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Foods to Help you Sleep
Getting enough shut-eye can be a struggle. But before you reach for sleeping tablets, try these five foods to help you sleep better:
Bananas are high in potassium which helps to keep you asleep through the night. Dates, raisins and dried apricots are also potassium-rich, along with many other fruits and veggies. (I’m focusing here on foods that make good desserts/evening snacks 😋 – see below for some inspo).
Nuts are a great source of vitamin B6, which helps us make the hormone melatonin that regulates our circadian rhythm. Mango, pineapple, bananas and seeds are high in vitamin B6 too.
🌱 Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are calcium-rich, which helps us to process tryptophan and melatonin – the hormones involved in sleep. Other good plant-based sources of calcium include fortified plant milk/yoghurt, almonds, sesame seeds/tahini and dried figs.
🌾 Whole Grains
Whole grains like oats are a good source of magnesium, which is believed to help us stay asleep. If your magnesium levels are too low, you’re more likely to wake up during the night.
🌻 Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
These seeds contain tryptophan; an amino acid that assists in the production of melatonin, as well as the sleep-happy nutrients magnesium and potassium. Many nuts and seeds share this nutritional profile.
If you’re struggling to sleep, here’s a few evening snack ideas to help you drift off:
- A slice of whole grain bread topped peanut butter and some sliced banana, with a few sunflower and chia seeds sprinkled on top.
- Trail mix made with pistachios, pumpkin seeds, dried figs and almonds. Just leave out the chocolate as that contains caffeine.
- A handful of homemade granola made with oats and a mixture of nuts and seeds, on top of some calcium-fortified plant yoghurt like soya.
And check out my Bedtime Bliss Balls recipe!
It’s best to eat your evening snack at least 90 minutes before you go to bed, so you have chance to digest it, or it could have the opposite effect and keep you awake. You could even eat it as dessert after your dinner like I do!
Wash your snack down with a warm cup of camomile tea for an extra snooze-boosting potential 🙌