Getting a good night’s sleep is part of stress management.
Think about it.
What happens if you are running on no sleep?
You’re cranky the next day, right? You may even start gaining more weight because you may start eating more since you’re awake more hours of the day (or night). Or gaining more weight because you grab anything to eat just to stay awake.
But sometimes getting a good night’s sleep is not easy to do.
The best thing you can do is to go to your kitchen.
Food is always a great place to start. And I don’t mean just any food. Whole, nutritious food is the key.
Food has been used as medicine for thousands of years and continues to be used as such!
So why not use it for a good night’s sleep?!?
Here are 22 foods to help you get a good night’s sleep:
This medicinal herb lowers the level of stress hormones in the body which makes this herb a natural sedative. Because your stress hormone levels are lowered this can benefit your immune system. You can easily find chamomile in tea form. Before you go to bed, take a moment to sip a warm cup of chamomile herbal tea to relax, unwind and de-stress.
2. Valerian root
Valerian root is another medicinal herb that has been used to treat nervous conditions such as anxiety and insomnia. It even has been given the nickname “nature’s tranquilizer”. Your best bet in consuming valerian root is in tea form.
3. Fruits: cherries, bananas, and pineapple
Cherries contain high levels of melatonin, which is responsible for inducing sleep in your body. They can also improve the quality of your sleep by regulating your body’s sleep cycles.
Bananas contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium, which serve as natural sleep aids for your body.
Pineapples also contain high levels of melatonin.
Lettuce may look like it doesn’t have much going on, but the darker more bitter varieties contain a substance called lactucarium, which can relax the nerves, reduce palpitations, and induce sleep.
5. Goji berries
For those of you who still drink dairy, milk is a good source of B vitamins, specifically B12, which helps regulate sleep/wake cycles. If you do buy dairy, try to go for the organic to avoid hormones & pesticides. To take it one step further, try grass fed as this milk contains CLA, which research has shown helps to kill skin, colorectal, and breast cancer cells.
You might be thinking to yourself rose? Really, a flower?
Yes. Roses come from the same family as plums, cherries, apricots, and almonds. Rose petals contain volatile oils that have been known to help calm nervous tension. You can enjoy the benefits of consuming rose in tea form, either by buying it already made or steeping rosehips in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Go for organic, if you can, to avoid pesticides and other chemicals.
White potatoes get a bad reputation, but they contain tryptophan which is responsible for the production of melatonin and serotonin and will help calm your nerves and get you to sleep.
Oats contain a natural sedative called alkaloid gramine. Alkaline gramine has been used to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia WITHOUT side effects. You can make yourself a nice, warm bowl of oatmeal or find a tea made out of oat straws, which is used as a traditional remedy for both insomnia and anxiety.
Millet is considered one of the most digestible grains and contains a large amount of tryptophan.
11. Nuts: walnuts, cashews, almonds, and peanuts
Walnuts contain both tryptophan and melatonin, so they are not only helping in the production of melatonin, but they add a little more to help you fall asleep even faster.
Cashews and almonds are both high in magnesium, which has been known to contribute positively to sleep quality.
Peanuts & peanut butter are both a carbohydrate and protein which are the perfect storm to activate tryptophan.
Try spreading the raw nut butter versions on a banana for a nice tasty, sleepy snack!
12. Seeds: sesame seeds, hemp, chia, flaxseeds, sunflower, and pumpkin
Sesame, hemp, chia, and pumpkin seeds are also great at improving serotonin levels and enhancing relaxation.
Pumpkin seeds, specifically, contain around 420 mg of magnesium (the daily recommendation of the National Health Institute) in just one cup. If you cannot find pumpkin seeds or don’t like them, flaxseeds or sunflower seeds would make great substitutions.
Looking for some more ways for a peaceful sleep without using food?
Non-food ways to get a good night’s sleep:
What are some natural ways you have used to get a good night’s sleep?