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20 foods to eat for a better night’s sleep

Olumide Adegoke
By Olumide Adegoke
Food and Recipes

Do you get enough shut-eye each night? Finding it hard to nod off can be infuriating, but it could also harm your health. A significant lack of sleep is linked to a lower life expectancy as well as common chronic illnesses. Needless to say, finding ways to improve your sleep is essential to your wellness. You may be surprised to learn that what you eat could have a major impact on this aspect of your life. Let’s take a look at the best foods to consume when you want to get more and better sleep.

1. Balsamic vinegar

When you’re struggling to fall asleep, eating melatonin-rich foods may be your secret weapon. Research published in theNutrients Journal suggests that melatonin can help improve sleep efficiency. What’s more, the study also identified the best sources of this nutrient, one of which was balsamic vinegar. Why not whip up a quick dipping sauce by combining it with some extra virgin olive oil?

Pistachio nuts

2. Pistachio nuts

Craving a quick snack? Grab a handful of nuts. As you may already know, these treats are rich in healthy fats, but their healthful properties don’t end there. According to the research from the Nutrients Journal, nuts, and particularly pistachio nuts, contain high levels of melatonin. Sprinkle them on top of a salad or simply eat them on their own!

Almonds

3. Almonds

If you’re not a huge fan of pistachio nuts, never fear! There’s another fine snacking option that you may want to consider. Medical News Today also identified almonds as an excellent source of melatonin. With that in mind, eating a handful of these nuts each day could make a significant difference to how you sleep at night.

Rice

4. Rice

When you’re cooking dinner, there are plenty of ingredients that will give you a healthy dose of melatonin. Japanese researchers identified rice as a good source of this sleep-promoting nutrient. Whether you’re cooking a curry or a nicely spiced chili, using some white rice as your base helps bulk the meal out.

Strawberries

5. Strawberries

Have you got a hankering for something sweet and delicious? The subtle taste of strawberries is undeniably enticing. Luckily, these scrumptious fruits have been identified as rich in melatonin by the Nutrients Journal research. Why not eat them on their own or use them in your next dessert recipe? You certainly won’t regret it.

Chamomile tea

6. Chamomile tea

Before you hit the hay, sipping on something warm and delicious is always a great way to unwind. So, what is your beverage of choice? Research from the Molecular Medicine Reports suggests that chamomile tea could induce sleep. The research highlights one small heart-related study, in which 12 participants were given the beverage. Shortly after consuming the drink, 10 fell into a deep sleep. While this study is too small to be considered evidence, it suggests that the herbal tea can have a powerful effect.

Tomatoes

7. Tomatoes

The next time you’re making a garden salad, be sure to include a healthy portion of tomatoes. According to the Nutrients Journal research, these fruits are rich in melatonin and could, therefore, help you improve your sleep. There are plenty of ways to incorporate this food into your diet. Dice up some fresh tomatoes and add them to your next meal, whether it’s a stew or a salad.

Peppers

8. Peppers

Add some colour and flavour to your dishes with some delicious peppers. These vegetables are relatively high in melatonin, according to the Nutrients Journal research. Put simply, that means that including them in your daily eating plan could help you improve your sleep. This ingredient works strikingly well in Tex-Mex-inspired meals, such as fajitas, burritos, and taco bowls. Stock up and eat up!

20 foods to eat for a better night’s sleep

9. Kiwis

Do you fancy this exotic fruit? If you’re having trouble getting the sleep you need, here’s one solution. Research from Columbia University suggests that eating kiwifruit could have a positive effect on a person’s sleep quality. Since they tend to be seasonal, it pays to keep your eyes peeled for these fruits whenever you’re out grocery shopping.

Fish

10. Fish

Mixing up your diet is a savvy way to protect your everyday health. But did you know that tucking into some fish could boost your sleep. Research from the University of Pennsylvania found that children who eat fish once a week had better sleep and higher IQs than those who don’t eat the food regularly. The same outcome is likely true for adults. Be sure to add some oily fish to your shopping list!

Edamame beans

11. Edamame beans

Call them soybeans or edamame— it doesn’t matter! A bean by any other name would taste as good. According to the Nutrients Journal research, soybeans are another prime source of melatonin. You can eat these legumes as a snack straight out of the pod or use them in your cooking. This ingredient is also found in tempeh and tofu.

Walnuts

12. Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in both melatonin and antioxidants, according to research from the University of Texas. Thankfully, these nuts are also highly versatile and you can use them in a variety of dishes. However, if you’re not up for cooking, keeping a bowl of walnuts in your home is always a great way to protect your health. Whenever you’re craving a quick bite to eat, simply grab a few of these treats. Delicious.

Tart cherry juice

13. Tart cherry juice

Have you ever tried tart cherry juice? Touted as a superfood, this particular juice could help you get more sleep and improve the quality of your rest. Research from the European Journal of Nutrition suggests that this ingredient is high in melatonin and could also promote a healthy level of sleep. Why not invest in some of this beverage and try it?

Bananas

14. Bananas

Did you know that potassium could help improve your sleep? Research from the University of California–San Diego suggests that this chemical element, which is often found in food, can significantly improve sleep efficiency. Snacking on potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, which pack 358 milligrams per 100 grams, may be a good way to get more rest.

Avocados

15. Avocados

Of course, bananas aren’t the only source of potassium out there. Your favourite avocado on toast is a real winner! The fruit actually has a higher concentration of potassium than banana, coming in at 485 mg per 100 g. Based on the research from the University of California–San Diego, eating this fruit as part of your daily diet could improve your sleep.

Mushrooms

16. Mushrooms

Similarly, you may want to stock your pantry with a variety of delicious mushrooms. Believe it or not, raw, white mushrooms contain 318 mg of potassium per 100 g serving. Since the University of California–San Diego research suggests that this element can help boost sleep, it’s worth including the fungi in your diet plan.

Watermelon

17. Watermelon

Dietary prebiotics can change the microbiome in your guts and may also help avoid stress-induced disruptions in your sleep, according to research in the Nature Journal. The good news is that there are plenty of sources of prebiotics. You could start with a helping of watermelon, for example. Information from Monash University suggests that this fruit is a rich source of the compounds. Interesting!

Cashews

18. Cashews

Looking for another source of prebiotics? Why not snack on some healthy cashews? The information from Monash University suggests that these nuts are high in the compound. With that in mind and based on the research cited in the Nature Journal, eating these could prevent you from having disrupted sleep. Go ahead and scarf them down!

Pomegranate

19. Pomegranate

Sprinkle the seeds on your salad or eat this fruit as a tangy dessert! Pomegranate is another rich source of prebiotics, according to the information from Monash University. Since the research in the Nature Journal suggests that prebiotics help lower disruptions in your sleep, you might want to stock up on the delicious and refreshing fruit.

Onion

20. Onion

They might make your eyes water, but onions could also be the secret to unlocking a better night’s sleep. The information from Monash University highlights this vegetable as a natural source of prebiotics. Based on the research from the Nature Journal, that means that eating onions regularly could have a positive effect on your sleep quality.