Foods That Help You Sleep: Expert Advice on Promoting Relaxation and Quality Sleep

Sleep, Nutrition, Healthy Eating, Relaxation, Dietitians, Sleep Quality

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Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep? It might be time to take a closer look at your diet. According to experts, what you eat before bed can significantly impact your sleep quality and overall restfulness. We’ve consulted registered dietitians Maggie G. Lyon, R.D., C.D.N., and Courtney Coe, R.D.N., to uncover the foods that can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, as well as those to avoid before bedtime.

Breakfast may be hailed as the most important meal of the day, but going to bed on an empty stomach or one lacking in nutritional content can be just as detrimental as skipping your morning fuel. Maggie G. Lyon likens eating before bed to fueling up a car, emphasizing that sleep is a time when many restorative processes occur. Therefore, consuming the right foods can make a noticeable difference in how you feel upon waking.

One such sleep-promoting food is tart cherry juice, which serves as a natural source of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Courtney Coe recommends opting for tart cherry juice over melatonin supplements to aid in slipping into slumber.

Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds, are also beneficial for sleep due to their magnesium content. Magnesium promotes muscle relaxation, improving sleep quality, while the healthy fats found in nuts and seeds help maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the night.

Turkey, often associated with post-Thanksgiving naps, contains tryptophan, an amino acid that contributes to feelings of calmness and is converted into serotonin and then melatonin, both of which aid in promoting sleep. While turkey alone may not knock you out, incorporating it into your dinner could help you relax.

While these foods can contribute to better sleep, it’s essential to be mindful of what you consume before bedtime. Avoiding heavy, high-fat meals and caffeine can prevent disruptions to your sleep cycle and ensure a more restful night.

In conclusion, making smart food choices before bed can be a game-changer for your sleep quality. By incorporating sleep-promoting foods into your evening routine and avoiding potential disruptors, you can set yourself up for a more restorative and rejuvenating night’s sleep.

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