Eat your way to great sleep: The five common foods that will benefit your shut-eye – and what you need to cut from your diet right NOW
- Olivia Arezzolo revealed how sardines, cherries and bananas can help with sleep
- On the flip side, the expert said you should even avoid decaf coffee before bed
- Spicy foods, cheese and dark chocolate can also all inhibit your slumber
Four in ten of us don’t get enough sleep, which affects our mood, productivity and rest the next day.
And while, for some, this is on account of a specific sleep disorder, for others among us, it’s because of lifestyle factors including what we eat and drink.
Sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo revealed to FEMAIL the five common foods to help us to get more shut eye and achieve a better night’s kip, and the things you need to cut from your diet right now and why.
Sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo revealed to FEMAIL the five common foods to help us to get more shut eye and achieve a better night’s kip, and the things you need to cut from your diet now
What should you be eating?
According to Olivia, cherries – especially tart cherries – are rich in the sleepy hormone melatonin.
In addition to promoting weight loss, cherries also contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which work alongside melatonin to help you maintain a deeper sleep for longer.
‘With melatonin regulating your sleep-wake cycle, after a punnet of cherries you’ll be sleepier in the evening – and more likely to wake up full of beans too,’ Olivia told Daily Mail Australia.
Another fruit to stock up on before bed is bananas, which are filled with magnesium to ‘induce muscular relaxation and mental calmness’.
‘Bananas are great before you go to bed because they supply the body with vitamin B6m which is a con-factor in the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into melatonin,’ Olivia said.
IF you are someone who struggles with sleep, you might want to try having a banana before you hit the hay.
Like salmon and tuna, sardines are an excellent dinner choice for a good night’s sleep.
Olivia said this is because they contain 61 per cent of your daily omega 3 needs.
‘Sardines help to reduce anxiety, which is a key factor in nighttime rumination,’ she said.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you could also try seaweed – which is a good alternative to fatty fish.
‘It supplies the body with similar nutrients needed for sleep, including omega 3s, amino acid tryptophan and magnesium,’ Olivia said.
Lastly, that leafy green vegetable isn’t just good for your waistline, as Olivia said it can help your sleep too.
‘High in calcium, kale and other collared greens like spinach assist in the production of melatonin,’ she said.
Because of its high fibre content, it will also help to keep any midnight cravings at bay.
Sardines contain 61 per cent of your daily omega 3 needs, which can help with anxiety at nighttime (stock image)
What should you be avoiding?
Coffee – even decaf coffee
While you might be aware that coffee even in the afternoon can be a bad idea for your sleeping patterns, what you might not be so aware of is the fact that even your decaf habit could be wreaking havoc with your sleep.
‘Decaf coffee still has caffeine,’ Olivia said.
‘It might not be nearly as much as regular coffee at 100mg, but with 7mg, if you are a sensitive sleeper, this could be enough to keep you up.’
Swap out your evening decaf brew for a calming peppermint or chamomile tea.
Many reach for a glass of red after a long week at work, because wine acts as a ‘sedative’ and helps to make us feel relaxed.
‘The truth is it isn’t a sedative and it will only limit your REM sleep and cause you to wake up later in the night,’ Olivia said.
If you must drink red wine, at least try to stop one hour before you go to bed.
This will give the alcohol a chance to process in your body before you try to sleep.
Lastly, the expert revealed you should try to avoid having anything too spicy in the evenings, as it has the potential to inhibit shut-eye (stock image)
Steer clear of dark chocolate if you want a good night’s kip, as even though it has magnesium, it is also rich in caffeine – and has as much as 25 per cent of a standard cup of coffee.
‘Combined with all of the sugar it has, this isn’t a sleep supporter,’ Olivia said.
Cheese is regularly enjoyed in the evening after a dinner party, but research shows that cheese is a major contributor to strange and restless dreams.
‘Researchers believe this is due to the effect of cheese on mood and cognition,’ Olivia said.
Lastly, the expert revealed you should try to avoid having anything too spicy in the evenings, as it has the potential to inhibit shut-eye.
‘The British Cheese Board study found spicy foods have the potential to disrupt deep sleep,’ she said.
For more information about Olivia Arezzolo, you can visit her website here.
Source: Read Full Article