Australian are no stranger to worrying. We worry about our health, our jobs and relationships and how we’re ever going to be a size 28 again! But when your racing mind keeps you up and you don’t feel ‘normal’ until you’ve had your third cup of coffee at 11am then you need a lill’ help. Fortunately, getting to dreamland could be as easy as stuffing your face with a few bites of key foods! So put those sleeping pills down and pick up one of these tasty snacks instead:
1. Cherries with greek yogurt or oats
These red orbs of deliciousness are a natural source of melatonin–that’s the chemical that tells your body to chill out and rest. While they’re fantastic alone, you also can pit or chop them and toss them in unsweetened, calcium-rich, plain greek yogurt, which is high in protein and can help you feel satisfied. But unsweetened non-instant oatmeal with cherries is another great choice. Oats have about 8 grams of fibre per serving, and like fat and protein, fibre contributes to you feeling pleasantly full. If you want a quicker fix, enjoy a cup of cherry juice.
Chickpeas are a great source of vitamin B6, and, of course, tryptophan. Vitamin B6 helps your body to convert tryptophan into serotonin. If your body isn’t receiving enough B6 on a daily basis, your sleep cycle may be disrupted. Need ideas? You can eat raw chickpeas by tossing them in a salad, or cooking them up and adding them as a side dish to any meal. Better still, turn to hummus. Hummus is made with chickpeas and it makes a healthy snack or delicious condiment on sandwiches.
While you should stick to just an ounce or so to avoid eating a calorie bomb, nuts like almonds and pistachios can be a good sleep-inducing snack. They contain a range of substances like magnesium and potassium–magnesium helps regulate melatonin and quiets the nervous system, while potassium can relax your muscles. They also have vitamin B6, which can convert tryptophan into serotonin, the “feel good” chemical that helps you feel happy and serene. The healthy fats and protein found in nuts are good for reducing sleep-robbing belly rumbles, too.
Yes, you read that correctly! You can have popcorn before bed to help you sleep. Popcorn is another great complex carb that will allow your body to release enough serotonin to help you fall asleep. But, stick to a low-carb, unseasoned popcorn to prevent any unwanted stomach aches that could potentially keep you up.
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants that have a full range of benefits for health, so it makes tons of sense to reward yourself with this treat at the end of a long day. But dark chocolate’s power for sleep comes from the fact it can boost the level of serotonin and other endorphins in the brain. But don’t overindulge-the recommended serving is just 28 grams.
6. Warm milk
As luck would have it, the concept of warm milk putting you to sleep isn’t just an old wives’ tale. The calcium in milk helps your brain use tryptophan to make melatonin. If you’d rather not guzzle a cup, a little cottage cheese with honey or fruit or a basic cheese stick will get you the calcium, too.
Avoid being artificially wired and get fully rested with these top bites for sleep.