Do you have issues falling asleep? Well, be comfortable in knowing that you’re not alone.
More and more people in America are having sleep issues, whether that’s falling asleep or staying asleep. And one factor that can actually have a size-able impact is your diet.
Food consumption does impair your ability to sleep, and some foods more than others. Lying flat in bed (which I assume it’s how most people sleep) can lead to heartburn and indigestion if your stomach is full of food. Most meals take 2-3 hours to pass through the stomach and go to the intestines, so give yourself about that much time between your meal and sleeping. But there are some foods that can actually help you fall asleep faster:
Specifically, jasmine rice. The authors of a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, who conducted a study on the effects of rice and sleep, postulate that the insulin spike associated with high glycemic index meals leads to more tryptophan release in the blood. So starchy carbohydrates a few hours before bedtime can actually help.
Most dairy products contain tryptophan, a key amino acid in sleep. This is true for cow’s milk, yogurt, and cheese. Be sure you can digest the dairy appropriately, as any upset stomach can pretty much negate the benefits of it.
Walnuts and almonds
Walnuts are a great source of tryptophan and even contain their own source of melatonin. Almonds, on the other hand, are rich in magnesium, a key mineral for relaxing your body to sleep.
Oats and other whole grains help you sleep. Can you guess what the key product is? Yup, the same tryptophan and magnesium, which are present in oats and barley. It also gives you that release of carbohydrates that can spike your insulin and make you sleepy.
Fish for dinner, followed by the recommended 2-3 hours of no eating to allow for digestion, is a good strategy for getting a good night’s rest. The key ingredients here are vitamin B6, which is a precursor to melatonin, and tryptophan, which is high in fish such as salmon, cod, and tuna.