They say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but honey is medicine itself. The sugar content of honey triggers your body’s production of orexin, a neuropeptide that can make you feel sleepy and help you nod off.
Eager to get a good night’s sleep? Try adding some salmon to your meals. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to promote better sleep. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reveals that DHA, an omega-3 found in salmon, is associated with decreased risk of sleep apnea, a condition that can reduce the quantity and quality of sleep and can lessen your life expectancy.
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If you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, try snacking on a banana. Research conducted at Airlangga University reveals that consuming bananas can help improve sleep duration, so if you’re in need of a few Zs, bring on the bananas!
Starting your day with a few slices of avocado toast may be the ticket toward a peaceful slumber later in the evening. Avocado is not only loaded with satisfying fat, which can keep hunger pangs from rousing you from your sleep, it’s also a great source of magnesium, which can help you drift off in no time.
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- Elk Meat
If you’re eager to add some new meat to your menu, try elk on for size. This uniquely flavored game meat is a great source of vitamin B12, which has been shown to promote quality sleep and increase relaxation.
- Sunflower Seeds
Turkey isn’t the only way to infuse your diet with slumber-promoting tryptophan — sunflower seeds are also a great source of the stuff. Even better, a single cup of sunflower seeds packs more than your RDA of magnesium and nearly a full day’s worth of vitamin B6, both of which have been shown to work wonders for sleep.
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Warm, comforting, and loaded with sleep-promoting substances like tryptophan, vitamins A and B6, and magnesium, oatmeal is a great way to wake up or wind down. Fortunately, it’s also loaded with plenty of healthy fiber and protein, giving your immune system a boost and keeping you full and satisfied for longer than refined carbohydrates.
One of the best-known sources of tryptophan, turkey is an excellent addition to your diet if you’re trying to make sleep come to you easier and stick around for longer. In addition to its tryptophan content, the high protein you’ll get from a portion of turkey can also help you stay asleep for longer and improve the quality of your rest.
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Not only are chickpeas a vegetarian-friendly way of adding protein and fiber to your diet, they’re also a superior food for sleep. Load your diet with sleep-boosters like tryptophan, magnesium, and vitamin B6 by making them into a tasty hummus, using chickpea flour in your favorite baked goods, or just tossing a few on your favorite salad.
- Sweet Potatoes
Filling, delicious, and a great source of beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are a great way to improve your sleep at night. Whether you’re adding some sweet potato to a delicious Zero Belly smoothie or tossing them in a bit of olive oil and roasting them, there’s virtually no tastier way to make nodding off easier.
Make tossing and turning a thing of the past by adding some strawberries to your diet. Strawberries are an excellent source of resveratrol, a compound found in red fruits that has been shown effective at reducing belly fat. Researchers in France have also found that resveratrol may help regulate the human sleep cycle, making it a great choice for anyone who could use a good night’s sleep.
For more incentive to make vegetables a bigger part of your diet, discover the 20 Reasons to Make Green Veggies a Daily Habit!
Protein-rich foods, like eggs, may help improve your energy level throughout the day, but they can also help you when it’s time to hit the hay at night. Research conducted at Purdue University reveals that high-protein foods, like eggs, can significantly improve the quality and quantity of sleep you’re getting.
Grapes are a light snack that pack a major punch when it comes to your sleep. Grapes are a resveratrol powerhouse that can help you sleep more soundly in no time — it’s one of the many reasons a glass of red wine (the alcohol content being the largest factor) can make you feel so relaxed and sleepy.
This vitamin C powerhouse is more than just delicious, it’s a great tool for getting a good night’s sleep in no time, too. The natural sugar in pineapple can help spur your body’s orexin production, making you sleepy and eager to turn in.
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Instead of wasting your cash on belly-bloating cocktails at dinner, opt for a shrimp cocktail instead. Shrimp are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of sleep apnea and give you a good night’s sleep in no time.
Sweet, delicious cherries are the sleep-promoting snack you didn’t know you needed. These antioxidant-packed fruits can help satisfy your sweet tooth while helping you drift off more easily, thanks to their high resveratrol content.
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The bright flavor of grapefruit may make it a great treat at breakfast, but don’t discount it as a nighttime snack. Research conducted at Justus Liebig University in Germany reveals that vitamin C, found in abundance in grapefruit, can help improve endothelial function in individuals with sleep apnea, helping improve sleep quality and reducing the risk of other chronic diseases.
Full of fiber and healthy fat, almonds have long been known as a weight loss-friendly food, but their effect on sleep is not as widely reported. Almonds are a good source of vitamin B2, vitamin D, protein, and magnesium, all of which have been shown to improve sleep duration and quality, so if you’re eager to enjoy a more satisfying, rejuvenating sleep, try adding some to your diet today.
For more reasons to make nuts a regular part of your meal plan, discover the 40 Ways Nuts Fight Fat!
Tomatoes are more than just a great salad topper, they’re a great addition to your sleep-improvement plan. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, which may be the key to a healthier, more energizing rest. Research published in Appetite reveals that lycopene is one of a handful of nutrients associated with high-quality sleep, so if you’re eager to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, make sure tomatoes are making it into your meals on a regular basis.
- Black Beans
If there was a single food that could help you lose weight, improve your heart health, and help you sleep better, would you eat it? Luckily, chances are it’s already on your menu. Black beans are a great source of protein, magnesium, and vitamin B6, all of which can help you sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed.
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Adding some delicious, healthy papaya to your diet is the first step toward a better night’s sleep. Papaya is a great source of beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of sleep apnea, giving you a longer, healthier, and safer sleep.
Citrus fruit isn’t the only way to increase your intake of sleep-boosting vitamin C! A single cup of kale packs more than a full day’s worth of vitamin C, as well as sleep-promoting vitamins A and B6, and plenty of protein to keep a hungry tummy from keeping you up.
