Sleep is important for our health and our overall well-being. While we sleep, our body is hard at work repairing and restoring itself as best as it can. It is recommended that adults get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while children require a bit more. Unfortunately, most of us don’t always reach that goal, or we struggle with the quality of sleep for various reasons.
Lack of sleep can result in fatigue, clumsiness, and other serious health risks. Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Luckily, there are ways to improve our sleep patterns.
If you have trouble falling asleep or getting a good night’s rest, try adding these foods to your night time routine.
Tropical fruits (think bananas, pineapples, oranges, cherries) contain compounds that naturally produce melatonin. In case you didn’t know, melatonin helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. By ingesting these fruits before bedtime, you are allowing your body to naturally fall asleep.
Have a banana or orange as an after dinner dessert or toss some tropical fruit into a blender for a sweet, sleep-aiding smoothie.
Studies have shown that individuals who eat high fiber diets enjoy more restorative stages of sleep. You may notice that getting a restful night of sleep enables you to feel more energized the next day.
For a good protein-carb combo, pair high-fiber crackers with a low-fat cheese. Try keeping your dinner light as well.
Chamomile has a natural calming effect on the nerves and can help to induce sleep. It also helps to ease gastrointestinal symptoms, boosts heart health and prevents inflammation. Thankfully, chamomile is low in calories with a naturally sweet undertone, so you may not need to add sweetener.
For better results, brew loose tea rather than tea bags.
Almonds can help because they are an excellent source of magnesium, which helps to promote better quality sleep. When we feel exhausted, we may make poor food choices (ex. fast food, junk food) which can also negatively affect our sleep patterns and quality. Break the cycle by reaching for almonds instead of chips or cookies.
When snacking on almonds, you may want to limit yourself to about 14 almonds (100 calories) as the calories can add up quickly.
Salmon, Tuna, Halibut
These fish choices are sources of vitamin B6 which can then be converted to melatonin and serotonin in the body. While melatonin helps promote a higher quality sleep, serotonin induces feelings of happiness and relaxation. Together, these can help you unwind and ease into a restful night of sleep.
Enjoy a protein packed dinner with any of these fish choices seasoned and prepared to your liking.
Get your deli sandwich fix with us! Visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona weekdays from 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm. Order ahead online or stop by and enjoy our indoor and outdoor dining areas.