For most people going to bed and actually falling asleep are two very different things. Are you sick of tossing and turning all night? Do you desperately want to get 8 hours of restful ZZZ’s? Believe it or not, your daily habits, as well as the foods you consume, can help you get a goodnight’s rest so you can conquer your day.
Do you often find yourself unable to settle your mind before bed or regularly waking up during the night? Our busy lifestyles can cause stress, worry and make us restless. And more often than not, it’s our habits during the day that makes it harder at night to settle the mind and wind down. Interrupting tasks throughout the day to check social media, responding to emails after work hours, and fuelling our bodies with coffee to stay alert and productive during the day is causing us harm when it comes to rest our body needs.
1. Develop a Bedtime Routine
Developing a relaxing bedtime ritual without digital distractions can help prepare your mind for a more restful sleep. Bear with me while I suggest something a little bit crazy. NO ELECTRONICS 1 HOUR BEFORE BED – yes, I said it. That means no Netflix, texting, or social media. Instead, use this time to journal, meditate, or read. If reading isn’t your thing, dim the lights and listen to relaxing music or an audiobook.
2. Cut Back on Caffeine
Even the most relaxing bedtime routine isn’t working? Well, pouring cup after cup of coffee throughout the day and eating foods high in artificial sweeteners can cause your system to still be in overdrive. If that’s the case, cut back on caffeine (rule: no coffee after 12 pm) and try getting your energy from more sustainable food sources throughout the day.
3. Sleep Better Superfoods
You’ve probably heard of a lot of supplements to help you get to sleep, but what if I told you that you could find high doses of these minerals, hormones, and amino acids in the food you eat. For starters, magnesium is a mineral that helps your mind and body relax. It also helps regulate melatonin production, which is often called the “sleep hormone” – pretty self-explanatory. And lastly, tryptophan is an essential amino acid that converts to a chemical called serotonin – which calms us down and helps us sleep. Revive Superfoods wants to help! We recommend you add the following superfoods into your diet to help you catch those ZZZ’s:
- Almonds: Almonds are pretty chill. High in potassium and B vitamins, our muscles and nervous system want to relax. Add shaved almonds to your oats, eat them as a midday snack or try adding some nut butter into your smoothie!
- Walnuts: Walnuts before bed might be the next best sleeping pill. Walnuts have a surprisingly high level of melatonin – the “sleep hormone.” (1) Walnuts also have a higher level of antioxidants than any other common nut. Instead of having melatonin supplements to help you sleep, try eating a few walnuts before bed for even greater health benefits.
- Bananas: Do you eat bananas throughout the day as a quick, easy, and filling snack? Maybe consider eating them as a bedtime snack too! They are high in potassium and magnesium, which helps your body’s muscles to relax. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body produce serotonin – which helps with sleeping and digestion. Banana Nut Oats, anyone?
- Oats: Oats help your body release sleep hormones as well! Melatonin to the rescue! Sure, oats are a staple morning food, but perhaps try out any one of our Oats at night for a super-duper sleep!
- Cherries: This stone fruit is a great way to recalibrate your sleep pattern! If you are feeling a bit off, adding cherries to your diet can help the body release melatonin, which is a healthy way to promote a good sleep cycle. Try pure cherry juice for that extra kick, or try our Cherry Cherry Oats for double the effects!
- Chickpeas: Rich in tryptophan and B vitamin, chickpeas will increase melatonin production and lead to a better sleep! Try our Avocado & Quinoa and Chickpea & Pomegranate Super Meals!
- Kale & Spinach: Don’t forget to eat your greens! These leafy greens are packed with minerals that most people are deficient in – especially magnesium.
- Chia Seeds: Sprinkle them onto a salad, soak them in oats or blend them into a smoothie – this seed can do it all. High in fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals and antioxidants, chia seeds are small but mighty! Magnesium-dense chia seeds will relax the body and have you ready for a snooze. Are you tired yet? (2)
If you have any personal questions or need more information, please consult your healthcare professional.
Written By Sara Prodanos (@sara.prooo). Sara is a Personal Trainer and Physical & Health Educator that is passionate about building strength from the inside out and doing things that make you feel good!