Midnight cravings have a bit of a bad reputation. Blamed for things like inducing weight gain and causing insomnia, bedtime snacks are to be avoided at late hours, even if your stomach is croaking. Prefer healthy foods to eat before bed at right time.
Effective dietary supplement before bed- Melatonin
Melatonin is an important dietary supplement you must take before going to bed. It synchronizes the sleep/wake cycle and reduces the symptoms. Melatonin has also been reported to use for insomnia in the elderly. Other beneficial effects like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions have been reported as well. Normally, the low oral dose range used is 1-5 mg. Higher dosages, which are reported in other clinical studies like anticancer studies, are in the range of 10-40 mg.
Melatonin in foods
Foods containing melatonin are the best foods to eat before bed. It is found naturally in several foods and plants. More probably, it is present in roots, leaves, fruits, and seeds of plants. Increasing melatonin intake from foods can raise the melatonin level in blood plasma and can be of therapeutic potential.
Melatonin has antioxidant activity working together with other antioxidants in plants. Clinical studies have proved that melatonin helps prevent cell damage, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, inflammation, and aging.
Related: 6 Foods That Can Help Relieve Depression and Anxiety
Best Foods to Eat Before Bed
Along with proper diet and exercise, a good night’s sleep is necessary to stay you fit and healthy. No matter if you keep following a nutritious diet throughout the day, if you don’t sleep well, you won’t feel fresh. Make sure to eat healthy food at dinner or post-dinner to help you sleep better.
Eating the right food two or three hours before bed can promote better sleep and provide a boost of nutrition. To enjoy better sleep quality from your food, you need ingredients like amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants. Here is a list of some of the best foods to eat before bed or to eat for dinner or as a post-dinner snack.
1. Tart Cherries and Tart Cherry Juice
As the name shows, tart cherries have a distinct flavor from other sweet cherries. Tart cherries are also called sour cherries including cultivars like Richmond, Montmorency, and English morello. You may buy whole or a tart cherry juice.
Several studies have shown that people who drink tart cherry juice before going to bed found enjoyment of good sleep. Tart cherries are high in anti-inflammatory contents and melatonin. Cherries have made their way into the healthy food as a natural supplement market for their benefits to lower arthritis pain, improving heart health, and help sleep.
Yogurt is loaded with calcium which makes you fall asleep easily and lead to more restorative sleep. A 100-gram serving of plain whole milk yogurt has almost 121 milligrams of calcium. Yogurt is also rich in proteins, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and magnesium contributing to a relaxed sleep. It is a key neurotransmitter that helps soothe the body in preparation for sleep.
Prefer using a plain or reduced sugar option as some yogurts can have large amounts of added sugar. You can also try topping your yogurt with nuts and berries.
Mushrooms are the sleep-inducing jackpot. They have both tryptophan and melatonin hormones. Melatonin and tryptophan are hormones that regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep. This ability makes mushrooms a great dinner food to promote sleep.
Mushrooms may also have an antioxidant effect that is conducive to sleep. With the wide variety of mushroom types available, you can change the preparation method of your choice.
The melatonin found in pistachios may signal your body that it’s time to sleep. On average, the amount of melatonin present in pistachios is among the highest present in food at least 6.6 mg per one-ounce serving or about 49 nuts. Furthermore, they contain protein, magnesium, and vitamin B6, all of which contribute to better sleep.
Oats are great night snacks. They could help you sleep or improve your sleep quality. Oats aren’t only delicious and good at keeping your heart healthy – they also help your body make melatonin more naturally, even when eaten first thing in the morning. Oats are rich in vitamins and minerals that help with a healthy nervous system and relaxation.
They also contain amino acids, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, and complex carbs to help you drift off more easily, and even regulate your sleep too. You can use oats in place of rice at dinner as a more fiber-rich and nutrient-dense option if you don’t enjoy oats for breakfast.
Bananas boost sleep and calm your mind. If you normally eat a banana for breakfast, you might want to think about eating this exotic fruit before bed instead for better sleep. Bananas relax the muscles promoting healthy sleep.
They are rich in magnesium and have been reported to significantly increase melatonin production in the body. Bananas also contain a good amount of carbohydrates to fill your craving. Try a sliced banana with natural nut butter before bed for a good night’s sleep.
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What beverages are good for sleep?
A glass of wine before bed may help you enjoy good sleep at night and promote weight loss.
Beer contains a negligible content of melatonin, only 0.01 mcg per 100 mL. But, if you probably drink more than 100 mL of beer a day, it may deliver decent amounts of melatonin.
Furthermore, most wine cultivars contain about 12 mcg of melatonin per 100 mL. It mostly depends on grape types, though. Merlot, Malbec, and Sangiovese are the richest sources of melatonin. Most important, Merlot contains the richest melatonin content of all fruits, between 10,000 and 15,000 mcg of melatonin per 100g.
Surprisingly, coffee is a perfect source of melatonin as well. It is among the best melatonin-containing foods. For example, roasted Arabica coffee beans include more than 960 mcg of melatonin per 100g. Practically, one cup of coffee has up to 40 mcg of melatonin.
You should know that drinking a cup of coffee before sleeping isn’t a good idea because of its high caffeine content. Caffeine can decrease the body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin. So, it is better to drink decaffeinated coffee at night.
Related: Top 10 Ways to Make Drinking Milk More Enjoyable
Tips for eating food before bed
Not every food is for everyone to eat before bed. Check out the tips below on how to eat the right food before going to bed.
- Do not keep changing your circadian rhythm. Improve it instead while checking for the best and worst foods for you to sleep.
- Eat food before your body begins to wind down. Going to bed on an empty stomach can drop your blood sugar levels and disturbs your body’s ability to produce melatonin for a good.
- Pay more attention to quantity control, a large quantity can disturb the digestion.
- Do not eat stimulants, such as sugars or caffeine, as they can keep you up at night.
Related: Top 10 Foods That Cause Allergies
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