Sleep is such an integral part of our lives, but many of us have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep once we nod off. It’s thought that insomnia affects one in three adults, but one way to combat this is to check that your room is at a comfortable temperature before you go to bed (generally, this is between 60 and 75F). You could also try spraying some lovely lavender on your pillow, and make sure you switch off screens at least an hour before planning to go bed. Listening to soothing music can also help you to relax and unwind.
Some people swear by practicing yoga or mindfulness, but what role does food play in the quality of sleep you get? If like many people, you enjoy a snack before bed, these are the three best foods to eat late at night:
We all know bananas are good for us. Rich in magnesium, they help to relax our muscles and are a good source of Vitamin B6, which we need to nod off. They are also great to eat if you suffer from restless legs. They contain high levels of serotonin and melatonin, which encourage sleep, and they are made up of fast-digesting carbs (which is a good thing before bed). Bananas are also cheap to buy. So next time you get the late-night munchies, reach for a banana.
- Kiwi fruit
The secret of a good night’s sleep could lie in another fruit – the humble kiwi. According to a recent study at the Taipei Medical University, eating two kiwis an hour before bedtime helps you to nod off because of the high antioxidant and serotonin levels present in the fruit. Kiwis are also full of vitamins C and E as well as folate, all of which may help you to have a brilliant snooze. The study showed eating the kiwis before bed had some incredible results. People fell asleep more quickly and slept more soundly. Sleep quality improved and people slept more overall. Can eating two kiwi fruit an hour before bed really help you get enough sleep? It’s certainly worth a try.
Cherries are great for helping you to sleep because they are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, which regulates your sleep and body clock. This includes both cherries and drinking cherry juice. Montmorency tart cherry juice has been shown to have some wonderful sleep-enhancing benefits. A small study showed sipping the scarlet drink before bed could give you an extra 84 minutes of sleep every night. Making cherry juice at home can be a cheaper, healthier option, as some shop-bought juices contain extra sugar. If buying cherry juice, make sure you look for an unsweetened version without any extra additives. Cherries can also boost the immune system and improve memory. What’s not to like?