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It’s true! It’s absolutely a possibility to add certain foods to your diet that are proven to assist with falling asleep and having better quality sleep. I know I’m not the only person who looks at the clock when it’s broad daylight out and is shocked when I see it’s 11:30pm! That feeling of shock is quickly followed by “But I’m not tired yet!!!” Perhaps if you and I start incorporating these foods into our lifestyle we can get our lives together.
Cherries, particularly the tart variety, naturally provide the hormone melatonin. So many people purchase melatonin supplements to help them fall asleep and stay asleep – just eat some cherries instead!
I know, not the MOST delicious thing on the planet, but it has some great benefits! Studies show that being calcium deficient can manifest itself in a difficulty falling asleep. Kale is packed with calcium! Calcium, fun fact, is an important little helper to tryptophan, also important for sleep!
My favorite way to eat kale is by making kale chips. SO easy! Toss your kale leaves in a little olive oil, throw in some sea salt, flop the leaves onto a baking sheet and stick those bad boys in the oven! Use 350 degree heat for 10-15 minutes. You can flip them over 1/2 way through (not gonna lie, I don’t always commit to that step) Keep an eye on them after 10 minutes though, you want them to be crispy, but not burnt!
Remember our friend tryptophan? Yogurt’s got it! Not all yogurts are created equal though, so choose wisely. Flavored yogurts can contain a lot of sugar, which may affect your blood sugar and have the opposite desired effect. On the other end of the spectrum, yogurts high in protein, such as plain Greek yogurt, can stimulate your body, which is also opposite of what we’re shooting for. Stick to 1 recommended serving. The benefits of tryptophan can be expedited if you pair your protein with a complex carbohydrate such as granola, flax seed, or a piece of whole wheat toast.
Bonus benefit to yogurt, which helps at all times, not just when you’re trying to fall asleep, is the prevalence of probiotics. Super helpful to the health of your digestive system and could maybe prevent you from waking in the middle of the night due to gastrointestinal distress!
Surely I’m not the only person who sings that absolute hit song in my head every time I have to spell bananas… Moving on. Bananas, on top of being another great source of tryptophan, are packed with magnesium and potassium. These magical components help your muscles to relaaaaxx. Do you ever get that restless feeling like no matter how you lay or what you do, you just feel like you absolutely have to move? Every time that happens to me, I automatically think I need to go eat a banana. Now if only I could remember to buy bananas more often so I have them at all times…
Walnuts & Almonds:
Tryptophan – check!
Melatonin – check!
You know the drill by now. Awesome components to promote awesome sleep!
Now get to the grocery store and then go to bed!