Getting a good night’s sleep is hugely important for your overall health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that having a regular and good quality of sleep can reduce your risk of developing certain illnesses and diseases and help to keep your brain and heart-healthy, whilst also boosting your immune systems. Generally, it is recommended that we get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, but the number of people reporting poor sleep and insomnia is on the rise and there is a serious issue of a large number of us struggling to get adequate sleep.
But, before you reach for the sleeping tablets, there are many other strategies you can use to help your sleep health, including making changes to your diet. There are some foods and rinks which have sleep-promoting properties and can actually enhance your sleep quality. With that in mind, here are 3 of the best food and drinks to naturally aid your sleep.
Chamomile tea is a very popular herbal tea which is believed to offer a number of health benefits. It is most commonly known for the flavones it contains, which are an antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation that can then lead to chronic diseases, such as heart disease. There is also some evidence which shows that regularly drinking chamomile tea can boost your immune system and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
As well as this, the apigenin that is found in chamomile tea may also improve sleep quality. The apigenin antioxidant binds to receptors in the brain which can help to promote the feeling of sleepiness and reduce insomnia, so if you are wanting to improve your sleep quality, drinking a cup or two of chamomile tea an hour or so before bedtime is well worth trying.
Kiwis are a very nutritious fruit and are low in calories – one fruit contains just 42 calories and a number of different nutrients. Including kiwi fruits in your diet can have benefits on your digestive health and can also lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. When it comes to sleep quality and kiwis, there have been studies which have shown that kiwis may be one of the best foods to eat if you’re looking to have a good night’s sleep. The serotonin and antioxidants found in kiwis help to boost sleepiness, so eating one or two kiwis before bedtime may help you get to sleep quicker and stay asleep for longer.
Famed for being rich in nutrients, walnuts contain over 19 different vitamins and minerals and are packed full of fibre. They are also especially rich in phosphorus, magnesium and manganese, as well as healthy fats and protein. Walnuts have long been studied for their ability to boost heart health and reduce cholesterol levels, which are a huge contributing factor for heart disease. Some researchers have found that eating walnuts as part of a balanced diet can also improve sleep quality, as they are one of the best natural sources of melatonin.
We all know that getting enough sleep is important for our health and the above foods are worth a try before you start considering taking sleeping aids or tablets. Looking after your general health and wellbeing is also important if you want to increase your sleep quality. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and ensuring you are not lacking in important vitamins and supplements are also good first steps to take. Being low in certain vitamins and minerals can make you feel lethargic and affect your sleep quality, so consider taking some health supplements if this is the case.