Have you been suffering from insomnia or restless nights recently? Stop rolling around and trying to count sheep – take a look at your diet instead.
Here are seven foods to help improve your sleep. Add these to your supper tonight to improve your quality of shut-eye.
- Prawns or lobster These crustaceans are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin – a hormone crucial for relaxation. Being more relaxed will help improve your sleep.
- A bowl of fortified cereal While we are made to believe that carbohydrates at night are a no-no, a bowl of your favourite cereal doesn’t have to be reserved for breakfast. It makes a good pre-sleep snack for two reasons: the carbohydrates from the cereal and the calcium from the milk.
- Cherries These are one of the few natural food sources that contain melatonin, the chemical responsible for controlling the body’s internal clock. Studies have found that drinking a glass of tart cherry juice before bedtime significantly improves sleep.
- Jasmine rice The glycaemic index of jasmine rice is quite high, causing the body to digest it slowly. This gradually releases glucose into the bloodstream. While foods with a high glycaemic index often get a bad rap for making you tired during the day, a study has found that foods with a higher glycaemic index might increase the production of tryptophan, which will improve sleep.
- Bananas Bananas contain potassium and magnesium, two natural muscle relaxants. They are also a source of carbohydrates, which will improve sleep.
- Sweet potato This versatile, yummy starchy veg also contains potassium, making it a good food choice to promote sleep.
- Camomile tea Camomile is widely known as a sleep inducer. Some studies show that this can be because of a flavonoid compound called apigenin, which improves sleep because of its anti-anxiety properties.