slip off to LaLa Land also revealed that being low in selenium is linked to unwanted late nights.
But the good news is it only takes 6-8 Brazil nuts to get more than 100 percent of the selenium you need every day. As an added bonus, the healthy fats found in nuts are associated with a good night’s sleep too, so you score two big benefits with one great snack.
3. Egg yolks:
It turns out not getting enough calcium not only can cause weak bones, it could also lead to sleepless nights. Egg yolks are ideal for helping to restore your calcium levels since they also contain vitamin D, a nutrient your body needs to absorb the mineral effectively. Salmon is another good source of both calcium and D. Fight off insomnia by including more delicious eggs in your diet.
If your issue isn’t getting to sleep, but staying that way, you may need more magnesium. According to the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, not having enough magnesium in your system can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. So, nibble on a handful of almonds during the day, and you may be able to sleep straight through the night.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycles. Without enough of it, you won’t fall asleep as easily or sleep as soundly.
Tart cherries are an excellent source of natural melatonin. A glass or two of tart cherry juice before bed can help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer according to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
Your body requires vitamin B6 to manufacture its own supply of melatonin. So eating more foods rich in the vitamin, such as wild caught tuna, can boost your body’s melatonin supply and fight off insomnia.
Nuts such as walnuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which experts say can help us sleep better. Healthy fats help boost your serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our sleep cycles and mood.
Walnuts are also high in the essential amino acid tryptophan, which plays a key role in the production of both serotonin and melatonin, to help you sleep longer and deeper.
Getting to sleep and staying asleep are both easier when you’re relaxed, and the magnesium and potassium you’ll find in a delicious banana can help you do just that. But the banana benefits don’t end there. Everyone’s favorite yellow fruit is also rich in tryptophan, so like walnuts they can help your body produce more sleep-inducing serotonin and melatonin.
Stop struggling to get the rest you need. Try adding more of these slumber-friendly foods to your diet, and sleep like a baby starting tonight.