Eat to Sleep
BY ABBY PRATT, CHOP5 NUTRITION BLOGGER
Last month we talked about caffeine and now we are going to dive into the other side of the coin with sleep… zzzzz. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults report sleeping less than 7 hours a night on average. Adults function best when they clock about 7-9 hours a night. So, what can you do to get more quality sleep? You have probably heard many strategies for how to sleep more, but do you know what foods could help with this? Read on and you will! ; )
These foods below will help you maximize your sleep. Try eating them at dinner or as an evening snack.
- Almonds, Pecans, & Walnuts – They contain Melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. A 1oz serving of almonds will pack about 77 mg of Melatonin.
- Fatty Fish – Serotonin is a hormone that contributes to a fixed sleeping and waking cycle. Fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and herring are full of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D, which help regulate Serotonin.
- Warm Milk – yep, the old trick your grandma used to use does have some science behind it! Milk contains four sleep-promoting compounds (Tryptophan, Calcium, Vitamin D and Melatonin.)
- Cherries or Tart Cherry Juice – these guys are packed with sleep-regulating compounds as well! They have Melatonin, Tryptophan, Potassium and Serotonin.
- Turkey – There is a reason people take a post-Thanksgiving meal nap! It is because turkey is full of Tryptophan which can be converted into a molecule that is used to make Serotonin and Melatonin.
- Leafy Greens – think spinach, arugula and kale. They are all high in Magnesium and Calcium which can have a relaxing affect.
- Kiwi – In 2011, a 4-week study was conducted where 24 adults consumed two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed each night. At the end of the study, participants fell asleep 42% more quickly than when they didn’t eat anything before bedtime. This was attributed to kiwi Antioxidants and Serotonin content.
These foods are ones you want to avoid before bedtime, as they may negatively affect your shut eye.
- Coffee or caffeinated tea
- Spicy Food
- Dried Fruit
So, if you feel like you have tried all the common strategies to get better sleep maybe give a few of these a try. Come see us for dinner at CHOP5 for a chopped salad loaded with roasted turkey breast, pecans and leafy greens. Or, try our Grilled Ginger Salmon Chop to get that fatty fish in. You get a nutritious dinner and promote quality sleep at the same time! Now that is how you Chop well and Live well!