What to eat for better sleep, by healthista.com main

What to eat for better sleep

When it comes to sleep eight hours is said to be the magic number. If you find yourself struggling to sleep and constantly cranky, our Nutritionist Rick Hay explains exactly what to eat for better sleep

According to new research published by the University of California, global warming could lead to us living in a sleep deprived world by 2099. Warm temperatures can harm human sleep and according to the study, rising temperatures will make sleep loss more severe. On top of that, we’ve just found out that troubles with normal dreaming may be an early warning sign for problems such as Parkinson’s disease.

If you find yourself tossing and turning for hours and waking up in the morning feeling sluggish and unrested; the good news is you’re not alone. The even better news is that we can help.

Nearly half of women (43 per cent) in the UK say they are not getting enough sleep and 33 per cent say that they wake up during the night, according to a survey of 4,100 UK adults, conducted by YouGov and supported by the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association (SATA). Here’s what you can do to sort it.

More: 21 days of sleep remedies – new editor’s blog starts today testing sleep fixes 

If you want to sleep better you have to start by looking at what you are eating in the daytime, there’s no point having something that will encourage you to sleep at night if you have had a very stressful day with really poor nutrition. In the video below Nutritionist Rick Hay, explains what types of foods can help prevent stress and what should be avoided. Some supplements are also recommended.

So, what should you eat ?

  • Nuts & Seeds – They are high in magnesium and will keep your nervous system steady and satisfied.

What to eat for better sleep, by healthista.com

  • Oily fish – They help with brain function and help with calming anxiety.
  • Tea –  Drinking tea produces theanine, a relaxing and non-dietary amino acid  known to promote relaxation without sedation (Not too much because you don’t want to overload on caffeine).
  • Dark leafy greens – For example try adding vegetables like spinach, chard & lettuce into your diet as they are rich in magnesium which will help you sleep better.

What to eat for better sleep, by healthista.com

More: Win! BetterYou magnesium collection

What to avoid?

If you want to sleep better, the first thing to do is get rid of all those sugary, highly caffeinated foods and replace with foods that are as close to nature as you can get – colourful and bright. Here are things to watch and avoid:

  • High Sugar – They give you a spike of energy and the come down can be quite hard.

What to eat for better sleep, by healthista.com

  • Highly processed – These tend to be very high in sugar which won’t aid your sleep.
  • Large amounts of alcohol – One glass of red wine with dinner is fine but you don’t want to be knocked out from alcohol.
  • Highly caffeinated beverages – Try decaffeinated drinks as an alternative and only have two caffeinated drinks a day.
What to eat for better sleep, by healthista.com

Avoid energy drinks as they raise your blood sugar.

Best Supplements

What to eat for better sleep, by healthista.com

  • Skullcap
  • St John’s wort
  • Valerian
  • Vervain
  • Lemon Balm
  • Camomile
  • Vitamin B
  • Magnesium
  • Iron


Read More: 

What to eat for ageing skin 

What to eat to prevent heart disease

What to eat for stress




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