Foods that help you sleep better

Sleep is one of the most essential parts of our daily lives. A good night’s sleep is critical to our health, giving our bodies time to rest, repair and rebuild. A lack of sleep can impact not just your mood, but also your motor skills, exercise performance and immune system.“Sleep has become a cultural sacrificial lamb,” says wellness expert Michael Roizen, MD. “We’d rather work late, binge TV or stalk social media. Our bodies just cannot shut down, or health problems make it hard to fall or stay asleep.”Dr. Roizen doesn’t take a lack of sleep lightly. He says people don’t put lack of sleep in the same category as cigarettes or obesity because fatigue is more of a behind-the-scenes health threat — one that has a steady, creeping effect on our bodies. But the risks associated with lack of sleep are big.Embrace whole-grain bread, cereals, pasta, crackers and brown rice. Avoid simple carbohydrates, including bread, pasta and sweets such as cookies, cakes, pastries and other sugary foods. These tend to reduce serotonin levels and do not promote sleep.Lean proteins include low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey and fish. These foods are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which tends to increase serotonin levels. Tryptophan can also be found in egg whites, soybeans and pumpkin seeds.Unsaturated fats will not only boost your heart health, but will also improve your serotonin levels. Examples include peanut butter (read the label to make sure peanuts are the only ingredient) and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios. Avoid foods with saturated and trans fats, like french fries, potato chips or other high-fat snack foods.When selecting your dinner vegetable, try adding a leafy green like spinach, which is high in magnesium. Nuts, seeds, avocados and black beans are also magnesium-rich foods.A good, soothing beverage to drink before bedtime would be warm milk (your mother was right) or herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint. As for caffeinated drinks, Kirkpatrick recommends that if you have difficulty sleeping, try consuming your last cup by 2 p.m. Caffeine can affect people differently, and even the smallest amount of stimulant can keep you awake.Fresh herbs can have a calming effect on your body. For example, sage and basil contain chemicals that reduce tension and promote sleep. Try making homemade pasta sauce with sage and basil. It’s easy to do, and homemade sauces tend to be lower in sugar than Try some of these snacks to reduce your tossing and turning when you hit the pillow:
Try a banana with low-fat yogurt.
Eat low-fat cottage cheese with a few 100% whole-grain pita chips.
Smear peanut butter on 100% whole-grain crackers.
Enjoy an apple with mozzarella string cheese.
Tart cherry juice also seems to promote versions. However, avoid herbs such as red pepper or black pepper at night, as they have a stimulatory effect.
6 Foods That Help You Sleep