Besides creating a comfortable, peaceful bedroom, there are many ways to help induce sleep, starting with diet and daily habits. Preparing for a good night’s sleep should begin at mealtime, especially as it gets closer to bedtime.
There are several foods that help create a calming effect on the brain and body. Here are some practical and easy tips for a restful night.
Create Bedtime Rituals
Creating a smarter nighttime routine is one secret to waking up well-rested. What I do in the evening impacts how I sleep. I power off my electronics, especially my phone, at least an hour before I want to go to sleep. This helps calm my mind and reduces the strain on my eyes from staring at the screen.
Next, I make sure the temperature is just right. For me, the perfect temperature is somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees, so my body is neither hot nor cold.
Foods for Better Sleep
Certain foods may help induce sleep. Many of them increase the hormone melatonin that our bodies produce. Some people produce less melatonin than others, so I find it helpful to include these foods in my evening meal or snack.
Tart Cherry Juice
A morning and evening ritual of drinking tart cherry juice has helped me sleep better. Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking the juice of Montmorency tart cherries twice a day for two weeks helped increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia.
Besides being a powerhouse of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber, pistachios also contain a significant amount of vitamin B6, which can help induce sleepiness. According to the Alaska Sleep Clinic, a deficiency in B6 has been linked with lowered serotonin levels and poor sleep. Deficiencies in B6 show symptoms of depression and mood disorders, which can also lead to insomnia. I choose high-quality pistachios like Setton Farms Pistachios sold in convenient 100-calorie packs so you don’t overeat them.
Bananas contain magnesium and potassium, which are natural muscle relaxers.
Chamomile is a soothing herbal tea that naturally lacks caffeine. Having a hot cup before bed sets my body into relaxation mode.
These fruits contain a significant amount of serotonin. Researchers found eating kiwi daily improved both the quality and quantity of sleep.
No Caffeine After 2
Avoid coffee, tea, and sodas in the afternoon. These drinks can cause restlessness at night. I also avoid foods that contain hidden caffeine, including chocolate, protein bars, vitamin waters, and even decaf coffee. I don’t drink lots of fluids, even water, in the evening as it tends to wake me up at night and disrupts my sleep.
Set a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Try to get up at the same time, whether it’s a weekday, weekend, or vacation. Our body’s internal clock (the circadian rhythm) becomes stabilized with consistent wake-up times. Give it a try for a least 21 days, and you’ll start feeling more rested.
Exercise at the Right Time of Day
Among its many benefits, such as weight management, stress reduction, and disease prevention, exercise is important to sleep. Without daily exercise, I find myself out of balance. Even what time I exercise has an impact. When I exercise in the morning or early afternoon, it helps me fall asleep quicker. When I exercise within an hour of my bedtime, my body becomes overstimulated, which can lead to insomnia. I rest more soundly if I stick to a morning routine.