Sleep is essential for our overall health and wellbeing, and our diet plays an important role in getting a good night’s rest! We all know that there are a variety of options available to help us get better sleep. There are numerous medications, supplements, gummies, and vitamins that are known to induce sleep. But, did you know that there are also natural grown and sourced options for better sleep? What you eat and drink during the day can significantly impact the quality and duration of your sleep at night. Whether you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep, these tips and recommendations can help improve your overall sleep habits.
Foods that promote better sleep
If you are looking for natural ways to enhance your sleep habits, you can find them in certain foods.
Whole grains have been shown to enhance sleep. These whole grains, such as rice, oats, or quinoa, are rich in magnesium which can help relax the muscles and calm the nervous system.
Nuts, like almonds or walnuts, have actually been shown to induce sleep. This is because they contain magnesium and melatonin, two powerful sleep enhancers. They are also a healthy source of fats and proteins, which can help regulate sleep.
Kiwis are another good snack to have to improve your sleep quality. These fruits contain serotonin and antioxidants, both which have been proven to increase sleep. A study actually showed the benefits of eating kiwi before bed. After four weeks in this study, total sleep time and sleep efficiency were significantly increased. They found that kiwi consumption may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances.
Other foods that have been known to increase sleep quality, according to The Cleveland Clinic, include:
- Complex carbohydrates
- Lean proteins
- Heart healthy fats
- Foods high in magnesium
- Fresh herbs
Drinks that promote better sleep
There are also drinks that are very helpful to promote better sleep at night.
Different teas can have a mild sedative effect which helps promote better sleep. Some of these teas include chamomile tea, ashwagandha tea, magnolia tea, lavender tea, passionflower tea, etc. These teas have been known to help with insomnia and symptoms of anxiety.
You may have heard that drinking a warm glass of milk before bed can help you get to sleep quicker. This is actually true, and ACS found that milk’s sleep enhancing properties are commonly ascribed to tryptophan, but scientists have also discovered a mixture of milk peptides that relieves stress and also enhances sleep.
Tart cherry juice is another recommended drink to enhance sleep. Tart cherry juice helps to increase our body’s melatonin, which is a sleep promoting hormone. It is best to find a tart cherry juice that does not contain added sugars.
Food and drinks that harm your sleep
Now that we know what to eat and drink before bedtime to enhance our sleep, let’s go over what can actually harm our sleep.
Drinking caffeinated drinks too close to bedtime can have harmful effects on the quality of sleep we are getting. This is due to the fact that caffeine is a stimulant, and it prevents us from actually being able to fall asleep. A study done showed caffeine and its effects on sleep. This study found that, “the magnitude of reduction in total sleep time suggests that caffeine taken 6 hours before bedtime has important disruptive effects on sleep and provides empirical support for sleep hygiene recommendations to refrain from substantial caffeine use for a minimum of 6 hours prior to bedtime.” So, you should be making it a point to avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, energy drinks, and sodas too close to bedtime.
You should also be avoiding alcohol before bed. It’s known that alcohol has a drowsy effect on us, and can make us feel like we’re tired. It may be easy to fall asleep after drinking alcohol, but you’re actually not getting a quality night’s rest at all. You will find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, and waking up in the morning feeling completely unrested.
Spicy or fatty foods should also be avoided near bedtime. This is because these types of food can often cause indigestion and heartburn, which make it difficult to fall asleep and actually stay asleep. High sugar foods should also be avoided, due to the fact that these foods can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which often leads to a burst of energy making it harder to fall asleep at night.
Overall, it’s best to avoid consuming large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime. Try to opt for healthier sleep-promoting foods like we shared above to ensure you are getting a quality sleep each and every night.
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To restful and healthy days ahead.
The Relaxium Team
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
 Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
 Warm milk makes you sleepy – peptides could explain why (acs.org)
 6 foods that help you sleep (health.clevelandclinic.org)
 Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)