5 Foods That Can Lead to a Better Night’s Sleep - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Healthy Living Online

Published on May 23, 2016

Woman getting milk

5 Foods That Can Lead to a Better Night’s Sleep

Woman getting milkA good night’s sleep is vital to starting your day off right. Adequate sleep is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle, affecting everything from your brain and heart to your waist and mood. But according to the National Sleep Foundation, 6 out of 10 Americans report having insomnia or other problems sleeping through the night.

Want to sleep better? The solution to a solid snooze may lie right behind your refrigerator or pantry door!

Foods to Improve Sleep:

1. Milk - Dairy milk and fortified nut milks, like almond milk, are rich in calcium, a key mineral that helps us achieve and remain in our deepest levels of sleep. Have a glass of warm milk before bedtime or consider regularly adding calcium to your diet to help you sleep more soundly throughout the night.

2. Pistachios - Why go nuts for pistachios before bed? Because these tasty green nuggets are loaded with vitamin B-6 and contain unsaturated fat. Both improve serotonin levels, an important regulator of the sleep-wake cycle.

3. Bananas - The potassium and magnesium in bananas naturally help muscles relax. The fruit also contains L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that aids the body in producing serotonin, which helps you fall into deep REM sleep.

4. Cherries - Researchers at Louisiana State University found that drinking tart cherry juice helped improve sleep duration (study participants slept an average of 84 more minutes per night). This is due to the natural presence of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. Sip on a glass of the juice or munch on a bowl of cherries after dinner to help you fall—and stay—asleep.

5. Hummus - Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), the main ingredient in hummus, are rich in several nutrients that are important in regulating sleep cycles, including folate, vitamin B-6 and L-tryptophan. Spread some hummus on a piece of toast or some crackers before bed for a yummy, sleep-promoting snack. And you thought you needed another reason to love hummus?

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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