- Brazil Nuts
If you find yourself having a hard time getting to sleep, staying asleep, or waking up refreshed, it could be your diet. Luckily, the solution might be pretty tasty: just add some Brazil nuts to your meals. Brazil nuts are a good source of sleep-promoting B6 and magnesium, and research conducted at the University of Brazil suggests that nut consumption can even boost sleep-inducing serotonin levels in the human brain.
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Make asparagus a regular part of your diet and you’ll be enjoying better sleep in no time. Asparagus is yet another source of healthy sleep-promoting lycopene, as well as vitamins A, C, and B6, all of which can help you hit the hay without a fight.
Kicking those refined carbs off your plate and making room for corn in their place may be the ticket to a better night’s rest. Corn is a good source of sleep-stimulating amino acid tryptophan, which can help you go to bed more easily and stay asleep.
Not only is watermelon a good source of sleep-promoting vitamin C, it can also help solve another issue that interferes with sleep: dehydration. Every system in your body requires adequate hydration to function, meaning if you’re not getting enough water throughout the day, either in liquid form or from your food, your body may not be producing adequate amounts of the hormones that make you sleepy and keep you asleep through the night.
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Packed with tryptophan, vitamins A, C, B6, and magnesium, broccoli is one of the easiest ways to make your diet more sleep-friendly. If you’re not a fan of eating it raw, try roasting it with some olive oil and garlic, tossing it on the grill, or even adding a few stalks to your favorite Zero Belly smoothie.
- Collard Greens
This southern staple does more than complement a plate of barbecue; collard greens are great for helping you get better sleep, too. Collard greens are a good source of sleep-promoting vitamins A, C, B6, and magnesium, so try subbing in these flavorful and nutrient-rich greens in for your usual side when you need to get a good night’s sleep.
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- Bell Peppers
Another beta-carotene-packed food, bell peppers are a flavorful, low-calorie way to make it simpler to rest easy at night. Add some hummus to those bell pepper slices and you’ve got a perfect snack to help you head off to dreamland.
Spinach is good for more than building Popeye-like muscles, it’s also a great way to improve the length and quality of your sleep. Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, C, B6, and magnesium, all of which can make drifting to dreamland easier than ever.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Adding some pumpkin seeds to your salad, oatmeal, or just snacking on them solo can help you meet your goal of getting eight hours a night in no time. Pumpkin seeds are yet another natural source of tryptophan, as well as packing plenty of sleep-supporting magnesium, so if you’re looking for an easy on-the-go snack, look no further.
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While French fries and gravy-soaked mashed potatoes are far from health food, the trusty potato in it’s simpler forms has gotten a bad rep among the health-conscious. Low in calories and packing decent fiber, potatoes, whether baked, roasted, or made into oven fries, can be a delicious part of your weight loss plan. Fortunately, they can also help you get a good night’s sleep — potatoes are packed with sleep-promoting vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C, B6, and magnesium.
Satisfy your sweet tooth and get a sweeter night of sleep in the process by making dates a staple in your diet. Small but powerful, these delicious fruits are loaded with B6 and magnesium, making them a perfect prescription for a well-deserved rest.
One of the rare foods that’s almost as fun to eat as it is delicious, pomegranates are a healthy snack, no matter what diet plan you’re following. For anyone whose priority is better sleep, you’re in luck: pomegranates are full of sleep-improving substances, like resveratrol, magnesium, and vitamins C and B6.
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This subtle spice is well worth its high price, particularly for anyone who could use some extra rest. Researchers at the Osaka Bioscience Institute have discovered that crocin, one of the two primary carotinoids in saffron, helped increase the duration of non-REM sleep by 50 percent, making it a great addition to the diet of anyone suffering from sleep deprivation.
- Passion Fruit
Improve your immune health, lose weight, and enjoy better sleep by making passion fruit a priority in your diet. This delicious fruit is a great way to pack resveratrol, vitamin C, and magnesium into your diet, making it a perfect fit for anyone who could use a good snooze.
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Adding some more whole grains to your diet may be the key to sleeping more soundly at night. According to findings published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, magnesium deficiency is a major cause of sleep problems, but luckily, whole grains like barley pack plenty of this important mineral, as well as the ability to keep you full without adding unhealthy fats, preservatives, or refined sugar to your plate.
Great on a salad, in a Zero Belly Raspberry Walnut Cake smoothie, or on their own, walnuts are a healthy food whose benefits are nothing short of amazing. An excellent vegetarian-friendly source of omega-3s, walnuts are a great way to improve your sleep in no time.
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There may be a raging debate on the internet about how to properly eat a kiwi (although we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how much healthy fiber is in the fruit’s skin!), but one thing is universally true about this tasty fruit: it’s a healthy way to make you sleep better in no time. Research published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that consuming kiwi significantly improved the ease with which study participants got to sleep and how long they slept for.
- Brown Rice
Adding some brown rice to your diet could be just the thing you need to sleep better and longer at night. Research published in PLoS One reveals that brown rice improved sleep quality in test subjects, although other high-carb foods, like bread, did not have the same effect.
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Adding a little hummus to your vegetables may be all it takes to get a better night’s sleep in no time. Chickpeas, the main ingredient in most hummus recipes, are a great source of B6, which triggers the body’s melatonin production, making it easy to hitch a ride to the land of nod in no time.
- Chamomile Tea
Enjoying a nice cup of chamomile tea at night can help you hit the hay in no time. Chamomile tea has long been used for its sedative properties, and the warm, soothing effect of drinking tea can help you get sleepy in a hurry.
For more beverages to add to your healthy-living plan, enjoy the 40 Drinks That Fight Fat!