Sleep, catching zzz’s, the blanket show…

Whatever you want to call it – it is essential!

Honestly, a poor night’s sleep makes us all a bit cranky, but if it happens regularly it puts us at risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.  Just as an FYI, adults should sleep 7-8hours/night.  Hmm, maybe improving that wind down routine prior to bed could help a lot – no blue light (that’s computers, phones or TV) at least an hour prior to bed and no caffeine alcohol or ciggies in the 4-6hours prior to bed. 

Sweet dreams
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

But have you ever though about the food angle?  No, well check these out & I will also let you know the whys.

Sour Cherries

I like mine in the form of sour cherry juice.  They are not only rich in antioxidants but melatonin AKA the sleep hormone.

Almonds

These have both tryptophan and carbs in them.  Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that makes you feel calm, relaxed and sleepy.  Almonds additionally contain magnesium which helps your muscles relax plus it is great for sleep.

I was recently told of a recipe that uses both of these are part of a nightly wind down.  Make a hot chocolate on almond milk, then add 50ml of sour cherry juice…voila, a tasty sleepy time treat.  Make sure you add the sour cherry juice last, otherwise it won’t be effective.  Oh, I have done this with coconut milk in lieu of almond milk – it didn’t have the double hit, but it did taste like a cherry ripe, so I’d still call it a win!

Pumpkin seeds

Another tryptophan rich food!  Tryptophan helps with the synthesis of serotonin, which your body then converts to melatonin.  These work particularly well with carbs, so maybe a little snack of cheese and pumpkin seeds prior to bed.

Walnuts

Maybe add to your pumpkin seeds and cheese snack as walnuts are rich in both melatonin and serotonin to help you off to the land of nod.

Cow’s milk

Nana was right on the money with this one, it is rich in both tryptophan and melatonin. 

Salmon

OK, really most fish but especially salmon and tuna have oodles of vitamin B6 which is needed for the synthesis the hormone melatonin.  Another great reason to include fish in your evening meals.

Now for a couple of randoms to add in…

Kiwi fruit

These are chock full of goodness!  They contain serotonin, but also vitamin C and E, so perhaps put a couple of them with your nut and cheese bedtime snack or just eat as is. 

Bananas

These are famously rich in potassium, but also vitamin B6 – yup it helps with the synthesis of melatonin.  Maybe a banana smoothie with almond butter?

Plenty of options to suit plenty of different tastes.  If you indulge in a little night-time snack, choose wisely and the effect you see you off to the catching zzzs in no time.

#why #easyadditions #notallequal #nutrition #wellness #consciouslynutritious #happyhealthypeople

Published by Shân

I am incredibly passionate about food and its healing power – it is pretty amazing how what you eat affects how your body works! In fact, I was so fascinated, I went & got myself a degree in it – a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). Now in all honesty I don’t eat or live a perfect lifestyle, nor will I ever pretend I do. Realistically I know you won’t be perfect either. And that’s OK. As a Clinical Nutritionist I focus on what we eat and how this has an impact on our health and wellness – everyday.

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