11 Foods That Actually Help You Sleep Better

Are you having problems catching Zzz’s//getting a solid night’s sleep ++ counting sheep isn’t helping? Your natural *DIY* remedy might be closer than you think — it’s right in your pantry! Research shows there are foods [ones a CHAARG girl probably has already ; )] that can help you naturally fall asleep faster without resorting to pharmaceuticals. Check out this list of snacks that may make it easier for you to get some shut eye + wake up #reCHAARGED!

#1] BANANAS

As a millennial, you can’t spell banana without thinking of Gwen Stefani’s hit song ; ). Bananas are full of potassium + vitamin B6 —  both move along the melatonin-making process. Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone in the body that creates the urge to sleep + intensifies as it gets later in the evening + darker outside. Consuming foods with melatonin can provide relief if you are having trouble falling asleep at night.

#2] SALMON

Packed with vitamin B6, salmon triggers the production of melatonin in your body. If you are suffering from self-diagnosed insomnia, eating dinner that incorporates salmon can help produce hormones that will make you fall asleep faster + sleep more soundly.

#3] SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes are an easy-to-digest carbohydrate. Research shows that consuming any of these types of carbs [potatoes, rice, white bread] can help you fall asleep faster because they are high on the glycemic index scale [a scale that tells us how quickly a carbohydrate is digested]. When foods high on the glycemic index scale digest quickly, blood sugar spikes, then it will quickly fall making you feel sleepy [think about how you feel after Thanksgiving — totally makes sense now right?!]. Research suggests eating these quickly digested carbs 4 hours before you plan on sleeping.

#4] ALMONDS

Almonds are rich in magnesium, which is a mineral needed to enhance quality of sleep. When our bodies’ magnesium levels are too low, research shows it is harder to stay asleep.

#5] MILK

Milk contains tryptophan [most commonly known for being in turkey #ThanksgivingNaps ; )], which boosts the serotonin levels that affect sleep patterns. Who would have thought you could #TreatYoSelf to a glass of milk ++ dark chocolates [see below ; )] before bed + actually sleep better?

#6] DARK CHOCOLATE

Milk chocolate is a stimulant [eat milk chocolate during the day ;)], but dark chocolate contains serotonin, which is a natural chemical that relaxes your body + mind. Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits as well — it is a strong antioxidant, lowers blood pressure, lowers risk of cardiovascular diseases ++ can improve brain function. Not to mention that Blake Lively swears by indulging in a small piece of dark chocolate every evening before bed — she would totally be #inCHAARG if it was around during her college days!

#7] CHICKPEAS

Hummus is a great source of that tryptophan chemical which helps makes melatonin in your body. This could be a great snack to send you into a peaceful afternoon nap. ; )

#8] HERBAL TEA

Chamomile + passion fruit tea are associated with chemicals in your body that relax nerves//muscles + act as a very mild sedative. Certain teas can not only help you relax, but can help you sleep more soundly.

#9] OATMEAL

Grains in the oatmeal act like whole grains by triggering insulin [a hormone that regulates blood sugar] levels to naturally spike, which make you feel sleepy. Oatmeal is also high on the glycemic index scale, like potatoes, rice + white bread. 

#10] TART CRANBERRY//CHERRY JUICE

Cranberry + cherry, two especially *tart* fruit juices, are proven to naturally increase melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone in your body that helps control your sleep cycles + you can also ingest it in vitamin form — you can be found in your local pharmacy section.

#11] HONEY

A spoonful of honey straight up or mixed with your chamomile tea could give you a more restful night’s sleep because of the honey’s natural sugar, which increases your insulin levels.

You don’t have to immediately resort to pharmaceuticals at the local drugstore if you’re struggling to get a sound night’s sleep. First, test out some of the different food + drink pairings above for a period of time [1-2 weeks] to see if you notice results. Natural sleep aids will take time, so be patient! If this doesn’t help with your restless nights + tiresome days consult a doc about other ways to start getting the sleep you deserve!

 

+Delaney [@delaney_inchaarg] // UC CHAARG

Recent Posts
Comments
  • Di
    Reply

    very interesting – will give a couple of these a try.

Leave a Comment