Not to eat too heavy before bed is an old saying that is always current, but also a great truth. In fact, eating a lot triggers a digestive process that does not allow our body to rest well. At the same time, however, there are foods that work in reverse, helping us sleep better if consumed before going to bed.
Sleep issues, from anxiety to insomnia, affect many more people than you think. And it doesn't help that our culture pushes for constant movement, with the result that we never get enough sleep.
This is a concrete problem, because our body needs sleep, since there are processes that are triggered only when we are sleeping. Rest, therefore, is essential for our balance. And that's why it can be helpful to know the foods that promote sleep, so you can treat yourself to a healthy snack if you can't close your eyes.
Foods that contain tryptophan
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that our body cannot produce on its own. It is a precursor of melatonin, which is the sleep hormone. You can find it in turkey and other meats and poultry, cheese, yogurt, fish and eggs.
Omega 3 fatty acids
The fatty acids Omega 3 they bring several benefits, from improving vision to relieving anxiety. They have also shown to have beneficial effects on generalized inflammation and heart disease. Where to find them? Bone broth, free-range beef, halibut, salmon, and tuna make great sleep food.
More relaxed, with vitamin B6 and vitamin B3
Vitamin B6 is essential for our nervous system thanks to its effect on the metabolization of fats and proteins. Vitamin B6 converts tryptophan into niacin and serotonin to help regulate sleep stages. How to take vitamin B6? Eating chicken and turkey, but also potatoes (including sweet potatoes), and finally spinach and bananas.
But there is another B group vitamin which is essential for sleep, it is B3, which helps balance stress hormones. In particular, tryptophan is converted into niacin and transformed into nutrients that help you fall asleep faster and sleep through the night. Niacin affects the reduction of stress hormones, helping the body to relieve anxiety and depression.
How to get more vitamin B3? By eating steak, liver and poultry. But also eggs, dried fruit, dairy products and fish, and finally legumes, avocados and whole grains.
Sleeping food that contains glycine
Glycine is the major amino acid in the human body both in terms of importance and concentration. Studies have shown that it can significantly improve the quality of sleep, and help people fall asleep more easily and wake up less during the night. In addition, it helps reduce the feeling of tiredness during the day, as well as making us more reactive and improving memory.
How does it work? Going to work on building collagen (through maybe the collagen to drink) and creatine, both essential for muscle building. But not only that, because the brain also uses creatine for energy. It also helps regulate the immune system, affects cognition and mood, improves appetite and digestion, aids in pain perception and management, affects RNA and DNA production, and sleep regulation.
Glycine is also a powerful neurotransmitter that helps the body produce serotonin, the happiness neurotransmitter, which is found primarily in the brain and stomach. Serotonin is a key ingredient in the production of melatonin, and melatonin is central to the circadian rhythm.
Where to find glycine? In meat, eggs and dairy products. And again: in fish, bananas and kiwis, but also in spinach, black cabbage, cabbage and cauliflower. Finally, keep in mind that the most potent source of glycine is bone broth.
The most suitable snacks before going to sleep
Most of the sleep food we named are fine as snacks before bed. For example, if you have dinner very early in the evening, you may find yourself on an empty stomach when you go to bed, or wake up with hunger pangs.
At the same time, eating too much before bed, as we have already said, will not help your sleep. The solution? A small snack, such as a cup of bone broth. It will keep you hydrated and make you feel full without weighing you down.
Alternatively there are also natural supplements for sleep, such as Zzzquil of which we wrote a review.
And now, good night!